• Corey Sta Maria

Insights report – Invalid traffic report in China in 2020

According to data by Miaozhen, losses due to unusual traffic in China's brand advertising market in 2020 is about 30.5 billion yuan. Invalid traffic and data fraud are recurring problems of the digital marketing industry. Along with the trend of traffic conversion and data assets, it leads to the waste of social resources and property losses, posing a challenge to the healthy development of the digital marketing industry.


Key insights from the report:

1. Invalid growth of the digital advertising market

In 2020, although affected by the pandemic, the advertising budget remained strong. The proportion of invalid traffic of digital advertising in 2020 was the same as that in 2019. In terms of invalid traffic of sub-media types, the proportion of invalid clicks in an advertising network is much higher than that of other media, and the fraud of its click is the most detrimental.

  • The percentage of invalid clicks of the advertising network is much higher than that of other media types, at 17.9%.

  • The domestic luxury goods market grew 48% to nearly 346 billion RMB

  • Invalid exposure in the food and beverage industry accounted for 11.2%

  • Transportation and home furnishings accounted for 10.5% and 10.4% of invalid exposure, respectively.

  • The most unusual clicks are for transportation, accounting for 13.5% of the new arrivals in 2020.

  • The healthcare and apparel industries are new to the invalid list in 2020.

2. Invalid traffic on social platforms is more prevalent

  • There are more and more digital marketing platforms, and the click farming of advertising didn’t spare Weibo, WeChat, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, and other social platforms, and the proportion of invalid traffic on social platforms climbed to more than 50%.

  • The four industries of luxury goods, maternal and infant, personal care, and beauty place great importance on “seeding” and word-of-mouth marketing, and invalid traffic on social platforms account for more than 50%.

3. The fan numbers of leading KOLs have the highest fraud

  • The average number of invalid fans of KOL increased by more than 60% compared to 2019, and the phenomenon of traffic fraud worsened.

  • Maternal, food, beauty, and fashion industries KOL have the highest number of fake fans.

4. More than 30% of the website's private traffic is invalid, brands should focus more attention to the effectiveness of lead generation campaigns.

5. The invalid traffic of New TV mainly focuses on the advertisements of family scenes

  • The proportion of invalid traffic of New TV advertising has decreased significantly, dropping to less than 6%.

  • The top three industries with a high proportion of invalid exposure are leisure & entertainment, IT products, apparel, and other industry of daily consumption of residents.

6. Outdoor activities are restricted by the pandemic, which affects invalid offline advertising traffic

  • The overall invalid rate of outdoor advertising is more than 5%;

  • The offline scene is mainly due to the large number of advertisements placed in railway and subway stations.

Under the general trend of digitization, compliance and transparency will be the direction that the marketing industry needs to focus on, and it will also require stricter and more complete governance at the regulatory level. All parties in the advertising industry need to explore the establishment of data security solution, restraint mechanism and industry standards. Ensuring data security, more careful use of data and efficient use of media data has to be prioritized in eliminating invalid traffic. This would translater to better ROI, increase media efficiency, and protect the interests of advertisers.


This report is exclusively brought to you from our partner Miaozhen, download the full report, or follow them on WeChat to get more up-to-date reports.

We provide free Miaozhen real-time dashboard for all your campaigns in China, talk to us to know more.


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