DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4578-3.ch010


This chapter concludes that Internet mercenary marketing in China which has been investigated in a detailed manner throughout the book represents a unique model of integrated viral marketing strategy on the Chinese Internet. Being an indispensable part of the IPR business, the Internet mercenary strategy attests to the tenet of viral marketing by taking ingenious approaches to build up a momentum of communicative influence over social media on the Internet by managing a network of paid posters (“water army”) and a multitude of virtual personas. It is viral marketing riddled with “Chinese characteristics.”
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This postscript is added just before this book was about to be sent for printing. Since we submitted our complete manuscript at the end of August 2012, the Chinese Internet and social media have witnessed continuous transformation. We’ve decided to provide additional materials to inform the reader about two of the latest developments in the Chinese landscape of social media and the Internet, namely the rise of WeChat and the newest government campaign against “Internet rumors” in 2013. WeChat, a smartphone-based mobile text and voice message communication service, has outperformed microblogs and other social media, and taken a new lead in the Chinese digital world. In the political arena, the Chinese government adopted the toughest stand in dealing with online information management maneuvered in many cases by Internet mercenary companies in its new crackdown. Both events pose a serious challenge to Internet mercenary operations elaborated in this book. This postscript is aimed at updating the readers with the most recent developments in the Chinese Internet sphere and providing timely evaluation in regard to their impact on marketing, public relations and advertising which use Internet mercenaries.

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