This week’s China market and marketing news:
Infographic: How China’s Elderly Behave Online: What China’s elderly are doing online, how this is changing, and how it compares to other internet users.
3rd CIIE to Inject Impetus Into Global Economy: Despite uncertainty around the global pandemic, the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) is still scheduled to open in early November this year, with preparations in full swing. The total planned exhibition area is 360,000 square meters, 60,000 more than last year. The average exhibition area for the world’s top 500 companies and industry leaders is expected to increase by 14% from last year. Four new zones for public health and epidemic prevention, energy conservation and environment protection, smart transportation, as well as sports goods and competitions will be set up at the event. Some signing ceremonies and roadshows have been moved online to facilitate participation due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
How to Earn Brand Loyalty From Chinese Gen Z: Dyson provides a unique QR code on each of its products, which customers scan to activate their warranty allowing personalised marketing, cross-selling and loyalty initiatives. Nike’s loyalty program gives members value beyond its core products, such as training programs, performance tracking, and online/offline events with professional trainers. Other benefits include early access to new products, birthday gifts, discounts, customized experiences, training and nutrition content, live streams from local professional coaches, fitness tracking, and personal workout consulting. The best loyalty programs in China offer a genuine sense of community, regular rewards and special offers.
Alibaba 2020 Taobao Maker Festival Explained In 5 Minutes: Video: Since 2016, the Taobao Maker Festival has showcased the latest and coolest trends in China, but this year the festival had to innovate as a result of Covid. China Skinny’s Sheryl Shen and Caroline Bridges went to the launch in Hangzhou, capturing the highlights on video and speaking to Alibaba CMO Chris Tung for his views on China trends. See the latest innovations from tiny vinyl to wacky beer flavours and labels.
Urged on by Central Bank, China Weighs Antitrust Probe into Alipay, WeChat Pay: China’s top antitrust agency is looking at whether to launch a probe into Alipay and WeChat Pay to investigate if the digital payment giants have used their dominant positions to quash competition. It’s not something you see often in China, where dominant players often have near-monopolies across numerous categories. China’s mobile banking market logged some ¥56.2 trillion ($8 trillion) worth of transactions in last three months of 2019, with Alipay’s share estimated to be 55% and WeChat Pay at 39%.
Huawei Overtakes Samsung to be No. 1 Smartphone Player in the World Thanks to China as Overseas Sales Drop: Despite geopolitical pressures challenging the brand, Huawei became the biggest smartphone player in the world in the second quarter, overtaking Samsung and Apple for the first time. Although Huawei’s sales dropped 5% year-on-year, it was a relatively strong result as global sales tanked. Samsung dropped 30%. Huawei was buoyed by its strong home market, with China accounting for 70% of its sales. Huawei’s growth was 8% in China, with 5G devices exceeding 60% of its shipments. Apple – the fifth most popular brand in China – also had a strong quarter in China growing 35%, helped by its more affordable iPhone SE, and promotions around instalment plans and trade-in offers.
Chinese Liquor Industry Sees Brisk Sales as More People Buy Online to Drink at Home: In the first five months of this year, the country imported 478 billion litres of liquor, a year-on-year fall of about 30%. At business dinners, big brands are preferred, but when drinking at home, people opt for wine that is a good value. With the rise in online sales, COFCO is broadening its online platforms selling wine from just JD and Tmall to Suning, Pinduoduo and NetEase. Livestreaming on JD and Douyin is also popular with drinkers accepting of tasting classes with a wine master on a screen. According to Hema, sales of liquor priced at ¥200 ($29) to ¥400 ($57) a bottle have risen significantly since the outbreak started, in contrast to an overall market decline.
Legal Action Begins as Kiwifruit Plantings in China Soar: Illegal plantings of New Zealand’s high valued gold kiwifruit variety, Sun Gold, have almost doubled from 2,500 hectares to 4,000 in the past six months in China – over half of the total 7,500 hectares of Sun Gold planted in NZ. Eradicating the plantings is not possible but Zespri is about to start legal action against a nursery in China, using the PVR (Plant Variety Right) law to slow plantings down.
Wiped Out: The Young Chinese Men Trying to Quit Masturbation: TCM theory is providing another driver for Chinese males to end their masturbation. On the 6-million strong abstinence forum on Baidu, a well-known user claims masturbation-linked kidney depletion leads not just to physical maladies, but also to mental and psychological problems such as sluggishness, insomnia, introversion, negativity, cowardice, and social phobias. Then there’s the quasi-spiritual component grounded in Buddhism and centred on resisting masturbation, seen as the embodiment of lust.
As Cosmetics Sales Continue to Grow, China Revamps its 30-Year Old Regulations: China’s new cosmetics regulations take effect from 1 January 2021. The changes include shortened time to market for new ingredients, bringing opportunities for innovative cosmetic market players. The increased responsibilities of cosmetic license holders and severe consequences for non-compliance will likely force cosmetic companies to improve their quality management systems and perform their obligations more diligently through the product lifecycle.
Essential Protection: Anti-Pollution Cosmetics a ‘Must-Have’ for Chinese Consumers in All Segments: Anti-pollution products are becoming a must-have for Chinese consumers, with demand extending beyond skin-care into other personal care categories such as hair care. Even though pollution levels are improving, consumer awareness is increasing and they are linking pollution, outdoor and indoor, to their skin issues like skin sensitivity.
In 2020, China’s Top Study Abroad Destination Is: China: Popular foreign universities are dealing with travel bans and unwillingness to travel by providing local alternatives. NYU plans to host 3,100 students in temporary WeWork accomodation in Shanghai, although students are still paying between $50,000 and $100,000 a year in tuition fees. Duke will teach students at its Chinese partner university Duke Kunshan University and simultaneously online, Cornwell through elite domestic schools such as Peking and Tsinghua. Rutgers University, Syracuse University, Trinity College, Tulane University, University of Pittsburgh, and several other US colleges have also announced similar agreements with Chinese partners.
Luxury Brands Get Hyperactive on Chinese Social Media: Fashion labels that depend on China’s overseas tourists for a huge chunk of sales must now follow them home. In the three months through June, average engagement on luxury Weibo account posts, a proxy for brands’ social media spending in China, increased 230% compared with the same period of 2019. This year, China’s luxury shoppers are expected to make 50% of all global luxury purchases, but they will mostly shop at home. Gucci and Bottega Veneta owner Kering saw China sales increase 40% in the second quarter compared with the same period of 2019. LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) was up 65% [paywall].
Burberry Teams With Tencent to Launch World-First Social-Retail Store: The next advancement in experiential retailing? Burberry’s brand new 10-room Shenzhen store boasts interactive wall features, scannable clothing, gamification, social currency, avatars – and a cafe of course.