Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reaching Chinese Readers in Vancouver

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reaching Chinese Readers in Vancouver

Article excerpt

SURVEY RESULTS ON media and spending habits of the Chinese in this city are being touted by English-language and Chinese-language newspapers trying to convince advertising buyers that their publication has the best reach into the affluent Chinese market.

Results released in mid-September by DJC Research, a Nielsen SRG company in Toronto, draws Canada's first statistical profile of big-spending immigrants, primarily from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Emigration to Canada surged in the last several years because of worry about Hong Kong's fate after the takeover by China in 1997. That has boosted the sale of real estate in Vancouver and Toronto, as well as of all commodities needed to set up new households.

One out of seven, or approximately 200,000 people in greater Vancouver, now are Chinese, according to DJC's survey. Within that ethnic group, 36% have at least an undergraduate university degree, 77% paid cash for the car they drive most frequently, and 11% spent $1,000 or more on clothing in the past year.

The Vancouver Chinese Advertising Marketing and Media Association, which includes Canadian subsidiaries of Asian newspapers, local Chinese-language radio and television stations and advertising agencies specializing in Asian-targeted marketing, released the survey results at a meeting packed with mostly non-Chinese advertising buyers.

The information serves as "a very good door opener" for Chinese media which have been hard-pressed convincing mainstream media buyers of the significance of the Chinese as a consumer group, says Victor Chan, advertising manager of Ming Pao newspaper.

He was annoyed to hear that Pacific Press, which publishes the Vancouver Sun and the Province, is interpreting the study as saying that the Sun is more widely read by local Chinese than each of the Chinese newspapers.

The survey says 75% of all Chinese in Vancouver read a Chinese newspaper at least once a week, compared to 39% reading an English newspaper, said Chan.

We may be looking at apples and oranges with "different statistical glasses on," explained Pacific Press communications manager Don MacLachlin.

One reason for discrepancy might be that readership of Chinese newspapers is splintered among an array of popular publications, including the Taiwanese daily World Journal, whereas the Sun fields little competition from its sister publication, the tabloid Province and from neighborhood newspapers.

Having Chinese-buying preferences spelled out helps all Vancouver media position themselves with advertisers. …

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