Fashion searches in vogue among Chinese netizens
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.