Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
China’s Middle Class Suffers from Insomnia, Rarely Has Sex, and is Very Worried About its Future: The top anxieties of China’s middle class are the uncertainty about the future (71%), dissatisfaction with reality (45%) and wasted time (31%) according to a Zhaopin survey. The social issues they are most concerned about are inflation (64%), food safety (57%), property purchase restrictions (56%) and pollution (54%). More than half of those surveyed agree that they “have met the basic survival needs and are now in pursuit of higher personal development.” Overall, China’s middle class has a “clear understanding of the present” but has also shown “infinite confusion about the future.”
Winning and Losing in Modern China: By 2013, there were estimated to be over 500 million Chinese self-identified as a DiaoSi, or ‘loser’, according to Analysys. Three defining features are predominantly men born in the 1980s, the large majority play online games (82.5%), and they do not see themselves as GaoFuShuai (tall, rich, handsome).
From The Midwest To The Middle Kingdom, Putting Business First With China: Over the past decade America’s agricultural exports to China have grown 219% to $21.4 billion. China has been GM’s largest retail market for the past five years, with its JVs delivering a record 3,870,587 vehicles in China last year. Walmart, Telsa and Priceline are examples of American businesses partnering with Chinese businesses to create mutual win-wins.
Interview: Chinese, U.S. markets need each other, says head of Coca-Cola China: Both Chinese and US markets need each other as bilateral relations are so intertwined and the two countries will have closer trade ties in the future which “work both ways,” said Curt Ferguson, president of Coca-Cola Greater China. The president also gave credit to the Chinese market for helping many US companies sustain their gains.
Inside Netflix’s new partnership with Baidu-owned iQiYi: Netflix has been exploring China for years, and it finally made it happen last month through an original content licensing deal with Baidu’s online streaming service iQiYi which has over 20 million paid subscribers. 30% of China’s 731 million internet users watch online videos every month.
Apple’s Latest China Ad Features a Very Different China than its Previous Ones: Apple’s new “The City” ad takes a very different direction than previous ads in China. It treats China as a motif for global hipsterdom, one equally relatable to jetsetting foreigners watching it on YouTube. Apple has suffered negative sales growth in China for five quarters in a row.
Russia Blocks WeChat: Tencent gets a little taste of how Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc must feel.
Meet the Subscription-Only Tasting Club Sating Chinese Consumers’ Thirst for Exclusive Craft Beers: Subscription-based tasting club Drinking Buddies sends members six different craft beers every month and offers access to events where they have tastings and workshops. Membership costs ¥650 ($95) for three months and ¥2,000 ($290) for a year and allows smaller breweries to get their beers in front of some of China’s craft beer enthusiasts.
Chinese Businesses Cash in on Denmark’s Oyster Crisis: With an explosive spread of Pacific oysters from Asia choking up the Danish shoreline and harming local species, Chinese companies have come up with a quick fix – they will import the unwelcomed shellfish and send armies of tourists to Denmark, so that the Chinese foodies will guzzle them up with crushed garlic and chili sauce.
Chinese Wine Stores Change Displays to Cater for New Consumers: Wine stores that were once furnished with luxurious décor to suit that high-end image of wine has changed to displays catering for younger consumers and their increased demands for affordable wines. Retailers are changing the display of their wines from horizontal to vertical.
Australia Announces 14-Film, $302 Million Co-Production Slate with China: A Li Bingbing action film is at the head of a 14-film slate worth AU$400 million (US$302 million) announced last week in Beijing, a significant expansion of production under Australia’s 2006 co-production treaty which allows qualified films to be imported to China and shown on a revenue-sharing basis without counting against the country’s annual 34-film imports quota.
Tackling China Market Head On: In 2016, 76,000 people played rugby in China according to CNN. World Rugby’s Asia One Million program rolled out in Beijing, Shanghai, Shandong and Liaoning provinces, where Get Into Rugby (GIR) training clinics will be delivered to schools and communities, with help from foreign experts. Funded by World Rugby, the program aims to cultivate 50,000 new Chinese players every year through to 2020. This follows Alibaba’s Alisports’ $100 million ten year commitment last October to boost and support all levels of rugby development in China.
For China’s Yuppies, Getting Fit’s a Hit and They’ll Pay to Compete: From amateur tennis tournaments, to long distance running, to yoga, to fencing, to musty Karaoke bars in inner city areas are being refitted as gyms, middle-class and affluent Chinese are spending a growing amount of time and money on sports – “being fit means a better life” is an increasingly common belief.
Chinese Investment in Australia at Highest Point Since GFC, but Lags Behind US and EU: Chinese investment in Australia grew 12% last year to $15.4 billion with a record 103 deals were signed between Chinese and Australian companies. Real estate, hotels, film, entertainment and sports clubs were among the industries that had been singled out as “irrational” overseas investment by Chinese authorities during the 13th Five-Year Plan.