The 8 Biggest Myths about Advertising in China, Debunked

China Advertising Myths
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    For a lot of western businesses, running ads in China is a bit of a mystery.

    And with so much false information around the subject, it’s easy to see why. 

    People generally understand the consumer traits of their home country, but unravelling the ins and outs of another culture and consumer behaviour might seem a little less clear. And with this lack of clear information, stories about the Chinese market have emerged that are really just… myths

    The reality is, China represents 54.7% of the global e-commerce market — that’s nearly twice the percentage of the next five countries combined! So learning how to separate the fact from the fiction will help you recognize and chase exciting, profitable opportunities for your business in the East.

    In today’s post, we’ll debunk some of the biggest rumours about advertising in China. And get you ready to start branching out to new eager consumers.

    Let’s get to it. 

    Myth 1: Baidu ads = Google ads

    Reality: Baidu is not a Google copycat and advertising on the platform is very different.

    As the leading search engine in China, Baidu is often compared to its Western counterpart, Google. However, there are important distinctions between advertising on both search engines – the biggest being the types of ads available.

    Unlike Google where advertisers are limited to just 3 ad formats, on Baidu, there are a lot more options. With over 10 different ad formats ranging from text ads to multi-image ads, advertisers on the platform have way more to choose from.

    Read more about advertising on Baidu in our beginner’s guide.

    Myth 2: WeChat and Baidu are the best ways to advertise

    Reality: Other channels might be better suited for your industry.

    Although WeChat and Baidu are the most popular platforms in China, there are several other channels that might provide the types of leads you’re after.  

    Choosing digital channels to advertise in China

    For instance, an ad for a B2B product might be better suited on a niche social networking site like LinkedIn China than a general messaging platform like WeChat.

    Read more about how to choose the right media channel for your business.

    Myth 3: Translation is all you need

    Reality: No, it isn’t. Depending on your product, your messaging might also need to change.

    Every culture has its own nuances – it’s what makes the world interesting after all! And for this reason, simply translating your ad into the local language isn’t enough. 

    Instead, it’s important to study the market and then carefully craft ads to resonate with a Chinese audience. Think about what segment of the market you’re targeting too. Localization will be your key to success.

    Looking to establish your presence in China? is the #1 platform to get started with advertising in China. Our platform and team take care of everything from set up to running your campaigns for leading brands across the globe. Create a free account to get started.

    Myth 4: You need to build a new website to advertise and enter Chinese markets

    Reality: A Chinese landing page is more than sufficient.

    Contrary to what you might have been told, you don’t need to localize your entire website to begin advertising in China.

    A more practical and equally efficient solution would be to create a Chinese landing page specifically for your offer and then drive the traffic from your ads to it.

    Doing this is fairly easy. But, we also provide assistance to clients who might need a bit of guidance setting it all up. Getting this part right will be hugely beneficial down the line! 

    Myth 5: You need to have a warehouse before you start selling in China

    Reality: You can get started with a lot less.

    There’s a lot of confusion around the requirements to start selling in China.

    Put simply: you don’t need a massive capital investment like a warehouse to get started. As long as you have sufficient inventory, or use a fulfilment model that doesn’t require you to hold stock, you’re good to go. Cross-border e-commerce has made getting started in China on platforms like Tmall Global fairly simple.

    Myth 6: You need an ad agency to advertise in China

    Reality: With the right tools, you can run your ads yourself and with just as much success.

    Today, you can successfully create, run, and manage your ads using self-service platforms like at a fraction of the cost an agency would charge.

    On you can:

    • set up granular targeting, 
    • launch your ads and,
    • monitor their performance on a realtime dashboard that’s updated every 30 seconds.

    Here’s a post that shares in-depth how a Chinese advertising platform like helps.

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    Myth 7: The money lies in the big cities

    Reality: There is a lot of opportunity in the less targeted cities.

    According to research by Mckinsey, consumers in lower-tier cities are increasing their spending at a much faster rate compared to consumers residing in the more expensive cities, like Beijing and Shanghai.

    What this means is that there’s a big opportunity for advertisers targeting consumers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in China.

    Myth 8: It is expensive to advertise in China

    Reality: Not anymore. You can get started with a lot less than you think.

    You might have heard the rumours that you need a minimum of $100K to break into the Chinese markets – ignore them.

    With the rise of several new channels and advertising platforms, you can now get started with as little as $2000-$5000 per month and still make a substantial profit. 

    Ready to finally break into the billion-dollar Chinese market?

    It’s a lot easier than you think. 

    With the right knowledge and tools, advertising in China doesn’t have to be the mysterious and tedious process people might think it is.

    With, you can get your first ad up and running in a couple of minutes. Plus, we’ll be there walking you through every step of the way! has helped hundreds of brands reach the China market. To see how can help you get started with advertising on top channels hassle-free create a free account today.
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