Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
How China Is Upending Western Marketing Practices: 24-minute podcast: Chinese marketing campaigns are faster, cheaper, and often more effective than traditional Western ones, and in some ways they are better suited to today’s global marketplace, according to US-based academic and former practitioner Kimberly Whitler.
Horizontal Skyscrapers to Consumer Products – The Need to Truly Localize in China: Methodologies and examples, defining how tastes, behaviour, customer journeys, channels and emotional buttons differ between China’s vast cities. Whether it is fashion, tourism, automobiles or fast-moving consumer goods, there are few products and services that won’t benefit from an element of regional localisation.
What Consumers Want: 34-minute podcast covering best business and marketing practices to make your brand relevant and interesting to the Chinese consumer recorded from the recent Britcham event in Shanghai. Hear from the panel consisting of Jerry Clode, Jeya Ibrahim-Lecomte, Stone Shi and China Skinny’s Mark Tanner.
“Why Aren’t You Getting Married?” – China’s Marriage Rates Keep Dropping: China’s marriage rates have hit a new low, but Weibo’s singletons blame their unmarried status on circumstances beyond their control, such as perceived marriageable age of women, mismatched demographics between cities and rural areas, higher cost of living and the staggering costs involved (bride prices in China’s rural areas have increased more than sixty-fold in 17-years).
Why Does China Hate Email: China’s preference for WeChat means being available to your boss at all times, whereas email in China rarely gets a reply. In 2000, when almost every office in the West had email, just 3% of Chinese were online – and they were young, whose main attraction to the internet wasn’t productivity, but its social possibilities. By 2017, 22.6% of Chinese used email in daily work communication, whereas 87.7% used WeChat.
Short Video App Douyin Campaign Signals the Arrival of Vlogs in China: Douyin has launched a campaign to promote vlogging, increasing the video time limit for all users to one minute from 15 seconds to support the programme hoping to make video blogging popular in China like much of the world. Content creators who are successful in the campaign will win extra traffic to their videos, special “vlogger” certifications, and priority access to ad partnerships.
Alibaba’s Grand Strategy to Feed China’s Middle Class: In last year’s Single’s Day Tmall sold 13.6 million Ecuadorian shrimp, 140,000 Mexican avocados, 920,000 Southeast Asian lobsters and 1.4 million kilos of Australian beef. JD, meanwhile, boasted a 270% year-over-year increase in online sales of fresh produce. Increasing food imports and an escalating “fresh produce war” make access to high quality overseas suppliers a key competitive advantage. Alibaba’s Win-Chain is the most ambitious platform for this, expecting to sign supplier agreements with 40 countries in the next five years, plugging in to Alibaba’s integrated supply chain and having direct access to valuable consumer data.
Flavour a Good Match for China’s Increasingly Sophisticated Taste: The not-too-sweet, energy-boosting matcha gaining popularity in China for related greenish desserts and drinks, such as matcha-flavored layered cake, ice cream and lattes. There are already 5,000 Matcha-related stores in Beijing alone.
Walmart to Add 16 Sam’s Club Stores on Chinese Mainland by 2020: Walmart’s membership warehouse Sam’s Club plans to add 16 new chain stores to the existing 24 on the Chinese mainland by 2020, reflecting Chinese consumers’ increasing demand for high quality products. The chain currently has 2 million members, with around 70% of shoppers renewing their membership.
China’s Wine Egg Hatches: A massive egg-shaped wine complex called Xige (Pigeon Hill) has risen from the dusty fields of Ningxia in north-central China. The Ningxia provincial government hopes it might be a kind of Penfolds, a respected high-volume national brand that makes everything from palatable entry-level wine to the finest reserve cuvées, dragging up the perception of China’s wine industry on the whole. In less than a decade, Ningxia went from virtual unknown to aspiring virtuoso, winning more than a thousand medals and kudos from the world’s leading gatekeepers, but that critical success hasn’t translated to sales.
Chinese Mothers Buying Less Infant Formula but More Supplements via Cross Border Ecommerce: Tmall Global: Sales of milk powder on cross border platforms in China have seen a steady decline since 2016, whereas natural supplements have climbed. More mothers are choosing natural supplements for their babies besides milk powder. A similar study found Shanghai-based parents are more likely to purchase infant formula from physical Mum & Baby stores than supermarkets, online and daigou (which accounted for 12% and 6% of purchases respectively).
China-Australia Market Experiencing High Growth: Ctrip: Chinese visitors to Australia rose 5.5% to 1.4 million in 2018. In the first quarter of this year, growth from China to Australia in Ctrip grew 18% versus overall market growth of 10-11%. Shanghai-Melbourne and Shanghai-Sydney were the two most popular routes in the China-Australia market, however routes such as China Southern’s Guangzhou-Sydney were growing fastest. Package tours made up the majority of travellers, particularly from lower tier cities, with independent travel also rising, dominated by Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing.
Welcoming Chinese Consumers to the World of Consumer Debt: Credit card delinquencies in China grew 19% to ¥79 billion ($11.7 billion) last year, 10 times the level in 2010 central bank data shows.
Why Is China The World’s Leader In Edtech?: Chinese companies received more than half of all capital invested in Edtech last year. As of July 2018, seven of the world’s 10 largest EdTech unicorns were born in China. Chinese families with preschoolers spent an average of 26% of their income on education, while those with K-12 children had spent 20% – or even as much as $6.5 million a Chinese family paid to a scammer hoping to get their daughter into Stanford University.
Keeping Up with the Daigous: an Industry in Flux: “The government ban only affected the lower echelon of our industry. Those daigous who shop mass-market brands from Japan and South Korea suffered the most,” according to a Milan-based daigou. Luxury-savvy Chinese customers still rely on daigous based in Europe to get the latest, limited-edition products from top brands, since they still see an average 30% price increase on those items inside China. Daigous are transferring the way they do business.