Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
Clash of Clans May Spur Tencent’s Marvel-Like Aspirations: Tencent is spending $8.6 billion to gain control of Finnish mobile games maker Supercell Oy, which could see Tencent following the Marvel model to build on its emerging entertainment empire which has already leveraged Warcraft and League of Legends into global powerhouses.
China’s Entertainment Industry: Ready to Boom: Despite economic and cultural headwinds the future of China’s entertainment industry looks bright because of 1) The sheer size of the market; 2) China’s mass market is apolitical; 3) A dynamic, expressive online community has blossomed; and 4) Ecommerce presents opportunities to experiment with new monetisation models.
The Warcraft Effect: Why the Future of Film Belongs to China: Although panned by critics and having a dismal $24 million opening weekend in US, Warcraft opened to $156 million in its first 5-days in China. But with China only allowing 34 foreign films a year, and locals tending to pay for popcorn-primed blockbusters, foreign-produced low-medium budget films are unlikely to reap the same rewards from China’s growth this year.
China Home Prices Rise at Fastest Pace in May: Few things make Chinese consumers feel wealthier than house price gains, which increased 6.9% in May from a year ago across 70 major cities. 50 cities experienced rises with Shenzhen the top performer increasing 53.2%. ‘Smaller’ cities are seeing good gains, with Xiamen up 28% and Nanjing and Hefei rising over 20%.
Three-Quarters of Chinese Consumers Plan to Maintain or Increase Spending in 2016: Chinese consumer sentiment remains strong, led by upper-middle-class and affluent households, younger consumers, and those employed in high-paying services according to BCG.
Find-a-Journalist App Highlights Murky Media Practices in China: A new app Zhao Jizhe — Find a Journalist in Chinese — connects companies seeking publicity and journalists interested in pocketing some extra cash using a similar model to Uber. Fees start at ¥1,000 ($152), with ¥8,000 ($1,217) getting a senior writer, and guaranteed coverage on 25 publications, including four well-known ones.
China Embraces Cross-Border Ecommerce: By 2020, a quarter of China’s total population are expected to make online purchases abroad according to eMarketer. 11.2% of the population or 31% of all online shoppers, will shop cross border this year, accounting for $86 billion or 4.2% of China’s total ecommerce market.
When Do China Internet Users Leave Negative Comments?: 30% of Chinese female social media users leave negative comments, and 46% of males according to Tencent. 74.2% write negative comments related to livelihood issues such as real estate, prices and careers. 61.8% leave negative comments about corruption and 51.3% about violence.
China Smartphone Maker Purchases Patents from Microsoft: Xiaomi has purchased 1,500 patents from Microsoft, as part of an effort by Chinese companies to acquire intellectual property rights in preparation for expansion into overseas markets and to compete in an increasingly sophisticated domestic market.
JD, WalMart Make a Chinese Connection: WalMart’s Yihaodian marketplace is merging with JD.com. WalMart will receive a 5% stake in JD and provide a little more firepower in the battle against Alibaba.
When Western Junk Food Hits Chinese Tastebuds, Unexpected New Flavors Emerge: Potato chips have taken on a whole new meaning in China, with flavours such as cucumber, blueberry, braised pork, and numb and spicy hot pot. Even Snickers, Oreo cookies and Diet Coke all taste a little bit different in China. Packaged snacks in China typically don’t have such a strong taste, but are available in a wider variety of flavours.
Outbound Travellers Shrug Off Declines in Yuan Value: The yuan’s lowest level in five years – a 1.4% depreciation this year against the USD – is being shrugged off by Tourism industry insiders. Chinese travellers’ overall spending is expected to grow 86% between 2015-2025 from $135 billion to $225.4 billion.
Brexit Doesn’t Scare Chinese Homebuyers: Chinese demand for UK real estate is based on lifestyle factors that are unlikely to be too affected from the Brexit vote according to Juwai. Around 50% of enquiries the company receives for London and 70% for Birmingham are centred around schooling. The UK’s tanking currency will also make housing and education cheaper for Chinese.
Phone Tracking, Nude Selfies See Chinese Bare All for Credit: Chinese consumers are allowing lenders access to social accounts for discounted interest rates. Data analysis has found talkative people pay back loans and the very talkative default. Loans taken out at 4am aren’t promising, and defaulting may see naked selfies sent to family members.