Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
Ikea at Last Cracks China Market, but Success has Meant Adapting to Local Ways: The young boy peeing over an IKEA mattress is an example of how Chinese shopping habits can be quite different to the West. But tolerating it and a localisation of strategy and pricing appears to be paying off for IKEA, whose 2012 Mainland revenue exceeded ¥6 billion ($1 billion), and expansion has seen them become the largest foreign land owner in China.
Chinese Premier Says Foreign Companies To Get ‘Equal Treatment’: “China will continue to encourage foreign companies to invest and do business in China, and ensure that all companies have equal access … and equal treatment,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
China’s Global Firms Face ‘Trust Gap’: China’s multinational brands may be trusted by 84% of Chinese consumers, but just 50% trust them in other emerging markets, and 24% in developed countries.
E-Commerce Trends In China: 45% of China’s online shoppers go to physical stores to check out the product. When comparing products, 75% compare price. 48% of men and 58% of women place the most importance on comments by other shoppers.
Alibaba Braces for Mobile Revolution: Alibaba has spent $1 billion over the past few months on mapping, social media and operating systems to lure smartphone users to its marketplaces. 7% of Taobao and Tmall transactions were made from a mobile last year.
Chinese Consumers are Angry that the iPhone 5C isn’t ‘Cheap’, but that’s Good for Apple: As Apple retains its premium price points, Chinese consumers lash out at the lack of a cheap iPhone, and compare the 5C colours to Crocs shoes.
Suning Clicks On the Future of Retailing: 1,500 store-strong retailer Sunning is jumping on the eCommerce wagon. Hopefully it can put it’s army of 100,000 workers to good use online as well?
Qihoo 360 Secure Browser: Qihoo’s 360 security browser is now the most used in China, with 332 million active users a month, or 24.21% of the market.
China Unblocks Twitter in Shanghai Trade Zone: Word on the street is Twitter and Facebook could be unblocked in the Mainland for the first time since 2009. Unfortunately it will just be in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone, but a step in the right direction, and imperative if China genuinely wants to create businesses that market internationally. Will the three-year jail term apply for tweeting rumours?
Nestle Says Chinese Consumption May Show 2H Recovery: “If you combine wage increases and urbanization, for food manufacturing companies [China’s] still an amazing opportunity,” says Nestle, expecting Chinese consumption to grow further in H2.
Chinese Food Companies Looking Overseas for Acquisitions: 80% of Chinese consumers are spending more on food, with a third buying more higher-end brands.
Half of China’s Antibiotics Now Go to Livestock: The per-capita antibiotic usage in China is ten times higher than in the USA and half it goes into livestock. Also disturbing is the 70% of inpatients in China receiving antibiotics.
‘Mr Sirloin’ Raises Stakes at Restaurants: A successful Beijing steakhouse attributes its success to basing new dishes on customer feedback from Weibo and WeChat.
China Wine Q&A: Wine Enthusiast Magazine Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa: Chinese wine consumers are adventurous and knowledgeable, more open to new varieties and styles than most American consumers are, and they’re serious about learning more about wine according to U.S.-based magazine Wine Enthusiast.
Zhengzhou Man Steals Pet Cats, Sells Them to Restaurants as Mutton: A man in China has been stealing his neighbours’ cats, soaking them in lamb urine, adding a touch of oil and then selling them to local restaurants as mutton.
NBA Plans to Expand Streaming of Games in China, Silver Says: NBA has upped its streaming to >a game a day on Weibo. NBA and its players are followed by 60 million fans on Weibo.
How China’s Homegrown Biz Is Threatening Hollywood’s Payday: China’s Tier 3 & 4 cities account for 34% of China’s box office, and are expected to be 42% by 2015.
Chinese Buy Sydney Homes at Unprecedented Rate: As much as 80% of homes in parts of Sydney are being bought by Chinese buyers.
China: This Week In Digital Luxury Marketing: Clinique on Taobao are asking consumers who think they bought fake moisturising lotion to submit a photo and reasons for the doubt. 30 submitters receive a free authentic bottle of the lotion.
Chinese Supermodel Makes Forbes List: Liu Wen became the fifth highest-earning model in the world last year, earning $4.3 million.
Luxury Brands in China Focus on Credentials: Increasingly discerning Chinese consumers crave authenticity, right down to the type of materials. The quality of the product is as important as the strength of the brand for buyers.
The Chinese-Made Luxury Watch Market: Chinese consumers buy luxury watches for two reasons: 1) the Brand – from sales, service and advertisements; and 2) they like the watch design to express their tastes and uniqueness. Chinese made watches are increasing appealing to the second group.
That’s The Skinny for the week! China Skinny would love to discuss how we could help with your marketing, online initiatives or research to take advantage of China’s opportunities. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +86 21 3221 0273 so we can learn more about your objectives and let you know how we can help.
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