CIM043: Understanding One of 2019’s Biggest Consumer and Content Trends: Xiachen

April 9, 2019

In this episode we discuss the concept of xiachen. Xiachen literally means to sink or submerge, and is now a popular term meaning sinking or moving down into lower tier markets. Xiachen content, apps, influencers, and products appeal to everyday, ordinary Chinese people. People in these lower tier cities can’t relate to the sophisticated content and expensive products that we so often see influencers sharing on Weibo and WeChat. While for those in 1st and 2nd tier cities this content may be aspirational, for these consumers is it is just too far removed from their lives. 

Now why do we care about these consumers? Well…

Mobile internet users in China’s 1st and 2nd tier cities are mature and they are bombarded with content and sales messages on a daily basis. The next big opportunity for app and e-commerce growth is consumers 3rd and 4th tier cities and rural areas. 

This term Xiachen has been used quite frequently throughout 2018 and many top Chinese marketing publications predict ‘xiachen’ will continue to be a major trend in 2019.

In this episode Kejie and I discuss:

  • What does Xiachen mean? And why is this becoming a trend?
  • What is Xiachen content? How is it different than regular content?
  • What are some examples of Xiachen influencers, products and apps?
  • How are consumers in lower tier cities and the countryside different than consumers in 1st and 2nd tier cities?
  • Does xiachen style content also appeal to consumers in 1st and 2nd tier cities?
  • Why is livestreaming very popular among young consumers in rural areas of China?
  • What are some difficulties brands face when trying to market to these xiachen consumers?


Xiachen themed newsletter  

Topics include:

  • Why are Kuaishou influencers so good at driving sales?
  • Some of the biggest users of live streaming in China are not teenagers, they’re farmers
  • Farmers cultivate social media sales
  • The epitome of ‘Xiachen’: Kuaishou influencer SanDaGe

The Domestic Beauty Brand Taking Over Xiaohongshu: Perfect Diary 完美日记



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Host: Lauren Hallanan



WeChat: H1212118514

Check out my book: Digital China: Working with Bloggers, Influencers and KOLs

Thanks to our sponsors PARKLU: and The Meet Group 

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