Move Over K-Pop, C-Pop Is Hitting High Numbers

    New data highlights the marketing potential of Chinese celebrities during fashion month. From actor Xiao Zhan to singer Liu Yuxin, fans were hooked.
    New data highlights the marketing potential of Chinese celebrities during fashion month. From actor Xiao Zhan to singer Liu Yuxin, fans were hooked. Photo: Liu Yuxin's Weibo
      Published   in Fashion
    What Happened:

    During the Fall 2023 fashion month which ended in Paris on March 7, Chinese celebrity attendees dominated social media feeds. Influencer marketing platform Lefty reported that the top 10 stars generated more than 49 million in earned media value (EMV) across Weibo and Instagram.

    By definition, EMV is the value of exposure that a company gains across social media content — the equivalent of what a brand would expect to pay for the level of marketing gained. In short, Chinese stars have proven their meteoric value in drawing attention to fashion labels.

    Gucci and Tod’s ambassador, Chongqing-born actor Xiao Zhan, produced over 9.3 million in EMV on microblogging app Weibo, according to Lefty. Similarly demonstrating his impressive reach, local singer-songwriter Cai Xukun saw 1.37 million and 2.2 million in EMV across Instagram and Weibo, respectively.

    View post on Instagram

    Among other names such as actress Fan Bingbing and Taiwanese singer Guo, the most influential of all was iQiyi’s Youth With You 2 alumna, music artist Liu Yuxin, who generated 23.6 million in EMV on Weibo, along with 693,000 on Instagram.

    The Jing Take

    The return of local A-listers to the front rows of fashion shows after China’s reopening illuminates the enormity of Chinese star marketing potential in 2023.

    Brands need to take this rising popularity of Chinese celebrities into consideration when allocating their online spending, as K-pop stars are not the only ones who can take center stage and drive results.

    As social media usage accelerates, fan culture is booming like never before. China especially has spent longer than elsewhere locked down, with communication online thriving and obsession with stars consequently being fueled further.

    That being said, K-pop stars did have their share of social media frenzy too. Blackpink's Rosé attended Saint Laurent's runway show, NCT's Taeyong was at Loewe's, and BTS' J-Hope and Jimin attended the presentations for Louis Vuitton and Dior, respectively — all of which contributed to the events trending across social media platforms.

    Whether or not Chinese pop culture will fully overtake K-pop’s influence is yet to unfold. However, it is undeniable that Chinese stars made their mark on the Fall 2023 season, and their categorical influence must not be overlooked by luxury.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

    Discover more
    Daily BriefAnalysis, news, and insights delivered to your inbox.