Fash­ion searches in vogue among Chi­nese ne­ti­zens

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By XU JUNQIAN in Shang­hai

xu­jun­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Chi­nese ne­ti­zens made a to­tal of 800 mil­lion searches for fash­ion-re­lated items and top­ics on Baidu.com in 2015, a surge of 40 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by the coun­try’s largest search en­gine in De­cem­ber.

About half of the searches were for jew­el­ries and watches, or what has been clas­si­fied as “hard lux­ury”. While fash­ion­re­lated searches made by mo­bile de­vices en­joyed a 93 per­cent in­crease in 2015, those made us­ing per­sonal com­put­ers were hit by a 21 per­cent de­cline, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, which was re­vealed at the Dig­i­tal Fash­ion Cer­e­mony 2015 in Shang­hai.

Last year marked the sec­ond time that Baidu had part­nered with the China Fash­ion As­so­ci­a­tion and Chi­nese Travel Chan­nel to host the cer­e­mony. Or­ga­niz­ers hoped that the event, to­gether with the re­port, could shed some light on dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing.

“The fash­ion and lux­ury in­dus­tries have wit­nessed, and will con­tinue to wit­ness, one of the fastest growth rates of searches made by mo­bile de­vices. That is largely due to the fact that searches of this kind hap­pen mostly on a whim, spurred by a celebrity street snap, or a fash­ion item car­ried by a passerby,” said Hou Libin, vice di­rec­tor of Baidu In­sti­tute of Mar­ket­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to lat­est sta­tis­tics from the China In­ter­net Net­work In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter, while peo­ple aged from 20 to 29 ac­count for just 31.4 per­cent of the to­tal ne­ti­zen pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try, Baidu noted that peo­ple from this group, known as Gen­er­a­tion Y and which com­prises peo­ple born af­ter 1985, as “ma­te­ri­al­is­ti­cally rich and mentally in­de­pen­dent or un­in­hib­ited”. As a re­sult, they are more in­ter­ested in tai­lor-made or lim­ited edi­tion items. China For­tune Char­ac­ter, a Bei­jing­based lux­ury goods mar­ket re­search in­sti­tute, said that China swooped up 46 per­cent of lux­ury goods sold around the globe in 2015, spend­ing a to­tal of $116.8 bil­lion.

The Chi­nese word dingzhi, which means per­son­al­ized or cou­ture, ex­pe­ri­enced a 126-per­cent in­crease from 2013 to 2015 in terms of searches. With re­gard to the most searched fash­ion item, white lace dresses en­joyed equal pop­u­lar­ity both in the US and China, based on data from Google and Baidu over the past two years. Searches for the dress ex­pe­ri­enced a sim­i­lar fluc­tu­a­tion dur­ing the 12 months in both coun­tries, peak­ing in spring.

Vin­tage wear, how­ever, has ap­par­ently never been in fash­ion in China, judg­ing from the num­ber of searches on Baidu. This is a stark con­trast to the US where ne­ti­zens of­ten use Google to search for such items.

Baidu is ranked fifth glob­ally in terms of on­line traf­fic by Alexa In­ter­net, an Ama­zon-funded com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in an­a­lyz­ing busi­ness in the vir­tual world. Re­search firm iRe­search es­ti­mated that Baidu en­joys 78 per­cent of the mar­ket share among the search en­gines avail­able in China, 60 per­cent higher than Google.

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