Year 2013 marked a period of tumultuous change and reform in China. Because of this, the Chinese government strengthened the “the Great Fire-Wall” even further and, with tighter censorship, all Chinese media outlets featured the same news stories.
This meant that the new generation of discerning and net-savvy Chinese news readers could not get the news experience they desired from China’s legions of government news organizations as well as other large portals which also posted the same news stories to their users.
As an independent on-line news provider, NetEase had the opportunity to engage this more progressive audience who were interested – not only in reading the news – but also in actively expressing their personal views about the news (while also remaining within the bounds of the country’s strict media controls).
The NetEase “Your Opinion is Your Weapon” campaign spoke to these netizens’ desire to express themselves. Although NetEase can only publish the same government-approved news stories as other news sources, it portrayed the portal not only as a news reporter, but also as an arena where discerning netizens are empowered to share their own opinions and fight for their individual point of view.
By the end of the campaign, NetEase news APP usage increased by 53.8%, which topped the market. We grew future intent to use NetEase by 30.4% (faster than Phoenix and private internet giant Tencent). On the back of these gains, NetEase has become the most valuable news portal and APP among advertisers - achieving by the highest ad revenue growth rate (+32.5%) in the industry.