Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
Industry Insiders see Continuous Consumption Upgrading in China: Business leaders from industries ranging from home appliances, food, and film all see continuous consumption upgrading trend in China, with upgrades, technology and branding driving growth. China’s retail sector is expected to grow an average of 10.6% a year for the next five years due to Chinese consumers’ willingness to pay for higher quality products and unique experiences.
China’s Big Spenders are Reining in on Buying Cars, Jewellery and Watches as Confidence in Personal Finance Cools, Credit Suisse Says: 30% of respondents expected an improvement in the state of their personal finances in the next six months, five percentage points lower than last year. 6% said it was a good time to make a major purchase, down from 7% a year ago. Young Chinese are less interested in luxury purchases of jewellery and watches, while consumer sentiment remains ‘strong’ in lower-tier cities.
‘You Can’t Make Friends After One Lunch’: What Brands Get Wrong About China: Connecting with Chinese millennials is about genuinely wanting to impact on their lives and about having heart and soul. Courting the Chinese customer is like forging a new friendship: it doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s OK if you embarrass yourself a little bit, so long as you learn from it and have the right intentions.
No Earrings, Tattoos or Cleavage: Inside China’s War on Fun: Male earrings have been blurred out on TV and online following similar rules forcing football players to wear long sleeves to cover their tattoos. Women in costumes at a racy video game convention have been told to raise their necklines. Rappers can rhyme only about peace and harmony and last year, male ponytails got the blur treatment as Beijing looks to promote “core socialist values” — patriotism, harmony and civility, among others. Content that celebrates money worship, hedonism or individualism is increasingly removed.
Chinese Consumers Going Bespoke with Custom Furniture: 52% of affluent Chinese have ordered custom furniture. Higher tier cities are typically demanding more customization, with demand for renovation of old houses in first-tier cities rising in the past decade or so. In fourth- and fifth-tier cities, larger units are the mainstream, with most orders coming from the decoration of new houses.
Japanese Cuisine Tickles Taste Buds, Spins Money in China: The number of Japanese restaurants in China grew from about 10,600 in the beginning of 2017 to 40,800 at the end of the year, according to data from the Japanese External Trade Organization. Half of all Japanese restaurants opening outside of Japan between 2015-2017 were in China.
Nestlé Bullish on a More Nutritionally-Aware Chinese Market: Nestlé is bullish about long term growth of the China market and is investing heavily in research and development to best serve it. As Chinese consumers turn to healthier and more balanced diets, the company continues to develop products that have lower sugar content, and more whole grain foods.
China’s Appetite Continues to Grow for New Zealand Exports: Selling for up to $10 a litre, a regular air freight service has Theland selling 40,000 litres of fresh milk a week into China’s large urban markets, with plans to expand that to 100,000 litres. New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern arrived in Beijing on Sunday on her first trip since becoming the country’s leader.
South African Bottled Water Company – It’s Not Made in China Angers Chinese Consumers: A South African water company has touched a nerve with Chinese consumers after they found out the brand name ‘It’s Not Made in China’.
From Online Doctors to Counting Steps: Top 5 Chinese Health & Fitness Apps: As China’s fitness market is seeing rapid growth, these are some of the health & fitness apps that are popular among Chinese mobile users including: 1. Keep: which contains China’s biggest online sports community; 2. Meet You, the menstruation tracker said to be the second most favoured app among female mobile users in 2018; 3. Qin Baobao, providing childcare information for pregnant woman and families with children up to the age of six; 4. Ping An Good Doctor health care and medical consultation platform; and 5. Yodo Run social health and fitness recording app.
Got Poop? Guangzhou Hospitals Will Pay You for It: Hospitals in Guangzhou are paying up to ¥500 ($75) for stool samples, used to transplant the bacteria to help “rebuild patients’ gut flora.” The samples are primarily being used as clinical research, with trials for diseases such as clinical depression and diabetes undergoing testing.
Chinese Tourists Are Going International—and Their Travel Habits Are Evolving: As they seek more authentic experiences, 56% of Chinese travellers noted that “beauty and uniqueness of a given destination is their primary consideration” when choosing where to travel according to Nielsen. Food and beverage is an increasing motivator for travel with 66% trying to have as much authentic local cuisine as they can, up from 62% a year earlier. 83% are happy to try new food.
Fliggy Brings Duty-Free Shopping Online for China’s Consumers: OTA Fliggy is launching a new service that allows Chinese travellers to shop online at duty-free and tax-free shops, international retailers and specialty stores overseas before they head off on vacation.
Spot the difference: Jaguar Land Rover Wins Legal Battle Over Chinese Copycat Car: Jaguar Land Rover has won a three year court battle in China which has forced local company Jiangling Motors to stop selling its Landwind X7 sport utility vehicle due to its extreme resemblance to Range Rover Evoque. The landmark decision is the first time that a Chinese court has ruled in favour of an overseas manufacturer over a Chinese carmaker.