Mark Tanner
19 December 2012 0 Comments

Shanghai, like many Chinese cities, has been invaded with Christmas trees and large shiny decorations. There seems to be more signs of Santa each Christmas I’ve been here, as the Chinese grow increasingly affectionate towards western culture and use any opportunity to hang more bright lights and tinsel. Many of the decorations are thinly guised advertising, as foreign and local companies work to increase their brand association with western culture. Curiously, it’s not just happening in China; even the Brits are doing what they can to lure a few Chinese tourists to do their Christmas shopping there.  Last year, 150,000 Chinese tourists went to the UK on Christmas shopping sprees and spent $390 million.  Chinese tourists doing Christmas shopping in the US and Europe have grown 20% this year. 

Unlike many Chinese, we’re having a break over Christmas, so this will be the last China Skinny Weekly for 2012. If the Mayans were correct, it will be the last edition ever! With such a finale, we added a few more posts than usual, hoping it will get you through to January. In the mean time, have yourself a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Wishing you many Chinese customers in 2013.

Chinese consumers Chinese Consumers

Brands Become More Important in Chinese Market: As branding plays a more significant role in Chinese consumer purchasing decisions, ITT brands are becoming increasingly important in China, taking three of the top five brands. This year, 5% less state-owned brands are in the top 50.

Chinese Consumer Brands See Backslide in Image: While we’re on the subject of branding in China, just 33% of Chinese consumers trust a company in China’s top-30 brands – down from 50% two years ago.

Dupont Finds Chinese Consumers More Trusting of Green Messaging: 70% of Chinese consumers believe ‘green’ products better for the environment; predominantly the wealthier Chinese. In Canada it’s 65%, with 60% in the US.

Chinese retail Retail

Sea Bass With Barbie Dolls Challenge Wal-Mart in China: Walmart with Chinese characteristics. RT-Mart brings the street market theme to bulk retail with hairy crabs, meatballs and cheap hotpot ingredients. “Overall, their prices are not cheaper, but in categories in which the Chinese consumer pays more attention – they are,”. RT-Mart now has more share than Walmart and Tesco and continues to grow profits when the big western retailers are floundering. A good example of success due to understanding what the Chinese market wants.

Chinese Internet Internet & Mobiles

China’s Ecommerce Market Joins the Majors: Some interesting stats on ecommerce growth in China including the 94% growth for 2012. Note that 40% of consumers rely on reviews on social networking sites before buying online, and very few use search engines – Baidu’s spider is blocked from Taobao, China’s leading ecommerce site.

Apple’s Ranking in China Smartphone Market Falls to No.6: Apple falls from #4 to #6 in the Chinese smartphone market in the third quarter, as local brands erode their market: Nokia may further dent their share, announcing a partnership with China Mobile for it’s Lumia Windows 8 launch . Nevertheless, Apple’s iPhone 5 launch last Friday set an opening weekend sales record for China, so things may be back on track.

Chinese food and beverage Food & Beverage

China Rapidly Becoming NZ’s Biggest Wine Market: New Zealand, one of the darlings of the wine world, has seen China grow from the 20th to 3rd largest wine market in 3 years, although the usual king hitter Sauvignon Blanc is being swapped out for Cabernet Merlot due to China’s preference for reds. South African wines aren’t doing so well, as the low price points doesn’t gel with Chinese wine consumers.

Huge Opportunity for French Wine to Penetrate Chinese Market: Some would say the Chinese saved the French wine industry, many others would think it’s just the tip of the iceberg for wine makers.

China Will Continue to Drive Global Infant Formula Sales: China’s $12.4b infant formula market “continues to hold the fate of global baby milk formula in its hands”.

Chinese art Art

Art Experts Paint Uncertain Picture of Chinese Market: Confidence in China’s contemporary art fell 35% from May to November, but the majority believe the mood will improve next year.

Chinese health and beauty Health & Beauty

Making Sure You Get More Than Face Value: Wow, apparently 200,000 faces have been ‘ruined’ in 10 years due to incompetent & illegal plastic surgeons in China. That ain’t pretty.

Chinese luxury goods Luxury Goods

A Shanghai Affair by Affinity China in Partnership With The Peninsula Shanghai: Video of the type of events that luxury brands are putting on to lure wealthy Chinese – Lamborghinis and all.

Chinese Luxury Buyers Need to Change Mindset: Chinese luxury purchases are still about showing off, with little regard for the meaning of the brand.

PPR Aims to Buy More Chinese Brands After Adding Qeelin: Now bling handbags are losing their flavor in China, Gucci’s parent buys a majority stake in Chinese jeweler Qeelin, as jewelry is looking to become the next big category for Chinese luxury consumers.

China to Claim One-Third of Global Luxury Market: McKinsey: Chinese consumers now buy more luxury goods than any other country according to McKinsey, and they still prefer doing it in bricks & mortar retail stores. They’re picked to be 1/3 of the global market by 2015, up from the current 27% of the $145 billion market.

That’s the skinny for the week!

If you’ve missed earlier news or need to learn more, there’s a library of information about Chinese consumers in prior China Skinny Weeklys right here. You can have this delivered to your inbox each week by subscribing for email updates, or if social media is more your thing, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS feed.  If you have any feedback or suggestions for future articles, please let us know.