About this series

The WARC Spotlight China series focuses on a timely industry topic facing brands in the market. It comprises a capsule collection of commentary, tackling the topic from a range of angles. Contributors to the series are industry experts with first-hand knowledge of the market in focus, offering current on-ground insights to what’s working or developing.

Outbound marketing

For Chinese brands going abroad in the coming decade, having an exclusively sales-oriented mindset is no longer sustainable. Outbound marketers must move from deploying a variety of Chinese-style techniques in advertising and sales promotion to ultimately understanding Western or native consumers. What challenges do Chinese brands face on the global stage? What mode of entry is most often used to access the international market and why? What are the factors critical to success in brand development globally? Despite the uncertainty of the international economic environment, Chinese brands have not stopped “going abroad” in a COVID-shaken world. As change is the only constant in outbound marketing, it is important for ambitious Chinese enterprises to be more diversified and flexible in their strategies. The barriers to overseas expansion are manifold, so brands can gain invaluable insight by localizing the product-market-fit for target audiences, getting rid of flawed assumptions, and restarting with a beginner’s mindset.


Honor splits from Huawei to safeguard tech competitiveness amid escalated US sanctions

Source Havas China

Huawei goes beyond a 'value for money only' image in CEE region

Source Huawei

Chinese companies expanding abroad to focus on localised production , cross-cultural branding, supply chain security

Source Kotler Marketing Group

Is it worth building a brand presence on Snapchat for China's outbound brands?

Author WARC China

Test the waters on overseas social media with a "limited brand exposure" approach

Author Shoplazza

Unlocking insights from the entire shopper journey with Amazon Marketing Cloud

Author WARC China

From discovery to purchase: The role of community commerce

Author WARC China

Why programmatic DOOH advertising should be part of China's outbound marketing strategy

Author WARC China 

How Chinese tech can break through in the West amid concerns over trust and awareness

Author Publicis Groupe

Realme CMO Xu Qi: Five major opportunities in the global smartphone industry still exist

Author Claire Zhang

Interview with YesWelder: Innovation comes from trial and error

Author Cindy Gu

Cultural adaptability behind Midea's air conditioning campaigns in the West

Author F5

Creating awareness of Chinese games in the highly competitive Korean market

Author Yeahmobi

Identifying operational barriers for Chinese firms building digital capabilities overseas

Author Sarah Jia
Company WARC China

How to inspire and excite overseas players in SLG, RPG and hybrid-genre games: Twitter report

Author WARC China

New ways to benchmark performance on Instacart and score instant advantage

Author WARC China

Seize the holiday season in North America and make good use of integrated media

Author The Trade Desk

How the ‘reseller + DTC’ model of a Chinese 3D printer brand works

Author Shoplazza

MG Motor returns to Europe to sell cost-effective EVs under new Chinese parent

Author SuperHeroes

The 2023 outlook for Chinese brands going global: be proactive, boost resilience

Author TikTok for Business

In the ‘overseas 3.0’ era, it’s time to foster Chinese-style trust in foreign markets

Author Sarah Jia
Company WARC China

Aligning marketers and influencers: Shifting perspectives on influencer marketing across the funnel

Author WARC

How to build a differentiated strategy for China's new energy vehicles going outbound?

Author eclicktech

Overseas opportunities for Chinese brands in the outdoor sports track

Author Ipsos China

Analysis of challenges and risks for Chinese firms entering United States and Canada

Author Linkedin

Difficulties and dilemmas facing China‘s merchants in cross-border e-commerce

Author 大数跨境

Will 2023 be the pivotal year for Chinese enterprises to accelerate going global?

Author Bailian.ai

TikTok influencers do more than just sell stuff or clear inventory for Chinese sellers

Author 4KMILES

Returns are profit killers that Chinese Amazon sellers cannot ignore

Author 4KMILES

How will the next decade look like for China's consumer goods expanding overseas?

Author Ipsos China

SWOT analysis and strategic suggestions for Chinese animation reaching foreign viewers

Authors 周汉章、吴越、程钰涵、储照胤、王嘉妮

Beyond China's borders: The potential of the partnership economy

Author impact.com

Outbound marketing 101 for China’s brands

Author Jenny Chan

Brand in action: Air China's Land Your Dream campaign

Source Mediacom

Case study: Alibaba Group's Alizila in the US

Source Alibaba

Case study: DiDi Drivers’ Legends at the Wheel in Mexico

Source Initiative

Case study: TikTok unleashes the Unlikely Influencer in Indonesia

Source M&C Saatchi

Case study: TikTok‘s '#Benerserunya - The Right Joy' campaign in Indonesia

Source M&C Saatchi

Case study: TikTok‘s #CreateForGood campaign in MENA

Source The Classic Partnership

Case study: TikTok Middle East designed and developed The Hive – a virtual event space

Source ByteDance FZ LLC

Case study: TikTok's Making Every Second Count campaign in Singapore

Source Allison+Partners

Case study: TikTok's Mat Kar Forward campaign in India

Source Kinnect

Case study: TikTok's Ramadan campaign in UAE is based on true stories

Source ByteDance

Case study: Tiktok Snacks training program gets you the 'I speak TikTok fluently' badge

Source ByteDance

Case study: TikTok's Where Fans Play campaign for UEFA EURO 2020

Source Zenith

Brand in action: Haier India's The Upside-Down Solution campaign

Source Famous Innovations

Brand in action: Honor India's 'Yeh Diwali HONOR Wali' campaign

Source GenesisBCW

Brand in action: Huawei Mobile's Nova2i 'I GOT U' campaign in Myanmar

Source TODAY Ogilvy & Mather

Brand in action: Huawei Turkey's 'Seeds For The Future' live hackathon

Source Wavemaker

Huawei reacted to Trump administration ban by launching a crisis cabinet

Source BCW

Huawei completed Schubert's famous Unfinished Symphony using AI in Mexico

Source Huawei

Brand in action: Huawei UK ends 'Battery Strife' with 'Recharge Your Mates' campaign

Source Mischief PR

Huawei’s back-to-school campaign in Turkey retargets existing users who viewed but did not buy

Source Wavemaker

How Huawei took a bite out of Apple in share of search in UK

Source Wavemaker

Brand in action: Huawei's 'The Frequency of Love' campaign in Italy

Source MSL

Huawei created campaign around England football manager Gareth Southgate’s waistcoat for FIFA World Cup 2018

Source Mischief PR

Jack Ma Foundation launched its 2022 Africa's Business Heroes philanthropic competition

Source Alibaba Foundation

Lenovo expanded brand image from that of PC company to service-led technology leader in APAC

Source Zeno Group, WE Communications

Lenovo APAC capitalises on its strong marketing fundamentals, despite downturn

Source WARC India

Brand in action: Lenovo ISG‘s 'Decoding 37 trillion cells' campaign in India

Source WARC

Brand in action: Lenovo's 'Equality Spell Check' campaign in MENA

Source Wunderman Thompson Dubai

Lenovo created metrics to gauge performance of new & crucial business unit: Solutions and Services Group

Source WARC

Lenovo's first documentary: From the world's factory to the world's engine

Source WARC

Lenovo’s Kind City Project showcased effective use of technology to improve urban life

Source Zeno

Lenovo’s ’Work For Humankind' on Robinson Crusoe island is a different sort of WFH campaign

Source Lenovo

Brand in action: How Lenovo Asia stays ahead with sustainability

Source Lenovo

Brand in action: OnePlus India generates interest in Z2 earbuds with ASMR ad on JioSaavn

Source JioSaavn

Brand in action: Oppo's 'The Ultimate Internship' campaign in Australia and New Zealand

Source Oppo

Brand in action: Oppo's 'Beyond the Portrait’ campaign in Myanmar

Source Bulb Myanmar

Brand in action: Oppo increased awareness of its Reno3 Pro Smartphone with India’s biggest drone light show

Source Oppo

Brand in action: Oppo's 'Empower Every moment' campaign for Find X5 Pro in Western Europe

Source Oppo

China brands go global as economy moved from production-driven to consumer-led

Source R3

Vivo attracted 74 new advertisers for its mobile ads platform in Brazil

Source Young & Rubican

Polestar went from being unknown to 4th best-seller of EVs in Belgium

Source FamousGrey

WeChat launched WeRemit in HK to help Filipino and Indonesian domestic workers send money home

Source Tencent

Brand in action: How Xiaomi won over India with its “less is more” approach

Source Xiaomi India

Brand in action: Xiaomi‘s 'MI for India' campaign tackles reputation and business obstacles

Source Xiaomi India

Xiaomi catches up with brands such as Apple, Samsung and RealMe via Mi 10T Pro in Philippines

Source Havas Ortega Group

Xiaomi produced Mi Pass10n Project to vie with smartphone heavyweights in Philippines

Source Havas Ortega Group

Brand in action: ZTE aimed to disrupt US smartphone duopoly with Axon M launch

Source Grayling

What can internationalisation bring to Chinese companies?

Source Daxue Consulting

10 common mistakes Chinese companies make when expanding overseas

Source Daxue Consulting

10 perspectives that define the China's outbound brand movement in 2024

Source Totem

Cross-cultural communication: Transcreation is no longer just about language

Source RF Thunder

Three outbound marketing tactics to overcome game publishers’ biggest hurdles

Source MediaMonks SH

What we know about multinational marketing

Source WARC

How can Chinese brands activate the marketing value of the 2024 Olympic Games?

Source Yutang Sports

Shein looks to India and Mexico in diversification push

Source WARC

Brand in action: How Genki Forest plans to be the next Coca-Cola

Source WARC

Meta’s growth has been fuelled by China e-commerce platform spend

Source WARC

China's Hisense top performing in paid search among TV brands for Walmart

Source WARC

Marketplace to watch: Temu (and key takeaways for CPG brands)

Source Edge by Ascential

Cultural hybridity: The future of branding in a glocalised world

Source Cherry Blossoms Intercultural Branding

Gen Z consumers in US are the most open to Chinese brands

Source Morning Consult

C-beauty brands not as sellable in overseas markets as K-beauty and J-beauty

Source Euromonitor

How Haier achieved overall growth in the pandemic between 2019 to 2022

Source Euromonitor

From an exporting/selling mindset to a branding mindset: The thinking behind globalisation

Source Wavemaker

How Chinese auto brands can keep a steady course in overseas markets

Source Wavemaker

Tencent's lessons from making Chinese games popular in Japan

Source Games Industry

2024 whitepaper on 'deep globalization' of Chinese outbound brands

Source Morketing Research

A study of consumer perceptions and market opportunities for Chinese automotive brands in Southeast Asia

Source Vero, WeBridge

Brand in action: China’s Honor on why being innovative and being bold are essential to success

Source WARC

Brand in action: China’s Catlink on why the Internet of Things can be the future of petcare

Source WARC

Brand in action: Lenovo’s three principles for connecting with Gen Z in US and New Zealand

Source WARC

More Spotlights


Harness the power of KOLs and KOCs (Chinese)

March 2023
The melee of leveraging influencers as a marketing strategy in China


The Economic Aftermath of 'Long COVID' (Chinese)

July 2022
Taking stock of China's state of marketing in the 'Long COVID' era


China's Covid Response (Chinese)

May 2022
A marketer's battle against the Omicron variant of COVID-19


China: Outbound (Chinese)

Feb 2022
Synergistic ideas for Chinese brands going global


From Omnichannel to Omnipresence

December 2021
Shows how brands can level up in the ‘new retail’ movement


DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) Disruptors

June 2021
Being fluid and innovative make DTC brands more than just fads

Culture-relevant marketing

Crafting Culture-Relevant Marketing

December 2020
The key to resonant marketing in China: cultural sensitivity

Growth equation

The changing growth equation in China

May 2023
Is it the end of the "demographic dividend"?