load_file(“/includes/top.html”);load_file(“/includes/navmenu.html”);HOMELIFE,ARTSRise of social media marketing in China has unexpected consequencesBy Tao Mingyang Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/28 18:08:41load_file(“/includes/article_shareup.html”);Three young men show off their limited Air Jordan basketball shoes they were able to buy after winning a raffle in a store in Chengdu, Sichuan Province on March 25, 2018. Photo: ICA Starbucks cat-paw cupNowadays, many companies have turned to social media to promote their products or stores due to the medias huge influence, especially among young consumers. This is no truer than in China, where advertisements and pop-up windows abound on every webpage and app in an effort to bring in young internet savvy consumers, who end up chatting with friends about the latest cool product. For many of these young netizens in China, checking out the restaurants and shops that everyone is talking about online has become something of a lifestyle in and of itself. A crazy cupEvery spring, coffee giant Starbucks always launches a series of seasonal products in China. This year, a limited edition coffee cup drew everyones attention for its unique design. Made from transparent light pink glass, when liquid is poured into the cup it reveals that the empty space inside is shaped like a cats paw. After photos of the new product were posted on social media, it quickly became a must-have item for many netizens. After the release of the cup on Tuesday, social media in China was flooded with images of dozens of people lining up at Starbucks locations prior to opening to ensure they could get their hands on the rare item. At some locations, some people even began lining up the night before, bringing tents so they could get some sleep. Once opening time arrived, the scene became even wilder as the cups were sold out in no time. In one instance that ended up going viral online, some customers were seen fighting each other for a chance at getting the cup. The limited-edition cup also attracted scalpers, some of whom sold the cup for up to three times its original price.Forced scarcityAs social media continues to develop and evolve, one constant is that a majority of users are young. According to a survey from photo and video-sharing service Instagram in 2018, almost half of its users are 18-29, while 41 percent are under 24. This skew in demographics should not be ignored. More and more, social media is becoming a platform for young people to share their lives, but also a place where they in turn are influenced by major corporations. The situation with the Starbucks cup is not an isolated incident in China. It is actually quite common for famous fashion brands and the like to carry out similar marketing campaigns. However, since their products are limited, scalpers often swoop in to buy them and resell at exorbitant prices. Some popular shoes or clothing items have been sold for more than 10,000 yuan ($1,492) even though the original price was no more than 1,000 yuan. Supreme is a well-known US clothing brand. They usually launch new clothing lines through their online and brick and mortar stores every Thursday, but the company only has 12 retail locations in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. Since the items are limited and so too are the retail stores, it is common to see long lines form in front of these real world locations. Add to this that many online influencers post photos of themselves wearing these clothes to show their followers, who soon rush to imitate them. Soon enough, social media ends up creating a fad for a particular item online and then the price of these items can be increased as well as the number of sales. Those that cant buy items due to limited numbers or because the price is too high may even resort to buying counterfeits in order to stay trendy.  Staying saneYang Jiashu is a 25-year-old man from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region now working in Beijing. He is also a huge fan of sneakers and fashionable clothing. According to him, he currently is the proud owner of 90 pairs of sneakers. “I dont think following fashion is a bad thing,” Yang said. “Everyone wants to be liked on social media.”Yang began collecting sneakers in 2013. While he was in university, he usually saved money by skipping dinner so he could buy more sneakers. Currently, he is working for a third-party payment company, where his 20,000-yuan-a-month salary can easily support his hobby. “The reason why I began to collect sneakers is that Im a big fan of Michael Jordan. He wore a pair of Air Jordan 6s the first time he won the NBA championship. I fell in love with that pair of shoes immediately when I watched a recording of the game,” Yang explained. The Air Jordan brand has become very popular in China in recent years. Similar to how budding flowers are a sign of spring, long lines outside of Air Jordan stores in China are usually a sign that the release date for a new line of the sneakers is approaching or has just arrived.  However, getting a hold on a pair of these shoes is not that easy. Due to rarity, some shoe stores hold raffles to choose people who get to buy them at their original price. If you are not one of these lucky winners, however, the only way to get a pair is to buy them from scalpers at an inflated price. “Im pretty sure that most of them are just trying to be fashionable,” Yang noted. “Only a few of them are actual fans of Michael Jordan. They just want to be liked on social media. Thats reason why there are so many scalpers and the resale prices are so high.”Yang said he collects these shoes because each of them holds a special meaning for him. “I save money that should be spent on dinner to buy these shoes because I love them,” Yang said. “If you are buying these shoes just to be trendy or show off, please dont waste your money.” Newspaper headline: Staying trendyPosted in: FASHION,CULTURE & LEISURE,ARTS FOCUS/* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */var disqus_shortname = globaltimes; // required: replace example with your forum shortnamevar disqus_identifier = 1140490;/* * * DONT EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */(function () {var dsq = document.createElement(script); dsq.type = text/javascript; dsq.async = true;dsq.src = https:// + disqus_shortname + .disqus.com/embed.js;(document.getElementsByTagName(head)[0] || document.getElementsByTagName(body)[0]).appendChild(dsq);})();Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.blog comments powered by Disqusload_file(“/includes/channel_right.html”);load_file(“/includes/footer.html”);$(document).ready(function($){$(“#channel-list .row-content”).each(function(){  if($(this).children().length==1){$(this).children().css(width,100%);}

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