How tech giant Apple used Bilibili to market in China.

Sep 8, 2021 12:36:30 PM

Heard of the Chinese influencer He Tongxue?  Well, you should have! 

In February 2021, college student and influencer He Tongxue landed an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook. The exclusive meeting with Cook went live with the hashtag ‘’He Tongxue interviewed Apple CEO’’, immediately trending on social media, it gained a staggering 210 million views in 12 hours.

A lifetime opportunity for He Tongxue and a superb way for Apple to connect with his mighty, devoted followers. It’s an outstanding example of a breakthrough brand collaboration! 

To reach a colossal loyal audience on Bilibili and reap the rewards, businesses need to connect with the right KOLs. But how can this super platform help brands get a slice of that marketing Apple pie? 


What is Bilibili?

If you don’t know by now, Bilibili is a powerful social media marketing platform in China. With more than 65 million users, it successfully fought its way to the second largest video-sharing spot online in the China.

Aimed at Chinese millennials and Gen Zs with a penchant for anime-related content and gaming culture. Watching niche videos and uploading to Bilibili is number one on the agenda with more than 7,000 core fields.

Not only has the platform made its presence known, but it’s also developing at a staggering rate. Boasting extremely high traffic and visit rates its revenue increased from 0.8 billion RMB to 1.4 billion over the last year. 


Bilibili and KOLs 


Gradually building audience trust is vital for sales and engagement on Bilibili. 

At the centre of the platform’s marketing is its young content creators (KOLs), who produce high-quality interest related PUGVs (professional user-generated videos) in a wide range of cultural areas. In addition to this, established communities interact and communicate to inspire other followers. 

In Q3 of 2020, the monthly activity of Bilibili KOLs increased by 51% to an astounding 1.7 million and the submission volume by 79% year on year to 5.6 million. The content categories are quickly expanding in topics like digital, knowledge, fashion, food and lifestyle. These figures show Bilibili’s vast growth is an opportunity not to be missed by brands wanting to market in China. 

Tech giant Apple chose to collaborate and market on the platform, so more brands are sure to follow. 

Key Opinion Leader (influencer) marketing on Bilibili is unparalleled, as He Tongxue has proven. After his exclusive meeting with Cook went live He Tongxue’s Bilibili video went viral and amassed an astonishing 10 million views. Quite a feat for an 18-minute chat! 

If brands team up with KOLs on Bilibili that complement their products the marketing world is their oyster. 


(He Tongxue interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook)


Bilibili resonates 

The way young people in China communicate has changed.

Bilibili allows niche content to flow freely and resonate with the Chinese Gen Z and millennials’ interests. This group relies on video for engagement and contact more than any other generation. And for them, it holds a deeper meaning.

Compared to traditional social media interactions, this generation uses Bilibili videos to inspire how they look and affirm their values through content they love. Making, watching, and sharing content gives them a sense of identity and a place in the world. This is also true of their learning experiences – new thoughts and ideas are discovered via interest-based communities, platforms and friends. 



Bilibili exclusivity 

Setting it apart from its rivals Bilibili is the only large-scale video-sharing platform in China with strict access requirements. If a user wants to sign on as an official member, they need to complete a 100-question quiz - ranging from company history to Japanese manga artists. That’s dedication! 


And just like He Tongxue the platform actively develops professional uploaders who bring with them a tight-knit community of fans. They sign on as exclusive content creators and in return, work in partnership with Bilibili on video pitches and receive insights on trending topics. This keeps creativity flowing and ultimately increases screen time and membership on the platform.


Bilibili marketing 

Unlike RED and Weibo the content seeding approach on Bilibili is through the consumers. Followers seek out uploaders leading to an interest in more specialised content creators in various niches. The right influencer to be in allegiance with is crucial to gain full exposure in China. 

Marketing on Bilibili to a unique, loyal user base is a super profitable way to advertise and the power of its reach is undeniable - a marketing opportunity that Western brands cannot afford to miss out on. 

Want to invest in KOLs? If you want to know the best ways to manage and partner with Key Opinion Leaders and Communities in your niche download our in-depth guide here. 

For a deeper understanding of the Chinese Gen Z market click here to download our comprehensive guide. It’s packed full of concepts, tips, insights and strategies for maximising marketing impact in campaigns across every sector. 



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