For international brands large and small, expanding into and operating in the People’s Republic of China means coming to grips with the possibility of encountering — or, more accurately, being pulled into — scandals and controversies that can threaten the bottom line, make for bad PR, and in rare cases, necessitate a partial or complete exit from the market. This has become particularly true over the past decade, as global brands have experienced a much more tightly regulated business environment in mainland China.
This, in turn, is forcing a rethink of marketing plans and messaging to align with the ever-changing demands of Beijing regulators and avoid making controversial statements or working with the wrong celebrities and influencers.
Yet, recent years have also shown that not all scandals can be avoided. Black swan events can and often do happen, as China becomes an increasingly powerful player on the world stage and the unpredictable nature of geopolitics means otherwise apolitical international brands are caught up in controversies that have little to do with day-to-day business.
Facing a more confident and assertive People’s Republic of China on the world stage, greater regulation and censorship within the Chinese market, a vocal and at times highly aggressive online community of mainland Chinese netizens, and intensifying domestic competition, it is imperative for any brand interested or invested in the China market to understand the larger context of scandal and cancellation in China, both today and in previous decades.
In Jing Daily’s latest Insight Report, we take a look at China’s evolving “cancel culture,” examining the nature of corporate scandal in China, the types of controversies brands need to be aware of, and ways to navigate scandals if and when they do occur. Available now on our Reports page, Surviving Scandal in China’s Luxury Market addresses this and many other questions in the brief but actionable format of our Insight Report Series.