Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
With Some Countries, China is in the Red: 40 nations export more to China than they import including South Korea, Switzerland, Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, Germany, South Africa and New Zealand.
In Global Popularity Contest, U.S. and China Vie for First: The U.S. and China engender roughly the same level of goodwill. China is particularly well-liked in Latin America and the Middle East, while the U.S. fares better in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. America’s weakening image in many nations has taken a toll on the country’s once-solid lead over China whose favourability has strengthened in recent years in Canada, Australia, Lebanon and Turkey.
70% of Chinese College Students Will Spend Valentine’s Day Alone: 70% of college students remain single with over two thirds wanting to be in a relationship. 51% say they’re single because they are introverted and not good at expressing their feelings, 43% have a “small social circle” and 37% because they’re not confident about their appearance. Just 27% enjoy single life and “purposely don’t want to fall in love” according to Mycos.
Food Companies Target China’s Surging Single Economy: China’s population of adults living alone has grown 16% since 2012 to reach 77m. By 2021, the number is set to rise to 92m according to Euromonitor. Hot pot chain Haidilao allows solo diners to choose between a large teddy bear and a stuffed yellow chicken to join them for dinner to feel less lonely [paywall].
China’s Traditional Food Giants Struggle to Stay Relevant in Digital Age: Food companies whose focus is mainland China have reported mixed performances, with those seen as technology savvy having the upper hand in attracting young customers and growing revenues.
Baidu Sells Food Delivery Business to its Rival Ele.me: Further consolidation in China’s online world as Baidu sells its Xiaodu food delivery subsidiary to Alibaba-backed market leader Ele.me which was already valued at $6 billion with 1.3 million merchants in 2,000 cities.
Top 10 Safest Countries for Chinese Tourists: Safety remains a key factor for Chinese tourists choosing destinations with terrorism, natural disasters and infectious diseases the most important issues, and unfriendly local people, prohibitive service prices, and corrupt local governments also factoring in. China is rated the safest country, followed by Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and UAE according to Ctrip.
Chinese Consumers Not Enthused by Smart Homes Yet, but Firms Anticipate Gold Rush: While Chinese consumers are among the most enthusiastic adopters of tech in the world, it is not translating to smart homes, with penetration not among the top 5 globally. The US has the highest smart home penetration on 69%, followed by Canada, South Korea, Japan and the UK. The number of smart home devices sold globally is expected to grow more than six-fold between 2016-2021 to 1.4 billion units, with China and US predicted to be the biggest markets.
Chinese Cities are Saying “Enough Already” to Bike-Sharing Services Run Rampant: Cities like Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Zhengzhou are demanding bike sharing companies stop putting new bikes on their streets. There are currently 1.5 million sharing bikes on Shanghai streets.
Over 70% of Chinese Consumers Aware of Sustainable Consumption: More than 30% fully believed that personal consumption has a direct impact on the environment, and more than 40% basically agreed according to a report released by the China China Store and Franchise Association. 70% were willing to pay 10% more for sustainable products or services. “Safety and health” was the top reason for purchasing sustainable or green products and services. Environmental-friendliness and good quality were the next two most popular reasons.
Record Number Of Chinese Models To Star Victoria’s Secret Show 2017: After being slammed last year for “appropriated Chinese culture”, this year’s fashion show has confirmed six Chinese models, up from four last year. China’s lingerie market is expected to be worth $25 billion in 2017, however the market remains highly fragmented with no major brands leading the way.
Chinese Property Buyers Shift Interest from Australia To Other Parts of The World: Chinese enquiries in Australian residential property was down 9.7% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2016 according to Juwai, although it remains the second most popular destination. Enquiries into Thailand soared 26% to take it from 6th to 3rd spot in a year. The top countries are the US, Australia, Thailand, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, Malaysia and Spain.
Up To Half Of Overseas Property Purchased by Chinese Buyers Left Vacant: 63% of the respondents with overseas properties hold them for investment purposes, with 65% of those rented to tenants. Around a quarter of properties purchased by mainland Chinese are left vacant, and a further 25% of overseas property owners use their property on a temporary basis. One third of all home purchases are triggered by expectations of higher price according to a UBS survey.
Luxury brands Using Ecommerce to Lure Chinese Valentine’s Day Shoppers: High-end luxury brands turned to online platforms to offer limited-time sales of special-edition items for the widely celebrated Chinese Qixi holiday.
How China’s Wealthy Online Shoppers Buy Depends on Where they Live: Consumers in first-tier cities, prefer beauty brands when shopping online, whereas those in the NE prefer the hard luxury brands, with Bulgari topping the wishlist. Overall, online shoppers are much more prone to impulse shopping than they were years ago according to the Alibaba-CBN report, with 64% and 52% making a “buy” decision on apparel and handbags respectively within 24 hours. 45% buy luxury watches within a day while only 19% did so in 2012.