Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
Managers Must Make their Loyalty Programmes More in Sync With Reality: 62% of Chinese consumers feel loyal to brands that present them with small tokens of affection, 65% are loyal to brands that offer them the opportunity to personalise products and 69% are loyal to brands that interact with them through their preferred channels of communication, according to Accenture.
Chinese Learn the Value of Privacy: Although Chinese have traditionally been less concerned about privacy due to a society that favours collective rights over individual ones, continued breaches are changing that. Chinese police arrested 4,261 suspects in 1,886 cases related to the theft of personal information last year. Between 2010 and 2014, there were roughly 260 prosecutions under China’s law prohibiting the sale of personal information. Last year’s suspects included nearly 400 “industry insiders” in banking, e-commerce, telecommunications and delivery services with related losses estimated at $13.2 billion.
CCTV Scaremongering No Match for Millennial Consumers: State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has slammed more brands as part of its annual consumer rights program, the 315 Evening Gala. Muji was accused of selling food items from areas of Japan affected by radiation. Nike was slated for false advertising with its Hyperdunk sneaker which didn’t come with the air cushions featured in its advertisements. Fingers were pointed at online encyclopedia and news platform Baike.com for profiting from ads selling fake products — particularly drugs and medical services. Weibo users have posted 869,000 messages complaining about bad experience and poor quality products this year, which have been read 1.5 billion times. Some reports say consumers appear unfazed by the reports, whereas others speak of consumers fuming at Nike and frenzied removals of Japanese food items from stores.
The ‘She-conomy’: Chinese Women Under 30 are Remaking the Market: China’s women under 30 are more empowered, adventurous and self-confident than any previous female generation according to a study by Mediacom. In order to win the hearts of this important consumer group brand owners will need to redefine their engagement strategies based on 1. Joining the sisterhood; 2. Defining new role models; and 3. Collaborating with female entrepreneurs – 46% of business owners on Alibaba platforms are now women.
A New Baby Boom Is Happening in China’s Smaller Cities: A deeply entrenched preference for smaller families after decades of the one-child policy, as well as high child-rearing costs in big cities, has prevented the boom from taking hold in higher tier cities. On the contrary, small cities and towns’ already-stretched hospitals, pediatricians and kindergartens are finding it hard to cope with increased births.
As Amazon Floods With Chinese Sellers, Western Brands Move Into China’s Booming Ecommerce Market: China accounts for one out of every two e-commerce transactions worldwide. The number of foreign brands on Tmall global skyrocketed 169% to 14,500 in 2016, up from 5,400 just a year before.
Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent Dominate China’s Red-Hot Digital Advertising Market: eMarketer forecasts that spending on digital advertising in the Mainland is predicted to rise 27% from US$39.6 billion in 2016 to US$50.3 billion this year on the back of mobile ads. Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent will account for 76.4% with Alibaba earning $16.04 billion, Baidu at $9.31 billion and Tencent at $6.02 billion.
Why Doing Business in China is Like the Tour de France: The process of marginal gains which was behind Team Sky’s Tour de France victory describes the way successful business is designed and conducted in China. Incremental advances are equally applicable winning the hearts of China’s online consumers. For example, while 55% of UK retailers ship to China, only 22% offer the ability to pay using local Chinese payment method like Alipay or Tenpay and only 10% of the retailers offer a Mandarin language option on the website.
Alibaba Group and Government of Denmark Sign MoU to Strengthen Danish Exports and Tourism Among Chinese Consumers: Tmall Global’s new pavilion Danish Pavilion has launched with more than 20 brands selling high-quality Danish products in the fashion, lifestyle, home and food categories. A Danish Pavilion has been established on Alibaba’s travel booking platform, Fliggy, and will be the first country to participate in Fliggy’s visa innovation program by creating an official visa information platform.
From Luxury Fashion to Cars: Alibaba Bets Big on Augmented Reality: Alibaba has shelled out tens of millions of dollars on acquiring and developing AR technology from car displays to promotional games to in-home previews of real size products such as furniture and decor.
China’s New Craft-Beer Bully: After missing the craft beer movement in the US, Budweiser’s owner AB Inbev is going all in with the China market. Everything from installing spying devices in trade to monitor competitor volumes to inundating Beijing and Shanghai with its discounted Goose Island craft beer bringing down industry margins, putting on events and offering incentives that would be illegal in the US.
Why the Chinese Are Still Not Sweet on Chocolate: Chinese consumers eat an average of just 100 grams of chocolate a year — about one bar — versus 90 bars in Germany and Austria. China’s traditional food culture has a lot to do with it – a culinary history that has never especially emphasized saccharine desserts, focusing instead on balancing the five tastes: sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and salty. Moreover, the philosophy of Chinese traditional medicine advises against excessive sugar consumption. And finally, mealtimes in China tend to lack a specially designated dessert course.
Blackmores Marketing Material Slammed in China on Consumer Rights Day: Another example of a crackdown of China’s advertising rules and prohibited words: Blackmores was fined approximately $69,000 for claiming that it was Australia’s top nutritional supplement brand, and that its vitamins could treat cardiovascular disease and assist the treatment of arthritis.
What Chinese Consumers Want in a Dream Destination Wedding: Nearly 60% of young Chinese are planning to marry abroad, according to a Ctrip survey, reflected in the mouth-watering 3-digit growth rates. Chinese millennials are craving more freedom and individuality, and want to escape the rigid formalities of a traditional wedding at home. The perceived higher status is another psychological factor, with exotic wedding photos standing out on WeChat newsfeeds. Celebrity weddings are also driving inspiration, with the March 2016 wedding of Nicky Wu and Cecilia Liu driving sales of Bali wedding packages up by 60%.
BMW 1 Series: Manufactured and Exclusively Available to China: The new BMWs manufactured in Shenyang in NE China meet Chinese consumers’ preference for sedans over hatchbacks and fill the need of a smaller model for the market.