Online campaign trends for Chinese New Year 2023

chinese new year 2023

Chinese New year 2023 is just around the corner, it starts on Sunday January 22nd and lasts a full 16 days of celebration, but only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday (January 22nd–January 29th, 2023). This highly popular festival celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunar Chinese calendar, and it is one of the most important calendar events for the Chinese population. It is also a huge online shopping occasion and a great opportunity for online vendors to increase revenues and get their brands known. Read on to learn the top online sales trends for the Chinese New Year 2023, obtain useful creative tips, network volumes and CTRs to help you generate better conversions using ExoClick’s traffic sources during this magical event!

Top Chinese New Year 2023 online sales trends

According to DataReportal, there were 1.02 billion internet users in China in January 2022, with a huge increase of 35.9 million users (+3.6 percent) between 2021 and 2022. China is also currently estimated to be one of the largest consumer economies in the world, according to McKinsey. This tendency is expected to grow over the next 10 years, generating more than one quarter of consumption growth worldwide. This is mainly due to the Chinese middle class gaining more acquisition power each year and becoming able to afford leisure services and entertainment on top of basic necessities.

We looked at ExoClick’s network data for the Chinese New Year a year ago. We compared impressions for different verticals and ad format data to the 2 weeks before 2022’s Chinese New Year and the two weeks during Chinese New Year. The aim is to bring you some online sales trends that you can use for your 2023 Chinese New Year campaigns targeting Chinese traffic on our network. The following are the top 4 verticals and their impression increases during Chinese New Year 2022.

#1 Casino and Sports Betting sites: Chinese people love online gambling. So much so that, according to IMARC, the Chinese online gambling market size reached US$ 9.2 Billion in 2021. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 14.7 Billion by 2027, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% during 2022-2027. On the Chinese New Year 2022, the Chinese population was under lockdown, unable to travel abroad to see their family members and friends, which left them with extra time to kill. That means that the online entertainment industry, and specifically the gambling and sports betting vertical, experienced HUGE impressions increases:

Online sales trends casino and betting

#2 Wellbeing, nutrition and premium beauty services: The Chinese middle class enjoys services and experiences that enhance their day-to-day life and overall wellbeing, such as nutrition, health and comfort products and services. According to iiMedia Research, China’s health and wellbeing supplement industry grew from RMB128.2 billion in 2015 to RMB222.7 billion in 2019 (US$35.3 billion), becoming the world’s second-largest consumer of health products.

Nutra wellbeing and health#3 Online Entertainment such as games and VoD sites: VoD and online games offers work very well in China because they deliver on the user’s need to access entertainment anytime, from anywhere, despite their busy schedules. China’s VoD revenue is expected to reach approximately 16.1 billion U.S dollars by 2024. Also, In 2022, the online Chinese gaming market achieved a revenue of 6.31 billion U.S. dollars, and 654 million Chinese gamers.

VOD & Games

#4 VPN and internet security services: When it comes to Chinese audience members engaging with online sales trends, VPN and internet security services are popular in China. This is because the Chinese government censors certain pages online, and many users resort to VPN software to browse sites that are blacklisted, such as Twitter or Facebook. For this reason, China is the 4th leading market for VPN usage among internet users worldwide, (31% of all internet users in the world).

VPN online sales trendsAttention: Something to take into account, is that during the Chinese New Year 2022 there were heavy Covid related travel restrictions in China. As of January 2023, these have been lifted, allowing the population to travel overseas to see their families who live abroad, and vice versa. When we travel, we rely on online entertainment to keep us busy during the long waiting hours, which makes a great opportunity to promote everything digital entertainment!

CTRs for the top 8 ad formats on Chinese New Year 2022:

chinese new year 2023 Online sales trends

Traffic breakdown per device during Chinese New Year 2022:

Traffic share of devices

Following we will give you a few tips to successfully promote your offers during Chinese New Year 2023 and seriously improve results!

9 Creative tips to maximize your Chinese New Year online offers 

The Chinese New Year is important to the Chinese population because it is a time of renewal, reflection, and connection with family and friends. Chinese people love tradition, especially when it comes to special dates. When you explore the latest online sales trends for the event, make sure that you reflect this in your offers in the Chinese new year 2023:

#1 Cultural values: “dignity” and “prestige” are values that are deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. So if your game is about well-known Chinese heroes and ancient kings, pop stars or people climbing the social ladder, remember to translate the values of ‘gaining face’ in your ads. Attention! Always be careful with religious or cultural references. Be very thorough in your research to avoid the misrepresentation of the different cultural and religious groups in China.

#2 Red Envelopes: Exchanging gifts in red envelopes, and why the color red is widely used in China has mainly to do with mythology. A traditional folklore story tells that a village was being terrorized by a monster. A traveler offers to stop the beast and helps the villagers discover that the monster is afraid of the color red. The villagers hung red lanterns and dressed in red to successfully ward off the creature. There’s more to this story but this is the gist of it.

#3 Chinese Zodiac elements: 2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit, so using images of rabbits in your ad creatives for your Chinese New Year campaigns could be a good choice. Also, use traditional iconography of Koi fish, Bamboo paintings, dragons, mythological and historical figures and characters and, of course, lots of red.

#4 Positive Emotions: Once again, The Chinese New year is a moment of connection. Inspiring positive emotions and warm family vibes amongst the audience can be a great strategy., alluding to the happiness of people celebrating the holiday with their families, connecting with their loved ones who live afar, etc.

#5 Thorough localizations: There’s a total of 302 spoken languages in China, including Standard Mandarin, Min Chinese, Wu Chinese, Cantonese (Yue) and Jin Chinese. Make sure to have your ads translated especially for your target audiences. Also, especially if you are using push notification ads, remember to use dynamic tokens for regional targeting to reach specific locations. These tokens could be by city, region and country. For instance, you could use the

{city} token in your ad texts to attract localized users in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, etc.

#6 Run special promotions for the event: Offer special sports promotions that run only during the New Year. For instance, if you are promoting a Casino or Sports Bettings site, you could offer extra free promotional tokens that can be used on your site if they make a deposit for this specific event. Also, run welcome bonuses and promotions for new users, and reward loyal players with some additional packages that are specific to bets placed during this time.

#7 Use Video: Video works well because it can create an immersive experience allowing the audience to be a part of the festivities, surrounded by fireworks and dragons, from their home. Formats like Fullpage Interstitial, video banners, In stream and Outstream formats can really help you capture the excitement of the Chinese New Year 2023.

#8 Use The Bidder: Optimize your campaigns using The Bidder, ExoClick’s bidding automation tool, which allows you to automate the optimization of your campaigns by adjusting your bids by ad zone and blocking non-converting ad zones. Read our guide on The Bidder here.

In 2023, make the most of Social Media traffic!

Social Media has got an ever-changing, ever-renewing audience of over 4.62 billion people worldwide, which use these pages for ca. 2.5 hours a day. Especially around these dates, in which Chinese people are going to be posting about the festivities in their city, exchanging presents with the family, etc, it is a good idea to target the social media ExoClick traffic source.

In order to buy this traffic site, advertisers need to create a simple direct link to the offer they want to promote, this will be sent to group Admins and affiliates. Group admins are in charge of curating the creatives and post the advertisers’ sponsored messages within the group chats. Here are a few tips to target this traffic during The Chinese New Year 2023:

Tip! Create editorial content: Don’t make it overly promotional. Social media is a medium where organic looking posts that lead to ‘blog’ or tips based content landings get the most hits. This is especially true during holiday or cultural events, since the audience will want to feel like their traditions are valued and not used as a medium to sell to them.

Tip! Make it entertaining: Social media audiences want to be entertained, informed and connected. Make sure to fulfill these purposes, creating a strong sense of brand awareness and gathering followers by offering interesting content.

Tip! Know your niche: Social Media is an excellent choice to target very specific interest groups. To target the right chats and messenger groups, make sure to apply very adjusted targeting to your specific niche. For instance, if you are promoting a VPN offer for anime fans, make sure to target groups that enjoy this kind of content.

Tip! Know your Chinese platforms: Remember that in China, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram cannot be targeted, because they aren’t used. Make sure that you find out which social media and messenger app platforms they use. Some popular ones are WeChat, Weibo, Little Red Book and Douyin.

Want more information about online sales trends, using Social Media traffic or any other traffic source to promote your online offers during Chinese New Year 2023? Contact your account manager or our Customer Success team.

Anna Quiroga