Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
China Retail Sales up 10.2% in July: Retail sales in rural areas increased 10.7% versus 10.1% in urban areas in July. In the first seven months of 2016, retail grew 10.3% and online sales soared 27.5%. Online shopping now accounts for around 14% of all retail sales.
Chinese Gen-Y and Gen-Z Brand Relevance Report: The most relevant brands for China’s Gen-Y (born 80s to mid-90s) are Apple, WeChat, Alipay, Taobao, Adidas and Zara. Gen-Z (born mid-90s to 2000s) are Xiaomi, Adidas, Nike, Uniqlo, Zara and Converse according to RTG.
Chinese Furious Over Flag Error at Olympic Games: After heated rants online in China following an incorrect Chinese flag in Rio, it turns out the flags were made in China.
China Now Has 656 Million Mobile Web Users, and 710 Million Total Internet Users: China has added another 22 million online users in the 6 months to June 30. Of China’s 710 million online, 92.5% use smartphones. With just 51.7% of the population online, there is still plenty of scope for growth.
The Twilight of China’s Online Consumer Paradise: Last year, $20.3 billion of venture capital surged into Chinese internet businesses, eclipsing the $16.3 billion that flowed to US internet firms. But with startups consolidating and absorbed by the tech giants, constant discounts and subsidies are likely to temper.
How China Is Changing Your Internet: 6 minute video on the Chinese Internet and just how WeChat’s all-encompassing ecosystem is altering the concept of virality.
Why American Internet Giants Fail in China: Uber’s ‘surrender’ in China follows other American tech heavyweights in the market including Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, MySpace, Groupon, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook – all for reasons such as: cut and paste doesn’t work; slow and steady loses the race; cheap is good, free is better; the long shadow of the Chinese Government; and Chinese clones often outwit US masters.
Alibaba is Now a Mobile Majority Business: Alibaba’s revenue grew 59% last quarter year-on-year, helped by a 24% growth of sales and 18% growth in users. Shoppers now number 434 million and 75% of sales are on mobile. Second-placed JD increased direct sales by 40% and indirect sales by 67%, following an active customer increase of 65% to 188 million.
Weibo MAUs Grew to 282 million in June 2016: Weibo’s monthly active users grew 33% year-on-year to 282 million in June 2016; 89% were mobile users. 126 million are active on the platform daily – 36% more than a year ago. Short video and live video are taking off.
HK Retailers Could Benefit, as Rising Yen and Won Scare Off Mainland Shoppers: Credit Suisse: Climbing Japanese and Korean currencies may provide some hope for Hong Kong retailers, who just experienced their 16th consecutive monthly contraction as mainlanders shop elsewhere. Chinese visitors to Japan almost doubled last year on the back of a lower Yen. Tourists were up 26% year-on-year in June, but spending per person fell 23% following the rise of the Yen. Currency has an impact on holiday decisions, with Chinese travel agencies seeing a rise in interest to the UK after the pound plummeted following Brexit.
Chinese Theme Park Operators on the Hunt for IP Acquisitions, Alliances to Quell the Disney Challenge: 21 theme parks opened in China in the past year, with 20 more under construction. Such intense competition has seen Chinese firms investing in strong themes to draw visitors, such as Wanda’s $3.5 billion purchase of US film studio Legendary Entertainment, which produced movies like Jurassic World, The Dark Knight and Godzilla and other parks covering everything from Hello Kitty to Monkey King to Transformers.
China’s Cinema Boom Loses its Lustre as Sales Slump: Following more than 50% growth last year, China’s box office in the three months to June fell by 10%.
How do Health IT Investment Trends in China and U.S. Differ?: Direct-to-consumer health tech companies are the main target of investors in China, whereas B2B services account for much more of the focus in the US.
Dior Taps WeChat’s Direct-to-Consumer Potential in Social Selling Effort: Dior has followed brands like Michael Kors, Chloé and Montblanc, listing its customisable ¥28,000 ($4,210) Lady Dior handbag on WeChat, which sold out in a day. The bag was designed specifically for Qixi – China’s Valentine’s Day, appealing to the 58% of Chinese consumers who value cultural familiarity in merchandise or services, versus 11% in HK.