On April 28th, our alumni delegation led by China Centre Director Sherry Fu visited alumni company Bilibili to learn about generation Z (estimated at around 2.6 billion people in China) and their sense of social responsibility.
Followed by a guided company tour, China Centre Director Sherry Fu gave a brief review of our social responsibility progress and plans, in particular what we did in April 2021-our annual SR month. She proudly shared with alumni the great news of UoM’s winning of world’s best university for action on sustainable development and thanked everyone for watching the University’s SR video posted on China Centre’s social media which received nearly 35 thousands views, “It means our efforts in engaging alumni and the public in SR are meaningful, exemplifying the distinctiveness of alumni as global citizens with focuses on the community impact of what alumni make in echoing the University’s social responsibility commitment to support socially responsible graduates,” said Fu.
To help our alumni gain a deeper understanding of Gen Z with an inevitable age gap, senior alumnus Timo Lei, Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association UoM AA President and co-founder of Wufeng Tech, delivered an hour-long speech which received great comments such as “best speech I have ever heard”, “mind-blowing thoughts that definitely changed things and left my mind in a spin” and etc. Called as China’s YouTube, Bilibili is a gathering place for Generation Z who rapidly integrates into the mainstream society and serves as the main consumers in all industries, who is projected to overtake millennials to become the largest consumer base in the coming years. The size of generation Z (populations born between 1995 and 2009) has reached 2.6 billion in China alone, not only making Gen Z as the next Consumer Demographic to target, but also making understanding them extremely important. Combined with economic growth in China, the structural demographic changes mean that it motivates firms to tailor their offerings to the preferences and taste of Gen Z who, as indicated by many reports, cares much about SR in order to achieve high growth.
Alumna Shirley Zhao, Senior BD at Bilibili introduced about Bilibili, a Shanghai-based Chinese video sharing website which has captured significant brand loyalty from consumers and content producers with professional user-generated video. Bilibili continuously explore opportunities to speak directly to its enthusiastic users and while advertising and e-commerce currently represent only a small percentage of Bilibili’s revenue, it’s worth noting that these are still emerging categories for the platform. Shirley shared her expertise in BD and her understanding of Gen Z along with various approaches in adding to Bilibili’s active user base and improves its monetization. She elaborated on many examples from different sections such as anime, gaming, and increasingly growing hosts sections devoted to beauty, fashion, entertainment, advertising and digital, all drawing Gen Z into this platform by a number of features including devotion to SR that inspire a high degree of engagement and enjoyment which in turn nurtures Bilibili’s content ecosystem.
Much like how Gen Z were drawn to the beautifully made animation in series, our alumni audiences, many with children belonging to Gen Z, have also been allured by this brand new world with huge generation gap in all aspects. One alumnus who is the head of marketing in a global company shared her valuable take-away from this alumni company visit, “SR is an ethos that decides where Gen Z work, shop and spend off-work time. Hopefully, we will see more and more brands taking CSR seriously to reach Gen Z consumers who favor brands with a strong message of CSR.”