Welcome to Digital World. Our weekly series of digital marketing news from around the world. In this week’s update: Brazil’s WhatsApp ban affects 100 million users; Xiaomi releases a smartwatch for kids; China investigates search engine Baidu after student’s death and a recent study shows retailers in Australia are failing to meet expectations of digital buyers.
China’s privately owned electronics company, Xiaomi, are advertising their new smart watch as an absolute necessity for the protection of children. This smartwatch appeals to kids with its interactive technology, as parents are able to call through to the watch via their mobiles to speak to their children allowing the child to respond by talking through the watch. Not only that, this device also enables parents to track their child’s movement with a smartphone app, ultimately putting their mind at rest. “You can easily find out the location of your child. If he arrives or leaves the setting area, you will receive a notification!” explains Xiaomi. Features of the watch include a panic button with unknown calls automatically rejected by the MiBunny.
Although this innovative idea is not the first kind on the market, with enough marketing this wearable tracker may well gain recognition fast.
The decision of a Brazilian judge in the state of Sergipe has hit five main wireless operators in Brazil with a 72 hour block to access WhatsApp via wireless phone carriers. This is the second time in just five months that the popular messaging app, used by 100 million users in the country, has been the victim of a blocking order. So why is Judge Marcel Maia Montalvão taking this action? The reason behind this targeting has not yet been revealed due to legal secrecy, however, earlier this year a Brazil–based Facebook executive was imprisoned under the orders of the same judge for failing to comply with an attempted block on WhatsApp.
According to research carried out by Temando, digital buyers in Australia have high expectations when it comes to shipment tracking which retailers are failing to meet. Shipping and fulfilment platform, Temando surveyed 1,011 digital buyers and 212 retailers in Australia. Tracking ability online was a feature expected by more than nine in ten digital buyers with 94% looking for the visibility of expected shipping dates. Communication, via email, throughout shipping process is also expected. But results from the survey show that retailers aren’t matching consumer expectations. 96% of digital buyers want to be able to track deliveries online while only 64% of retailers offer this feature. 80% of buyers would like to receive SMS communication but just 34% of retailers offer SMS as an option.
A student in China suffering from a rare form of cancer, tragically died last month after using Baidu to find an alternative treatment in a bid to save his life. The student tried the experimental cancer therapy from a hospital that came top of the list on his Baidu web search.
Before his death, according to BBC News, Wei publicly accused the hospital of misleading him and his family of the treatment’s effectiveness, and criticised Baidu for selling search listings for medical information to the highest bidder.
Baidu is now under investigation from the Chinese government, as it is subject to accusations of not adequately checking the claims of its bidders when selling ad space. The public is supporting the effort to boycott the search engine on social media platforms in an attempt to prevent anything like this from happening again.
Celular by Flickr user Edu Alpendre
Xiaomi smartwatch for kids. Source: Wareable
Every Letterbox Nneeds a Pinwheel by Flickr user Michael Coghlan
Baidu badges by Flickr user Jon Russell