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Within a few decades, China has risen from a country of rice farmers to one of the leading high-tech nations on this planet - a true platform economy on its own terms. Due to the politically forced regulation and in parts technological isolation of the Internet and its components (in this context one also speaks of the Great Firewall), the platform used primarily via smartphones was able to develop according to its own rules and in a protected market - similar to the natural ecosystem on the Galapagos Islands. For a few years now, this highly efficient machine, optimized for the medium “mobile”, with protagonists such as Alibaba, Baidu, ByteDance, Didi Chuxing, Huawei, Tencent

or Xiaomi (to name but a few), has been making the big leap to the West - along the New Silk Roads. Territorial battles with the Western platforms are already taking place, fuelled by politically forced trade wars. Soon the world could consist of two forms of the Internet - one American and one Chinese. This will have such a radical impact on marketing that the accepted doctrines will not only have to be thought out further, but completely readjusted. At the very least, it’s essential for responsible marketers to understand how the platform of China and its Mobile First society work.

»Soon the world could consist of two forms of the Internet - one American and one Chinese. This will have a radical impact on future strategy and marketing«


Western-influenced marketing must immerse itself in modern China, discard old dogmas, question past experiences and realign itself!

The compass needle for readjusting corporate strategy has turned to the East.

The time is right for an intensive examination and initiation of a real cooperation with China Tech.

The red platform warriors are here to stay! In order to strategically prepare for the mega-wave and to decipher the China Business Code, four essential measures are required:


To feel the power of the Red Tsunami on the ground, to reduce prejudices and fears and thus open up a completely different way of accessing the country, its people and technology.


Actively enter the market and participate in innovation upgrades with local partners. You need local people you can trust to introduce you to the Chinese digital world.


Consciously follow the maxims lived in China, such as merciless goal orientation, high implementation speed, positive technology orientation and absolute mobile-first thinking, and anchor these in your own team.


Adapt the China Speed, in which you trim your own organization for agility and speed. Only then you will be able to surf the giant wave of the Red Tsunami.

© Heiko M. Stutzinger, Mark Wächter

Just as the legendary 4Ps of the marketing mix helped generations of marketing managers to transform marketing strategies into concrete actions, today these 4Es are meant to be a guide to re-experience marketing in a fascinating context and to incorporate the insights gained into a reorientation of customer-oriented corporate management. The world is on its way into a Chinese century. After the global triumph of smartphones and the already legendary Mobile First exclamation of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the new mantra for tomorrow’s marketing can only be: China First!

Fireside Chat with Ashley Galina Dudarenok, China marketing expert, Founder ChoZan & Alarice:
Red Tsunami - How China's Mobile First Society challenges marketing

(DMEXCO @HOME, 24.09.20)

»A central battlefield of the future is the Mobile Internet including the connected ecosystem of platform warriors. The collision is pre-programmed!«


Our central thesis in connection with this work on the future role of marketing is that a paradigm shift is taking place and that western-style marketers need to rethink marketing. Just as the residents of Hangzhou Bay in south-eastern China have learned to contain the world‘s largest annual spring tide (the so-called Silver Dragon at the mouth of the Qiántáng Jiāng), brand managers must understand the Red Tsunami that is rolling towards them from the east and incorporate the insights into their marketing thinking.
We would be pleased if we could at least encourage „marketing to think further“, but we are also convinced that we can give impulses to rethink marketing!

The article »Red Tsunami« has been published in German in October 2020 and is part of the 2nd edition of the book »Marketing Weiterdenken« [Stutzinger, H. M./Wächter, M. (2020): Red Tsunami – Wie Chinas Mobile-First-Gesellschaft das Marketing herausfordert, in: Bruhn, M./Kirchgeorg, M./Burmann, C. (Eds.): Marketing Weiterdenken – Zukunftspfade für eine marktorientierte Unternehmensführung. 2. Ed., Springer-Gabler: Wiesbaden, 215-260].

„A society that uses the Mobile Internet so consistently to bridge the gap between rich and poor, rural and urban populations as well as the uneducated and academics, must inspire marketers around the world!“

If you want to go further and learn how to ride the Red Tsunami wave, we offer:
• Inspiring Keynotes
• Customized Workshops
• Thematical Deep-Dives
• Guided Tours to the Epicenter of China Speed, China Tech and China Marketing
Just get in touch.

Heiko M. Stutzinger

HEIKO M. STUTZINGER is a C-level trade show executive, Asia Expert and oversees the South-East Asian Region for VNU Exhibitions based in Bangkok. He was previously responsible for Messe Düsseldorf’s organizational restructuring and growth strategy in China.

Mark Wächter

MARK WÄCHTER is an experienced brand guy and mobile strategy consultant from the very beginning (Mr. Mobile), author, mentor, speaker and intimate connoisseur of the Western and Asian tech scene.

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"Red Tsunami" is an extract of the 2nd edition of the book "Marketing Weiterdenken". [Stutzinger, H. M./Wächter, M. (2020): Red Tsunami – Wie Chinas Mobile-First-Gesellschaft das Marketing herausfordert, in: Bruhn, M./Kirchgeorg, M./Burmann, C. (Eds.): Marketing Weiterdenken – Zukunftspfade für eine marktorientierte Unternehmensführung. 2. Ed., Springer-Gabler: Wiesbaden, 215-260.].

Cover Marketing Weiterdenken

About the book:

This book puts the role of marketing to the test and develops its thinking. Structures, processes and instruments must be adapted to the continuously changing environment. The epistemological value of established theories and models must be critically questioned in the face of disruptive changes.
The Red Tsunami outlined above, i.e. the phalanx of Chinese tech players spreading across the globe with concentrated innovative power, has this disruptive potential to force us to rethink today's marketing.

eBook ISBN: 978-3-658-31563-4
Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-658-31562-7

Order now at Springer Shop and Amazon (as hardcover and eBook).
The book is available in German language only.

»This book challenges the role of marketing and takes it to the next level.«


A China monitoring should become a tool for every corporate strategy. China competence as well as reliable contacts and local partners are essential for survival. The giant wave will challenge marketers all over the world. Marketing, so Anglo-American in nature - whose principles were intended to be universal from the outset - needs a radical reorientation!

      Follow the latest developments of the Red Tsunami here:

China’s market regulator told six of the country’s internet giants that it is concerned about problems of pricing and competition in community group buying services, via @SCMPNews

#ChinaTech #ChinaMarketing #ChinaSpeed #RedTsunamiLive

China’s emphasis on growth through exports is being bolstered by a focus on domestic demand as the international trade environment comes less supportive via @SCMPNews

#ChinaTech #ChinaMarketing #ChinaSpeed #RedTsunamiLive

China has been studying Washington’s list of embargoed or controlled technologies as a guide to what it needs to focus on, via #ChinaTech #ChinaMarketing #ChinaSpeed #RedTsunamiLive

The transformation of Ant Financial in light of the blockbuster IPO, via @FT #ChinaTech #ChinaMarketing #ChinaSpeed #RedTsunamiLive

Beijing will pilot an intelligent system to assess and manage cross-border data flows as part of the city’s new free trade zone, via @technodechina #ChinaTech #ChinaMarketing #ChinaSpeed

More than 110 million users in China have signed up for 5G plans, announced president of the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), via @TechCrunch

#ChinaTech #ChinaMarketing #ChinaSpeed

China’s Powerhouse App Is WeChat, and Its Power Is Sweeping, via @nytimes

#ChinaTech #ChinaMarketing #ChinaSpeed

Part I in a Two Part Series on the Biggest Company We Know the Least About, via @packyM

#ChinaTech #ChinaMarketing #ChinaSpeed


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