Mark Tanner
Mark Tanner
13 February 2019 0 Comments

Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:

Consumers,  Chinese Consumers

Chinese Consumers Still Spend Big on Luxury Fashion and Beauty Brands: China’s economic growth may be slowing down, but that hasn’t yet stopped Chinese consumers from spending big, with many luxury brands reporting strong growth in the market. High-end brands are seeing the fastest growth. The extent of the slowdown depends on what you sell.

Chinese Consumers Will Be Most Significant Economic Force, says Jim O’Neill: “The most important thing for as far as I can see into the future, certainly at least halfway through the next decade, is the Chinese consumer,” says British economist Jim O’Neill, most famous for coining the BRIC acronym.

A Super Bowl for Chinese Tech Companies- The Spring Festival Gala: China’s 5-hour long Spring Festival Gala (Chunwan) is China’s most-watched event on TV, with over 1.17 billion viewers and a 30.1% viewership rate in 2019 according to CCTV. Advertising on the Gala is akin to the Super Bowl, just twice as expensive and with a much more tech and FMCG-heavy makeup of advertisers. Targets Speedy Deliveries Over Spring Festival: Delivery-folk are forgoing the trip home to ensure city folk can still have their goods delivered in 30 minutes, lured by a bonus of ¥1,800 ($270). In reality, a few of the team at the Skinny found meals took quite a lot longer than 30 minutes to get delivered.

How China’s Technology Boom is Changing New Year Celebrations: Gifts are changing from the festival, with many shunning the tradition of giving local food or other specialities, instead gifting high-tech products such as speakers, robotic dogs or drones.

Why PepsiCo Went to Space to Cut Through Chinese New Year Noise: The significance of “family reunion” is being gradually neglected and overlooked in China, but the love for home is deeply buried in the heart of Chinese youngsters. This has  prompted PepsiCo to feature astronauts as part of this year’s CNY campaign, highlighting no matter how far you go in life, your family will always be right by your side. The promotion also celebrated China’s burgeoning space program and symbolized Chinese who are realising their dreams.

Online: Digital China

Alibaba Group Announces December Quarter 2018 Results: Active shoppers on Alibaba’s retail platforms reached 636 million by the end of 2018, 35 million more than 2017. Over 70% of the increase was from third-and-lower tier cities. Sales on Tmall grew 29% driven by fast-moving consumer goods, apparel and home furnishing categories. Alibaba’s revenue growth was the slowest since 2016 but still exceeded forecasts.

Premium Food & Beverage

Branded Fruit is Leading the Chinese Market as Spring Festival Approaches: Gift boxes were again the way to go for fruit this Chinese New Year with smaller boxes more popular than large ones. While the market was dominated by apples and pears last year, this year fruits like Shatang oranges, strawberries, Hainan cherry tomatoes, Gong tangerines, Chou tangerines, and Navel oranges grew strongly.

AB Inbev, Alibaba Get Crafty In China’s Beer Market: Alibaba and AB Inbev have looked at online beer preferences and other consumer research to produce a China-tailored dark beer, flavoured with orange and chocolate launched in time for CNY.

From Internet Sensation to Trusted Brand: Chinese Ice-Cream Firm Reveals Secrets of Success: Understanding what consumers like, what they don’t like, building their trust and the ability to craft a new set of narratives are the keys to building a successful brand in China according to ice cream sensation Chicecream. More flavours, regular promotions and striking the delicate balance of “satisfying consumer demands”​ and “refraining from overindulging the consumers,” also helped the brand grow.

Overseas Chinese Tourists

How China’s Largest Online Travel Agency Connects the World: An Interview with Ctrip CEO Jane Sun: Chinese travellers’ adventurous spirits and desire to learn from the world is captured in the Confucian teaching, “It’s better to travel 10,000 miles than to read 10,000 books.” Ctrip sees an uptick in demand for tailor-made tours. One that is very popular is for a family with two children, along with two grandparents, hiring a driver and van with a tour guide, choosing whatever hotel level they want to stay in and whatever time they want to start and end.

China’s Travel Bug Has Taken on a Social Media Tinge, and That Means Experience-Focused Holidays … and Less Shopping: Chinese tourists are seeking out holiday experiences that can be shared on social media. Digitally-enabled social travel explains a surge in visits to famous sightseeing spots and bookings for unique recreational experiences. Just 41% of respondents in research last year cited shopping as a trip purpose, compared to 76% in 2017 and 91% in 2016.

Schooling and Education

China’s Online Tutor Startup VIPKid Is Seeking $500 Million at $6 Billion Valuation: VIPKid could be worth $6 billion if it hits its funding target of $500 million. The platform connects Chinese children with mostly North American tutors, including many teachers seeking to earn extra income through the platform. The company says it has signed up 630,000 students and 60,000 teachers. An estimated 144 million people took online courses in China last year, with the industry expected to grow to $79 billion by 2022. Tencent-backed online education startup Yuanfudao has a valuation of $2.8 billion.

Designers and Fashion

The Modern Chinese Woman: What She’s Like, What She Wears, Her Role Models, and Why Western Brands Don’t Get Her: Contemporary Chinese women are not well understood, particularly by some Western brands. They are independent, confident, practical – much like their Western counterparts – but also more reserved according to fashion and lifestyle experts.

That’s the Skinny for the week! See previous newsletters here. Contact China Skinny for marketing strategy, research and digital advice and implementation.

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