Paying the Price



With UK Home Secretary James Cleverly announcing the new threshold for overseas workers, UK universities are likely to find themselves massively affected by it. The minimum salary that foreign workers will need to earn in order to remain in the UK has risen from £26,000 to £38,700; this will be effective as of spring 2024. International students fear that, after graduation, they will have to leave the country as it is improbable that they will find a career straight away that reaches this salary.


1. Financial Dynamics: The Tuition Conundrum

International students often pay higher tuition fees compared to their domestic counterparts. As foreign graduates depart, universities may face a financial challenge due to the loss of revenue generated from these tuition fees. This could potentially impact the budgetary considerations of institutions that heavily rely on income from international students.

2. The Alumni Network: A Global Connection

The departure of foreign graduates affects the composition of university alumni networks. These networks are not only valuable for the universities but also for the graduates themselves. If a significant portion of international graduates leaves the UK, maintaining and leveraging this global alumni network for mentorship, collaboration, and fundraising might become more challenging.

3. Research and Innovation: A Talent Drain?

Universities benefit from the diverse perspectives and talents of their international students, who often engage in research activities. The departure of foreign graduates may result in a loss of skilled individuals contributing to research projects, potentially impacting the innovative and collaborative spirit that characterizes academic environments.


Above: Chinese students have taken to social media to express their concern and anger at the new minimum salary policy.


4. Cultural Diversity: The Fabric of Campus Life

The vibrant cultural diversity on university campuses contributes significantly to the overall student experience. If foreign graduates leave in large numbers, there could be a noticeable shift in the cultural dynamics of these institutions, affecting not only student life but also the richness of academic discourse.

5. Employment Opportunities and Industry Impact

Some international graduates choose to stay in the UK for employment, contributing to the local workforce. The departure of foreign graduates may impact the talent pool available to local industries, potentially affecting sectors that benefit from a diverse and skilled labour force.

6. Global Reputation: A Balancing Act

The presence of international graduates contributes to the global reputation of UK universities. A decline in the number of foreign graduates could impact the institutions’ standings in international rankings, influencing perceptions of their global competitiveness and attractiveness.


What can we do to help? Well, with our ability to monitor reactions to news such as this on Chinese social media, we can support UK universities by giving them the chance to respond to their international students appropriately.

Don’t pay the price for the UK government’s mistakes. Listen to the students’ voices.

Contact us for your bespoke report:

Navigating Excellence



The global education landscape has undergone a significant transformation, and for UK universities, tapping into the vast potential of the Chinese market is strategic. As the demand for international education grows among Chinese students, the importance of maintaining a positive reputation cannot be overstated. Let’s delve into why reputation management is essential for UK universities engaging in Chinese marketing.

1. Cultural Sensitivity and Trust Building:

Cultural nuances play a pivotal role in shaping perceptions, and understanding these intricacies is fundamental for UK universities aiming to attract Chinese students. Reputation management involves cultivating an image that resonates positively with the values and expectations of the Chinese audience. By demonstrating cultural sensitivity and respect, universities can build trust, a cornerstone for successful, long-term relationships.

2. Digital Presence on Chinese Platforms:

We conducted a higher education report on UK universities during the entirety of September 2023. Through this, we discovered that Chinese students attending UK universities took to social media to upload both positive and negative experiences at their places of education. Specifically, of the 8532 articles we monitored, 3344 accounts were on Little Red Book; 19.7% were on WeChat, and 10.9% were on Weibo. With this data, it emphasises the importance of maintaining an active and encouraging presence on these platforms. Regular engagement, providing valuable content, and promptly addressing and acknowledging concerns contribute to shaping a university’s digital reputation in the eyes of Chinese students and their families.

3. Quality Education and Graduate Success Stories:

A university’s reputation is often closely tied to the quality of education it provides and the success stories of its alumni. Highlighting academic excellence, cutting-edge research, and the achievements of Chinese graduates can significantly enhance a university’s standing in the Chinese education market. Positive word-of-mouth, especially from those who have experienced the educational journey, is a potent reputation-building tool.

4. Adaptability and Responsiveness:

The Chinese market is dynamic, and its preferences and expectations can evolve rapidly. Reputation management involves staying agile and responsive to these changes. Whether it’s adapting marketing strategies, addressing feedback, or aligning with the latest trends in education, universities that demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness are more likely to be perceived positively by the Chinese audience.

5. Challenges and Crisis Management:

In the age of social media, challenges can arise swiftly. A negative incident, whether real or perceived, can have a lasting impact on a university’s reputation. Reputation management includes having robust crisis communication strategies in place. Transparent communication, sharp resolution of issues, and a commitment to continuous improvement can help mitigate damage and safeguard the long-term reputation of a university. In our higher education report, we found that, of the 8532 pieces of content, 411 were negative. With this, we are able to identify and adapt to the challenges to help both the student and the university.

6. Collaboration and Partnerships:

Building a positive reputation in Chinese marketing for UK universities extends beyond individual efforts. Collaborating with reputable Chinese educational institutions, forming partnerships with influential figures, and participating in industry initiatives can enhance a university’s credibility. Associating with respected entities in the Chinese education sphere adds a layer of trust to the university’s reputation.


In conclusion, the reputation of UK universities in the Chinese market is not merely a by-product of marketing efforts; it’s a strategic asset that can significantly influence enrolment numbers and institutional success. By prioritising cultural sensitivity, maintaining a strong digital presence, emphasising quality education, adapting to changing landscapes, and navigating challenges with resilience, UK universities can not only attract Chinese students but also establish a lasting positive reputation in the competitive global education arena.

Reputation management is not just a strategy; it’s a compass to the success of UK universities in light of Chinese marketing. Navigate excellence.

Contact us for your bespoke report:

Bridging Continents



In the realm of international relations and economic ties, President Xi’s recent visit to the United States has sent ripples of anticipation and opportunity across the business landscape. The implications of this historic visit extend far beyond the borders of the US and China, presenting a unique set of prospects for UK businesses. Let’s delve into the key aspects and potential impacts this visit holds for businesses in the United Kingdom.

1. Trade Triumphs:

President Xi’s visit is a testament to the importance of international collaboration in the modern business landscape. As diplomatic ties between the US and China strengthen, the UK finds itself at the intersection of a global trade network. The potential for expanded trade relations between these economic powerhouses opens doors for British businesses to explore new markets and forge mutually beneficial partnerships.

2. Technological Innovation and Collaboration:

Collaboration in technology and innovation is a cornerstone of President Xi’s visit. For UK businesses at the forefront of technological innovation, this presents an unprecedented chance to engage in cross-border partnerships. The exchange of ideas, research, and technological breakthroughs between the US, China, and the UK could lead to groundbreaking innovations that drive economic growth and competitiveness.

3. Cultural Exchange and Diversity:

Beyond the boardrooms and trade negotiations, President Xi’s visit promotes cultural exchange and understanding. As the US and China work towards building stronger cultural ties, UK businesses can benefit from fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. Embracing cultural differences and promoting international collaboration within the workplace can enhance creativity and innovation, creating a more dynamic business atmosphere.

4. Sustainability in Focus:

President Xi’s commitment to environmental sustainability aligns with the global push for greener business practices. This presents an opportunity for UK businesses to align with China’s sustainability goals, exploring partnerships that focus on environmentally friendly practices. By embracing sustainability, UK companies can not only contribute to global environmental efforts but also position themselves as responsible and forward-thinking players in the international market.




President Xi’s visit to the US is significant in representing the interconnectedness of the global economy. As the landscape of international relations evolves, UK businesses have a unique opportunity to navigate new horizons and expand their footprint. The impact of this visit goes beyond diplomatic gestures; it presents a canvas for businesses to paint a future of collaboration, innovation, and sustainable growth.

The key is to remain informed, adaptable, and ready to seize the opportunities that emerge from this historic moment in global diplomacy. This visit is bridging continents and opening entranceways for UK businesses.

Here’s to building bridges.

Creative Bath Awards Have Published Their Finalists!

How We Became One of Them

We were excited to see the Creative Bath Awards open again this year and determined to apply for the awards. The Creative Bath Awards recognise creative businesses in Bath and is a highly contested award. Our journey to becoming finalists started last year, when we began creating amazing content during the pandemic and promoting local tourism.  

The Importance of Storytelling

When we started to plan our application, we had team meetings to discuss the awards and decide if it suited our company. The Creative Bath Awards looked perfect for us – it recognised our creativity as a digital marketing business in Bath. We initially researched previous finalists and compared our similarities and differences. We also took time to reflect on our ‘why” – why we believe there is interest in digital marketing between China and the UK. We also discussed our high motivation to understand new media forms, such as short video platforms.  

Our Social Media Executive, Becky Spicer, then wrote up most of the application and took into consideration the team’s answers to the questions. Becky wrote the application and crafted it to present our business through ‘The Hero’s Journey’. This model of writing specifically showed the challenge we faced during the pandemic, our quest to create Douyin videos and help UK businesses reach China, and how our attributes as a company helped us to overcome the challenges. For example, our company is informative, educational, creative and determined. These attributes have helped us to continue to support business clients and produce creative content during the pandemic. 

 Creativity During the Pandemic

The past year has been difficult for creative businesses because of the pandemic. We found our company was faced with creating innovative ways to help our UK business clients digitally market to China. One of the main ways we have achieved this is through our influencer channel on Douyin (Chinese TikTok). One of our best marketing campaigns on our Douyin channel was called ‘British Slang Words’. This focused on explaining British Slang to Chinese students or visitors to the UK. We created 27 videos for this campaign and achieved a total of 596K views. We are delighted to say we are now finalists in the ‘Marketing Campaign’ category and ‘Agency’ category for the Creative Bath Awards.

We are also pleased to announce Becky is a finalist for the ‘Creative Bath Student’ category for the Creative Bath Awards.


The one key aspect of our application to secure our place as finalists was taking the time to reflect on the past year and write down the creative achievements we have made. We are looking forward to the Bath Creative Award ceremony in August!

How Douyin Helps Influencers and Digital Marketing


Douyin and Tiktok are the newest social media apps which businesses should make their marketing tool. Both are owned by Byetdance. They are the platforms which turn young twenty-somethings into overnight celebrities. They create a bridge between your business and the younger generation.

It’s yet another social media app your business has to understand. And you’ve only started Instagram the other day.

Before I talk about my experience using Douyin, I want to establish that I think social media works well for creating a brand and building a loyal consumer fanbase. In my spare time, I use TikTok. It’s a fun app and the statistic is true – users do usually spend an hour addicted to the app.

If you’ve never heard of Douyin, the Chinese app has some strong marketing power. It has helped China’s economy recover post-lockdown through e-commerce, tourism and a focus on luxury brands (i.e. Michael Kors). Douyin has a great focus on influencers as well.

There Are 600 Million Daily Users

With 600 million daily users, Douyin is not a social media app to ignore. When I first started my channel, I soon had 3000 followers after a month of posting videos. My channel posts about books, British language and tourism. The first videos were reviews of books for 7-8 year olds. While it might seem difficult to build followers, Douyin is a great app for this. There is also something scary about filming yourself talking – or filming your business – for the first time. But it’s worth it. Now, my channel has 26K visitors, who comment and like the videos. In less than a year, that’s an amazing achievement.

There Was Still Human Connection in a World in Lockdown

One of the most amazing things about social media: it connected us in a time when the world stood still. Humans stayed inside. Nature returned. We waited – and still wait – for the pandemic to pass over. Like many social media, Douyin gave its consumers an opportunity to feel connected to other people. The high engagement on my videos has included one posts achieving 265K views and 482 comments.

With social distancing being a huge aspect of our lives, the world of social media has almost stood in as a place outside of the pandemic where we can connect to others. You might be scrolling on Instagram, liking your friend’s Facebook post, or searching through the ‘For You’ page on TikTok. The social media apps we use have helped us stay updated on information and connected in a time where we all sheltered from each other. I’m aware social media has its flaws – the comparisons to idealised lives being one of them. However, social media has connected us to people we miss, the local businesses we want to support and maybe even the influencers who live thousands of miles away from us, standing in front of their bookshelves, talking about English Literature.

The Format Allows for Popular Posts

The content users can post on Douyin mainly include short, often thirty-second videos. This content is brilliantly matched for a world where people are busy in their daily lives, and may only have a few minutes to relax on social media. My short videos often explain one aspect of British language, or recommend one book. Followers might only have a few minutes but may learn some English or decide on their next read. Being able to quickly catch-up on information, see influencers, local businesses and friends online can make your day a lot easier.

The format of these videos allows for videos to become a lot more popular. It is quick to watch in comparison to apps such as YouTube. This often means people see more content, like more posts and share them with friends.

A Note on Douyin

Douyin is one of the newest and most popular social media apps in China. Whilst I am new to being an influencer, it has been a great process to learn about the app, find a niche (books), and help my followers. After eight months, it’s lovely to still talk about books and literature. What is better than connecting to people about something you love, like books?

If you love your business, I’d recommend giving an app like Douyin a try. Alternatively, if you’re looking for an influencer in the education, book, tourism or culture sector then I can help you to reach a Chinese audience. See our influencer page for details.

5 Useful WeChat ‘Hidden’ Features


If you are doing business with China, or you are planning to enter the China market, then you must use WeChat. It is the Chinese super App.

You might know WeChat by the basic features, but it’s the other extra features you will discover in this list that might improve your work efficiency and save your data in a disaster! Let’s see how WeChat can enhance your messaging and social experience.

1. Desktop version

Yes, you heard it right, there is a desktop version of WeChat. It allows you to chat to your WeChat contacts while working on your desktop. The desktop WeChat also comes with free voice/video conference call in group chat for upto 15 people, which is very handy in the current situation. However, you won’t be able to access ‘Moments’ on the desktop version WeChat.

Oh, don’t forget it is also a very useful tool to transfer documents, not only between your phone and PC, but also sending files directly from your PC to WeChat contacts.

To send files from desktop WeChat to your phone, click on the phone icon as shown in the image below, then choose ‘File Transfer’.

If you are sending files from Phone to PC, then just use the search function on WeChat mobile App, and search for ‘File Transfer’.

You can download the Desktop Version WeChat from official website:



2. Pin key contacts or chat groups to the top of the chat list

Instead of searching for the ‘File Transfer’ function every time when you need it, you can just pin it to the top to the chat list, by long pressing on the item, then choose ‘Sticky on Top’.

This feature also applies to contacts and group chats. It is very useful if you have a lot of group chats that can quickly push your regular contacts down in your chat list.


3. Mass messaging

Have you had the moment that you would like to send season’s greetings to many of your contacts on WeChat, but fed up with copy and paste the message all the time?

Well, there is a ‘Broadcast Messages’ feature on WeChat that can help you send the same message to upto 200 contacts in one go.

The quickest way to find the ‘Broadcast Messages’ feature is by using the search function, again!

Once you are in the feature, tap Send now New Broadcast, then Select friends, tap Next to enter messages to send.

It is also a very useful feature to find out who has blocked you!

1. Stickers and links can’t be broadcast.
2. There is no quantity limit in broadcasting messages. However, you can only enter up to 5000 characters per message.
3. Recipients in the same broadcast group won’t be able to see each other with the broadcast message.
4. You can broadcast a message to up to 200 people at the same time.


4. Repair Tool

WeChat has its own data repair tool within the App. It is particularly useful when you have missing chat log or missing contacts. Again, the tool can be accessed by using the search function, by searching ‘recover’.


When doing business with China, the time difference is a huge obstacle. Instead of turning your phone off to avoid the notifications from your WeChat during sleep time, you can set up a silent period on your WeChat, so that no notifications will be received during the time.

To do this, tap ‘Me > Settings > Do Not Disturb‘, then you will be able to set up the start and end time of the ‘peaceful time’.

P.S.: All features mentioned in this article are based on WeChat V8.0.1. It is highly recommended to keep your WeChat updated. You can check you WeChat version by tap ‘Me > Settings > About > Check for Updates


Contact us if you need help with your WeChat settings.

Top 3 Tips On Reaching A Chinese Audience In December


How do you market your business or product to a Chinese audience in December? Christmas is one of the most important holidays of the year in the UK. It’s a time when most brands will market to their audience on Instagram or Facebook. We see brands like John Lewis becoming synonymous with Christmas due to their adverts. In China, Christmas has started to become a more celebrated event although it’s not an official holiday. In mainland China, it’s common to see decorations and people enjoying the festive season.

Why does December make a difference?

It might seem more work to treat December marketing differently to the rest of the year but it’s vital that businesses do. When the behavior of audiences change, businesses need to cater to that change to stay relevant.

1. Social Media – Weibo, WeChat & Douyin

Social media is key to reaching Chinese audiences. Chinese audiences usually spend time on Chinese social media apps such as Weibo, WeChat and Douyin. If you want to reach a Chinese audience, it’s important to market on these platforms as this is where your audience will be. WeChat and Weibo are also known to offer great tools for advertising for companies.

We offer brands help with their Chinese social media management. Contact us today using this form.

2. Timing is Key

  • On December 12th, it is Double 12 day (an online shopping festival). This is a great chance to market to your audience.
  • Christmas posts closer to the 25th will usually do well with a Chinese audience as it’s a less celebrated occasion than in the UK.
  • Christmas is between Double 12 and New Year’s celebrations. It gives Chinese consumers an opportunity to buy presents for the New Year or catch up on any deals they feel they’ve missed out on in Double 12.
  • The New Year is a major celebration for Chinese audiences so make sure to focus posts on this too.

3. Luxury Gifts

According to Jing Daily, China accounted for 18.8 per cent of luxury store openings world wide this year. If your business sells luxury products, December is the perfect time to offer Christmas discounts and market them to a Chinese audience. It’s a great time of year if your business is marketed to consumers.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

December is a festive season. It can be easy to be caught up in marketing strategies, apps and post impressions. Our bonus advice would be to show an authentic side to your business. On that note, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.




Featured Image: Unsplash