Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
China is Popping Pills and Pumping Iron More Than Before: The number of gym memberships in China is forecast to grow from 26 to 70 million in 5 years. China Skinny was at the FIBO tradeshow in Shanghai to see the interesting new ways fitness, supplement and vitamin brands are tapping into this growth.
China’s Rich Families are Putting Health Before Wealth, Study Finds: Families owning assets of more than ¥10 million ($1.28 million) are spending an average of ¥14,000 ($2,140) per month on their health and well-being, out of total household expenditure of ¥57,000 ($8,700) – 25% of monthly outgoings. Families with assets of ¥30 million ($4.6 million) or above, spend ¥23,000 of ¥82,000 ($3,500 of $12,500) – 28% on health according to Hurun research.
China’s Consumers Haven’t Been This Confident in Two Decades: Wages are rising, growth is robust and the yuan is on a tear leading to the consumer confidence index climbing to 114.6 in July – the highest reading since 1996.
China Closes Prominent International Hospital: YOUR Most Important Lesson for the Year: Earlier this month the Shanghai government ordered the closure of one of the city’s top maternity hospitals as the 20 year lease was on land owned by the armed forces who have been banned from commercial activities since 1998.
Are Young Chinese Liberalizing as China’s Political Leaders Crack Down?: “For many people in the cities, in this burgeoning middle class, and for many young people who already have a lot of the opportunities which those young people 20 years ago would not have had, the question is not now, ‘how can I get rich?’ The question is, ‘what now?’,” says Alec Ash, author of Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China.
China Moves to Evict Trademark Squatters: Chinese businesses implicated for registering trademarks without using them will be added to a new blacklist making it difficult for them to apply for future trademarks [paywall].
South Korea’s Lotte to Sell China Shops in Face of Boycott: South Korea’s fifth-biggest conglomerate Lotte is selling stores and considering a full exit from the China market. Around 80% of China’s 112 Lotte Mart stores have been closed for more than six months as authorities tightened safety and sanitary inspections and consumers boycotted them after the company provided a golf course for the THAAD missile-interception system.
Here’s How Chinese Media are Reacting to the New iPhone Lineup: Last week’s iPhone announcement saw some interesting feedback from Chinese media. Tmall has the exclusive for online presales of the iPhone 8 and X with Apple’s official site. Whilst not exclusive, vendors on Taobao are already selling ‘iPhone security face masks’ for owners concerned about having their phone unlocked by someone else as they sleep with the facial recognition function.
Pagoda to Open 10,000 Stores by 2020, Providing Global Superior Fruits for Chinese Consumers: Pagoda is opening 4-5 new outlets every day. It expects to grow from 2,500 to 10,000 outlets by 2020 and substantially increase the quantity of imported fruits. Annual sales reached ¥6 billion ($917 million) early in 2016 with 23 million high-end members and 64 overseas suppliers. Imported fruit sales in China have been growing 17% year-on-year for the past decade.
A Craft-Beer Boom with Chinese Characteristics: By 2016 there were around 150 craft breweries in China, up threefold from 2015. Consumption of craft beer increased by two thirds over the past five years. Distinctive local tastes have become a feature of the market with wheat beers being popular, perhaps because they go well with Chinese food and locals like to combine carousing with chewing. Domestic brewers must also make the most of readily available ingredients. Barley in China is mostly poor quality and importing it is costly. Some brewers use exotic items like Sichuan peppers and Oolong tea.
Chemist Warehouse Extends Exclusive Agreement with Tmall Global: Australian pharmacy Chemist Warehouse has announced an extension of its exclusive partnership with Tmall Global which will see Alibaba support the chain during major promotions such as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in addition leveraging Alibaba’s e-commerce and media properties to better reach Chinese consumers.
Lululemon Sees Runaway Growth in China, Confirms Expansion: Lululemon grew 350% year-over-year growth in China. The company plans to open at least 12 new stores in Asia over the second half of 2017, with about six being in China.
After Dior, Angelababy Is UGG’s New Brand Ambassador: The ‘Kim Kardashian of China’ became UGG’s new brand ambassador last month. “Angelababy has now become the ambassador for three luxury brands: UGG as accessible luxury, Dior as premium luxury, and Tag Heuer as top luxury,” said one Weibo user.
Heavier Credit Card Use Expected from Chinese Consumers: Loans via credit cards in China are up 31% this year with the total sum reaching nearly ¥4.7 trillion ($720 billion). Chinese banks make about 20% of their revenue through the interest and fees from heightened credit card use in China. 29 million new credit cards were issued in the second quarter of this year.