This week’s China market and marketing news:
Epidemic Fight Boosts National Pride Among Young Chinese: Survey: A China Youth Daily survey of 18-35 year olds in late April found the average national pride at 9.57 / 10, up from 9.18 in 2019. 71% said they acquired a strong feeling for the idea that people and life matter most during a pandemic, and 70% noticed that the young generation has come forward and actively shouldered their responsibility amid the epidemic fight. The average score of happiness in life was 9.0%, up from 8.2% last year.
China’s Young Spenders Say Goodbye to Frivolous Purchases: Many young people in China are offloading possessions and embracing a new-found ethic: less is more. Alibaba’s Idle Fish, China’s biggest online site for used goods, hit a record daily transaction volume in March. Government researchers predict that transactions for used goods in China may top 1 trillion yuan ($141 billion) this year.
China to Give Foreign Firms Equal Access to Govt Support Policies: Commerce Ministry: China will ensure foreign firms have equal access to government support policies, including those on land and tax cuts.
Infographic: China Internet Changes Resulting from COVID-19: Who’s online in China, what are they doing, and for how long?
China’s Internet Users Reach 900 Million: China added 75 million new Internet users between January and March this year to break 900 million. Penetration grew 4.9% to 64.5%, with rural areas growing 7.8% to 46% penetration. 710 million shop online – 100 million more than December 2019. 768 million made online payments, up from 600 million.
The Rise of Plant-based Meat in Post-COVID-19 China: A number of factors are driving demand for plant-based meat in the post-COVID world of China.
China Suspends Australian Beef Imports From Four Abattoirs: China has suspended imports from four large red meat abattoirs in Australia, fuelling concerns of a response to Australia’s push for an independent coronavirus inquiry. The suspension is due to ‘labelling and health certificate requirements’. Australian beef exports to China doubled last year to A$2.87 billion ($1.86 billion). The meat export freeze follows China’s threats to impose severe anti-dumping tariffs on Australian barley exports, worth $600 million due to drought last year.
Yum China Keeps Bets on Dine-In, Sticks to Expansion Plans After Virus: Although the virus has driven up the takeaway rate at its business, Yum China is betting that Chinese consumers will still choose to dine-in in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis and plans to add 850 more Pizza Hut and KFC outlets to its existing 9,000 in China this year. Its focus will be in tier 4 & 5 cities.
Supermarket Posts Fat Profit as Consumers Cook at Home: Q1 revenue from one of China’s leading supermarket operators, Yonghui, reached ¥29.3 billion ($4.1 billion), up 31.6% from a year earlier. Strong demand for both its online delivery and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses drove the result. Revenue from the company’s online delivery services more than tripled in the quarter, but still brought in a relatively modest ¥2.1 billion, or 7.3% of its total for the period.
China, South Korea Ease Border Controls for Business Travel: In the first easing in months for international travel, “fast-track” entry took effect at the start of May to simplify entry procedures for business travellers between China and South Korea. South Korean businesspeople will be able to travel to 10 Chinese regions after receiving an invitation from a China-based company to visit the country, screen their own health for two weeks and get tested for the virus 72 hours before departure, South Korea’s foreign ministry said. Once travellers enter China, they need be quarantined for up to two days and pass another test before they can proceed with their trips. Beijing will soon establish a fast-track system for foreign visitors with urgent purposes, the European Union Chamber of Commerce said.
The Way Back: What the World Can Learn From China’s Travel Restart After COVID-19: When a lockdown ends, the first thing people want to spend money on is eating out. The second is travel. A McKinsey survey found that confidence in domestic travel rose by 60% over the past two weeks. Unsurprisingly, the young and the non-family segment, from higher-tier cities are more open to resuming travel in the first wave after the crisis. The travel-recovery peak is expected to come after September 2020 in China, with outdoor, scenic attractions the most popular destinations for future travel. Food and family-themed destinations also remain popular.
China Eastern Overtakes Southwest Airlines To Become Number One: China Eastern has overtaken Southwest Airlines to become the world’s biggest airline by number of seats as a result of grounded flights from COVID-19 – the first time a Chinese Airline has topped the table. In the last week of April, Northeast Asia saw a 6% increase in capacity from a week earlier, driven by China’s national holiday. Globally, 270 airlines added 3.9 million seats – not enough to counter the 303 airlines who reduced capacity by 5.6 million including over 1 million fewer seats from Southwest Airlines.
Weak Labour Day Spending Shows Tourism Hasn’t Recovered From COVID-19: During the five-days of last week’s May Day holiday, the number of domestic trips was down 41% to 115 million and shorter-haul travelling saw the amount of tourist spending plunge 60% to ¥47.6 billion ($6.7 billion), compared with the shorter holiday period in 2019.
Wuhan Named No. 1 Destination Chinese Travellers Want to Visit: The ‘hero city’ topped the travel wish list after ranking eighth prior to the outbreak. Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, became the second most desired province to visit after Beijing province. Internationally, Thailand was the destination Chinese travellers wanted to visit the most in 2020, followed by Russia and Japan. Former leader, the US, dropped out of the top-10. Around a third of interviewees said that they would travel again within three to six months after the crisis has passed, with travellers expecting to spend an average of ¥5,746 ($813) on travel in 2020, ¥734 ($103) more than last year.
China’s Auto Market Rebounds in April as Work Resumption Quickens: Chinese monthly auto sales rose for the first time in 21-months after the country opened up for business again. 2.07 million vehicles were sold in April, up 4.4% from a year earlier. This was helped by consumers seeking to avoid buses and trains, in addition to Chinese authorities introducing a number of measures to drive car sales. BMW has announced it will invest $620 million in a new factory in the northeast of China. Didi’s ride volume in China has reached 60% to 70% of pre-coronavirus levels, and is five times its February low, with the company saying its core ride-hailing business is profitable.