Media Buyer Guide: How to Target Chinese Audiences in the United States & Canada

Chinese Newcomers in Canada and the United States are a huge market opportunity for brands, but their unique digital media habits make them quite difficult to reach online.

At Eastward Media, we help advertisers reach Chinese Newcomers in the United States and Canada through their favorite Chinese websites and platforms.

We go beyond China’s Firewall to access display and video inventory on the largest Chinese advertising networks. Segmenting for digital users in North America, we can reach 99% of Chinese audiences who have lived in the United States and Canada for less than 5 years – an untapped and important market for brands.

How large is the Chinese ethnic audience in North America?
Canada (2016 Figures) United States (2015 Figures)
Total Chinese Population 1,805,705* 4,948,000
5-Year Population Growth +19.05%
Fastest of any ethnic group
Fastest of any ethnic group
# Annual Tourists from China 682,000 3,170,000
Cities with Densest Chinese Populations Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Chicago, Honolulu, San Diego,
Philadelphia, Oakland, Houston, Irvine, Seattle, Boston, Fairfax, Sacramento
What makes the Chinese Newcomer audience so difficult to reach?

Chinese Newcomer audiences are difficult to reach because of their media habits. Let’s elaborate.
In the first few years when Chinese Newcomers are setting up their lives in the United States and Canada, we can observe two broad behaviors:

1. High Purchasing Motivations or Customer Propensities

Chinese Newcomers have greater-than-average needs for a range of services and products. Banking, Automotive, Insurance, Real Estate and Education are some of the most important categories for this audience.

2. Strong Retention of Digital Media Habits

Chinese Newcomers retain their media habits from back home, preferring to use Chinese websites and social media over the mainstream North American equivalents. comScore’s Key Measures reports indicate that Newcomers in the United States and Canada can spend up to 85% of their total online time consuming content from China. For example, a Chinese Newcomer will under-index on YouTube but over-index on YouKu for video content. This media retention is largely driven by the desire to access Chinese-language content, which is unavailable elsewhere online.

Content Preferences Chinese Consumer
Example of Digital Content Preferences for a Chinese Newcomer in North America

The unique digital media habits of the Chinese Newcomer present a significant challenge for advertisers, since the places they most frequently visit online are disconnected from Google, Facebook and all other North American ad networks.

In other words, DSPs in North America cannot access ad inventory on Chinese websites. And by extension of this, DSPs in North America are extremely limited in their reach of Chinese Newcomers – a growing, purchase-ready audience.

Chinese Audiences in North America retain media habits by Eastward Media

Why are North American DSPs unable to serve ads on Chinese websites?

The inability of North American DSPs to buy Chinese placements is not a technological issue, but a regulatory one.

China’s Great Firewall policy prevents non-Chinese internet companies from participating in their censored media landscape. This means that Google, Facebook, Adobe, Centro, Amazon, MediaMath, and the alike, are extremely limited in their access of media inventory or audience data offered by Chinese publishers. Access is one of three reasons why many media plans miss the Chinese Newcomer target.

How can Eastward Media help advertisers serve ads on Chinese websites?

Eastward Media offers a managed programmatic direct service for agencies and brands. Through our permissions from the Chinese Censor and partnerships with Chinese publishers, Eastward Media can access guaranteed impressions on 98.7% of all Chinese websites and video streaming platforms.

What are your targeting capabilities?

Eastward Media leverages data management platforms (DMPs) from Baidu (China’s Google), Alibaba (China’s Amazon), Tencent (China’s Facebook) and Ctrip (China’s Expedia) to target digital audiences across the United States and Canada.

Through our managed programmatic direct service, Eastward Media can reach and engage segmented online audiences by the following attributes:

  • City Location in the United States & Canada
  • Age Group
  • Household Income
  • Affinity Group
  • In-Market Categories
  • Purchase Intent
What are your reporting capabilities?

Our solutions are compatible with DoubleClick Campaign Manager’s tracking tags, thereby enabling third-party verification for impression delivery and click activities. Unfortunately, at this time we’re unable to accept Sizmek or Omniture tracking due to Chinese censorship restrictions.

Advertisers who track campaigns through DoubleClick Campaign Manager are able to benefit from first-party log files that can be imported into in-house DMPs to enrich targeting, audience lists and subsequent digital campaigns.

What are Eastward Media’s programmatic solutions for media planners?
Chinese Programmatic Display Chinese Video Pre-Roll
Display Ads
Static or Animated Creative
Simplified Chinese Copy
300 K Minimum Impression Order
Minimum Campaign Flight: 2 Weeks
Maximum Campaign Flight: 4 Weeks
Non-Skip Video Ads
15-Second or 30-Second Videos
Subtitled in Simplified Chinese or Voice-over in Mandarin
200 K Minimum Impression Order
Minimum Campaign Flight: 2 Weeks
Maximum Campaign Flight: 4 Weeks
Interested in reaching the Chinese Newcomer audience?

If you’re a media planner and are interested in learning more about Eastward Media’s digital solutions, we would love to connect with you for a 15-minute discussion. Schedule an appointment with a campaign specialist at

*Ethnic origin: Chinese & Taiwanese, 2016 Census, Statistics Canada

Eastward Media | Reaching Chinese Audiences, Worldwide
303 West 5th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1J6