How Chinese use QR code to do marketing ?


QR code in Chinese

QR code everywhere

When I moved from Canada to Shanghai China to live, I noticed QR codes are everywhere: on business card, banners, TV screens, wine bottles, dinner table, etc.


QR codes on banner ads

click the underline for some Top QR ideas in China.

QR code is not new technology, however it took off in China because mobile has integrated in Chinese daily life. With Tencent‘s hot mobile app that combines Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all in one, WeChat, more than 368 million active users scan QR code using their smartphone. Not only WeChat app does that, other apps like TaoBao, an E-commerce site, allow user to scan QR code, then directly connect with the online stores.

Connect with friends

Like many other Chinese, I use scan QR code on WeChat to connect with friends. Vice versa, other people can scan this QR code to add me on WeChat. Then we became friends just like on Facebook.


My QR code on WeChat

Find a job


Find a job though QR codes

QR code Marketing

Brands use QR codes to do O2O (Offline-to-Online) marketing to engage their consumers. Many companies attract their customers by offering discounts or entering contests if they scan the QR code. It directly leads them to the Brand’s WeChat page. WeChat QR code scanning function made the process really easy to use and engage. It allows people to connect with brands on social media or buy products. WeChat‘s rival, e-commerce giant Alibaba used QR codes to encourage pre-sale before the big Nov 11 online sale. Alibaba’s Taobao (online shopping site) marketplace put a QR code on its website for winning lottery. They also tried to publish QR Codes in newspapers leading to online Taobao store.


No1 store (Yihaodian) ads in subway , China by (the online division of Walmart).

QR code is most used technique to engage people. For example, people can scanned a QR code for a chance to test drive at Audi or to join a Nike club. At certain event in malls, people can use a special QR code to scan the looks to purchase immediately. French Cognac house Martell made an airport display featuring billboards with QR codes and profiles of celebrities. At 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, girls dressed with QR code were at the event to further engage with people.


2015 Shanghai Auto Show : girls dressed with QR code

Here is a more creative idea of a QR cake in Beijing. The cake made by Ebeecake weighs 3 tons in total with a size of 6 meters wide and long.

China giant bar code cake from Tencent

Get Money

In 2014, QR code could be used to get red envelope money: You just need to generate a QR code and put it online and then your relatives will just send money to your bank account directly. You can save the gifted money in your WeChat wallet or Alipay. It leads to over $200 million USD red envelop war in Chinese New Year in 2015.


red envelope money through QR code

Animate QR code

QR codes will be used more and more in Chinese marketing. Alibaba invests in Israeli startup Visualead,a visual QR code company, to customize and animate QR codes.

How_Chinese_Use_QR_code_to_do_marketing_example_Animate QR code_SparrowMountain_TaoJiang

“The new Animation Visual QR Codes delight and entertain Renren’s users, strengthening their engagement with Renren and its app” –

What do you think? Have you seen any cool QR code examples?

See Posts:

“Red envelope war”? – More than $200 million USD “Hong Bao” fight in Chinese New Year

How far will people go for free sample?

How car brands attract Chinese consumers at 2015 Shanghai Auto Show?

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