This week’s China market and marketing news:
How Weather Impacts China Marketers’ Decisions: China has the largest climate variance of any country in the world, which means the success of marketing initiatives can vary wildly across the country. Here are some things to consider.
China to Forge Ahead with Weather Modification service: China expects to have developed a weather modification system by 2025 bring artificial rainfall (and snowfall) to 5.5 million square kilometres and hail suppression to 580,000 square kilometres.
Beijing is China’s Only Shining Northern City as Centre of Economic Gravity Moves South: Beijing is the only city in the northern half of China to be included in China’s top 10 cities in terms of economic size, with Tianjin dropping off the list for the first time this year. As China pivots towards “coordinated regional development” for 2021-25, private investors, banks and workforce talent are concentrating in the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta in the south. That is increasing China’s north-south divide and adding to an already complex regional imbalance between eastern coastal provinces and landlocked western regions.
Chinese Consumers Still Love Australian Products Despite Dispute: A CLSA survey found, compared to a year ago, Chinese people are neither more positive nor more negative towards Australian products despite the political tensions. 40% are now more negative towards products from the US. Quality, value and natural attributes of Australian wine, beef, dairy and health food products make up between 55 and 65% of the reason why Chinese consumers choose them. Just 7% of respondents said studying in Australia would be less appealing over the next year – far lower than the 49% who thought the same in the US. Residents of smaller cities and those under 40 were more positive about Australia. Up to 10% of Chinese respondents had a close relative living in Australia – higher proportionately than any other country – suggesting that direct appeals to the Chinese diaspora may become a useful diplomatic back channel as ministerial contact is shutdown.
China’s 10 Richest People in 2020: Short profiles of China’s 10 richest, mostly self-made billionaires who came of age when the country was poor. China now has 878 US dollar billionaires — it had none back in 2003.
Prices for Everyday Goods in China Post First Drop In Five Years:
Average selling prices for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) like home care, packaged foods and makeup, dropped by an average 2.1% between January and September, reversing part of the 3.4% increase in 2019, according to the report. Online sales accounted for 26.7%, up from 21.9% in 2019. [paywall]
China-Australia Relations: Provisional Duties on Wine Imports Could be Extended for up to Nine Months: China’s Ministry of Commerce says 107.1 – 212.1% duties imposed on Australian wine should last no more than four months but could be extended to nine months.
The Trends to Watch in China in 2021: Chinese consumers have turned towards more conventional foods as a basis for home cooking, but prefer semi-finished products that can be combined with fresh ingredients allowing speed and convenience. Protein has been a buzz word in media and advertising – with categories like yoghurt capitalising on it. Many categories, such as Yoghurt are broadening their flavour ranges such as Sepia ink and black sesame-flavoured.
Organic Scepticism in China: Consumers Wary and Few International Brands Seeking Certification: Only 220 foreign brands have been certified as organic in China, versus almost 14,000 local products, with traceability concerns and consumer scepticism over certification systems seemingly blighting what should be a booming category. Organic certifications can be illegally purchased for as low as ¥6,000 ($850) in some provinces. 89% of first tier consumers are aware of organic labelling, and 83% are aware of the concept of sustainable food production. China’s organic market is the 4th largest in the world, estimated to be worth $9.6 billion, driven by baby food.
Hot Tibetan Herdsman and Xinjiang Horseback Riding Beauty are Leading a Regional Tourism Push: Chinese provinces are trying to cash in on attractive online influencers as a new way to boost local tourism. They hope to replicate the experience of Zhaxi Dingzhen, a 20-year-old Tibetan herdsman from Sichuan who became an internet sensation over a viral video showcasing what fans described as his “pure smile” and rugged appearance.
Museums Become Latest Institutions to Embrace Livestreaming to Woo Chinese Consumers: Fliggy arranged partnerships with the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre in France, the British Museum and the Museo del Prado in Madrid to help Chinese travellers go on virtual holidays. The British Museum attracted more than 370,000 Chinese visitors within the first minute of livestreaming and saw exposure spread across its Chinese social media accounts in subsequent hours and days.
Chanel in Hot Water in China Over False Beauty Claims: Chanel has been fined for inaccurate advertising of its Chanel Luxury Essence Cream and Chanel Shining Good Night Repairing Mask. The ingredients and predicted results of the two products were deemed to be inaccurate and misleading, with listed ingredients such as anti-freckle agents not found and Chanel unable to prove actions such as, “inhibiting melanin” and “fading spots.”
Nordic Cosmetics Top-Selling Foreign CBD Brand in China: Nordic Cosmetics has achieved the distinction of being the top-selling foreign CBD (Cannabidiol) brand in China, and fifth top-selling overall. While CBD is much newer in China than other countries, it’s gaining interest due to its ingredients and efficacy.
How Much of Australia Does China Own?: China was Australia’s ninth-largest foreign investor at the end of 2019 with a total of A$78.2 billion ($58.1b), accounting for 2% of the total – however a large amount of Chinese investment comes via Hong Kong, which comes in fifth place with A$141 billion ($104.8b), or 3.7% of the total. New Chinese commercial investment in Australia nearly halved in 2019 to just A$2.5 billion ($1.9b), having fallen for three consecutive years since peaking at $15.8 billion ($11.8b) in 2016. Chinese investment in residential and commercial real estate fell more than 50% in 2018-19 to A$6.1 billion ($4.5b) – down from a record A$24 billion ($17.8b) three years prior.