This Chinese Shoe Brand’s Livestreaming Sales have Plummeted

The customer enthusiasm generated after Erke's donation to Henan flood victims seems to be fading

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8:55 PM HKT, Fri August 27, 2021 2 mins read

Chinese sports brand Erke saw sales plummet on its Douyin livestream channel along with a considerable decline in its followers on the platform last week compared to the previous month, a Chinese business outlet reported on Sunday.

According to the report, Erke’s livestreaming sales totaled about 6.5 million RMB on Douyin during the week of August 14-20 — dates that partially fell during an online shopping festival. The marathon livestream shopping festival was put on by Douyin and ran from August 1-18.

Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, issued a sales report on brands involved in the online shopping festival. According to the report, Chinese brands sold 70% of the items on the best-seller list, with Li Ning topping the ranking, followed by Erke and Warrior.

erke tennis shoe

Erke, a Xiamen-based sportswear brand, was widely praised on social media last month for its donation to flood victims in Henan. Image via Erke

According to a data analysis platform, Erke’s numbers stand in stark contrast to what they earned in July, when the brand’s livestreaming sales on Douyin climbed to more than 70 million in the week of July 17-23.

Erke, a Xiamen-based sportswear brand, was widely praised on social media last month for its 50 million RMB (7.71 million USD) donation to flood victims in Zhengzhou, Henan province, resulting in an explosion of sales for the company.

Last week, the company again donated money to Henan as the province continues to recuperate following the disastrous floods. This time, Erke donated 1 million RMB to Henan Museum to support the museum’s reconstruction.

Henan Museum flood donation

Henan Museum receives a 1 million RMB donation from Erke on August 20. Image via Weibo

Chinese netizens praised the brand as a “real Chinese brand.” Dozens of netizens also demanded a commercial collaboration between the brand and the museum (which we await with bated breath).

In a Weibo post by a Chinese newspaper asking netizens whether Erke can find the same success that accompanied its first donation to Henan relief funds, netizens showed support for the brand.

Some people, however, do not consider the brand’s charity to be purely altruistic, instead viewing the donations as a marketing ploy.

“To be honest, as long as the quality is excellent and the design is good, I will be a loyal buyer in the future. Of course, if Erke takes this as a marketing opportunity to raise the price, then forget it,” wrote one netizen.

Chinese brands have seen a significant increase in sales over the past six months, riding on a new wave of patriotism. Image via Erke

“Selling miserable hype is not as good as acting in a low-key manner. Companies that do a good job in product design and that do things in obscurity are more likely to win high-quality customers,” one Weibo user wrote. “Everyone is doing charity, but they can’t survive by this alone. This is unfair to other charitable companies.”

The hashtag #Erke donates 1 million yuan to Henan Museum# had reached 550 million views on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo at the time of writing.

Over the past half-year, Chinese brands have seen a significant increase in sales, riding on a new wave of patriotism.

Customers showed their support for home-grown brands and businesses in response to a Xinjiang cotton boycott, which saw increased scrutiny of Western brands like H&M, Nike and Adidas. Among them, H&M was the worst affected, with all of their online shopping channels taken down from ecommerce sites.

Meanwhile, domestic sports brands like Li Ning have profited immensely. The company experienced significant growth in the first half of 2021, with a 65% year-on-year increase.

Cover image via Erke

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