Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
Give Chinese Greater Access to Foreign Consumer Goods, Premier Li Keqiang says: Beijing should “not place restrictions on their purchasing overseas or even shut out the world. We should give our consumers more options,” says Premier Li Keqiang.
FMCG Growth 4.7% in Past Year: FMCG growth slowed in Q3 to 2.7%, with most of the rise coming from smaller cities which are dominated by local brands. Tier 1 & 2 cities grew just 0.7%, with convenience stores the fastest rising offline channel at 6.5%. Hypermarkets actually declined 1.5% in big cities, while they grew 10.4% in smaller cities.
Ending China’s Currency Manipulation: Donald Trump’s views on China and his policy should he become President.
Alibaba Plans New Shopping Festival: The soon-to-be-launched Spring Festival shopping event will focus on rural consumers. “We want villagers to celebrate Lunar Chinese New Year with seafood from New Zealand and wine from France,” says Alibaba VP Sun Lijun. 8,000 villages bought goods on Single’s Day, with the most expensive purchase being a ¥500,000 ($78,500) Porsche.
JD.com to Close C2C Marketplace to Curb Fakes: Is it fakes or they just can’t compete with Taobao in the space? The overall share of unbranded products on Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao marketplaces dropped 7% between 2011 and 2014, with beauty and personal care products showing the biggest decline – indicating how important trusted brands are in the categories.
Chinese Embrace Smartphone Swiping for Hair Cuts and Eels: Even China’s wet markets and breakfast pancake vendors are accepting smartphone payments, with O2O (Online to Offline) forecast to grow 63% between now and 2017 to ¥42 billion ($6.6 billion), according to Credit Suisse.
1/4 China Smartphone Users Install Foreign Apps: The most popular foreign apps Chinese consumers are downloading are tools (31.0%), social communications (15.5%), travel (11.3%) and photography (10.1%).
Sainbury’s Food is a Top Online Seller: Following Tesco’s lack of success in the China market, Sainbury’s entered China more cautiously last month – by testing the market on Tmall. Breakfast options are their top sellers including Red Label Tea, UHT milk and granola.