This week’s news and trends in China:
Introducing the China Skinny Beauty Tracker: Clean, up-to-date ecommerce data overlaid with consumer insights to direct actionable strategies in the beauty category including lipstick, foundation, primer, eye makeup, glosses, liners, polishes and more.
No More Animal Testing Requirements for Imported General Cosmetics in China: Foreign beauty products that don’t test on animals can now be imported into China and sold in general trade if it meets these requirements.
Clean Beauty in China: Can influencer Grace Chow Help Drive Awareness of Category With New Brand?: Consumer awareness of clean beauty in China still lags behind the US and Europe which requires promotion and education, according to Chinese influencer Grace Chow, who represents a growing class of influencers who are launching their own brands. “The pandemic has really changed the carefree mentality shared by most young people and has confronted them with the fragility of life. Demands for healthier lifestyle and better products are steadily rising,” according to Chow. The industry has seen more requests for bold and edgy colours, heavy metallic and shimmering texture as well as creative applications of traditional products.
Immunity-Boosting Products Gain in Popularity: Young people are buying high-quality healthcare, cosmetic goods such as liver-rejuvenating tablets, multivitamins, grape seeds, collagen, lutein and lycopene tablets to avoid work fatigue and keep Covid blues at bay. Sales of healthcare products are expected to hit ¥330 billion ($50.8 billion) this year. China’s 188 million Consumers born after 1990 have become China’s main consumption driver over the past three years – 21.9% use healthcare products over long periods, half use such products occasionally and just 3.9% haven’t taken them. Among the most popular healthcare products for them are donkey-hide gelatine, or ejiao, red dates and honey.
China Has 1,058 Billionaires, Outpacing the US: Hurun Report: At the beginning of 2021, China had 1,058 billionaires, the first country to break a thousand. Its annual increase of 259 billionaires accounted for more than half of the world’s 412 new billionaires. Zhong Shanshan, founder of Nongfu Spring, became the first Chinese entrepreneur to break into the top 10 of the world’s wealthiest people at $85 billion, followed by Tencent’s Pony Ma, Huang Zheng of Pinduoduo, Jack Ma and ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming. China has warned against ‘entertaining’ investors with fund pitches, a message targeting the country’s 146 mutual funds that have embraced livestreaming and short videos to woo investors online.
Shanghai Unveils Ambitious Plan for New Global Trade Hub Covering 7,000 Square Kilometres: The Hongqiao International Open Hub is earmarked to be completed in 2035 and will become the crossroad for global flows of freight, business, people and capital, according to the blueprint, which has been approved by China’s cabinet.
China’s Anal Tests for Coronavirus Upset Visitors: Foreign visitors have been upset by China’s anal swab tests for Covid-19, prompting complaints of inconvenience and even psychological trauma, and stoking debate over their necessity. A few cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao require the checks, in addition to nasal or throat swab tests, for some international arrivals.
How Chinese Shop Online – Gamification: 2.5 min video: How Chinese consumers are spending hours on China’s most popular ecommerce app discovering, playing and purchasing.
Freshippo Expands ‘Ultra-Fresh’ Food Range: Hema will introduce more products under its “Daily Fresh” line. Launched in 2017, the program brings consumers produce and meat that are given a shelf life of a single day to ensure freshness. The Daily Fresh range currently features over 400 types of products, packaged in small sizes that are just enough for one meal. Freshippo said it will expand its ultra-fresh push to cover all categories from select stores in Shanghai, including seafood, dairy and baked goods.
Hard Cell? Research Reveals the Consumer Hurdles for Cell-Based Meat Adoption in China: 49.7% of Chinese surveyed are willing to try cell-based meat, with food crisis, avoiding zoonosis and curiosity the top reasons. 10% were willing to pay the same price as conventional meat, with just 3% prepared to pay more. Men and older participants were more likely to try it. Concerns regarding safety and unnaturalness were the main reasons for the 47.2% who did not want to try it. In other categories not ingested, uptake is much higher such as the 80% Chinese fashion buyers would purchase leather grown from cells in a factory.
Bunge Loders Croklaan Launches Premium Lipid Ingredient for Infant Milk Formulas: Breast milk from Western women was found to contain higher levels of a fat-like substance (lipid) named OPO compared to another lipid named OPL. Contrarily, breast milk samples from Chinese women were found to contain a higher ratio of OPL to OPO. Bunge Loders Croklaan has launched a lipid ingredient that is claimed to make infant milk formula more suitable for Chinese babies. 41% of Chinese consumers say their choice of products for their children is always influenced by how well the product is tailored to the needs and personality of their child. 55% claim to always be influenced by a products health credentials when purchasing for their child.
Chinese Consumers Optimistic on Post-Covid Travel: Beaches, scenic tourist cities and natural and cultural world heritage sites are the top three post-pandemic destinations for Chinese consumers according to a study by Griffith Business School. Safety remains important, with attractions offering more space for social distancing ranked higher than crowded destinations like theme parks. Australia-China relations had no major effect on tourism according to the study.
Social Media May Be the Best Way for Luxury Hotels to Tap in to China’s Enormous Consumer Market: In China, material success has become an essential indicator of achievement. More than half of luxury purchases are influenced by others’ experiences reported on social media. Close-up photos or videos give consumers the sense that they are completely immersed in what they see, whereas wide-angle photos shot from a distance offer a more detached view. The most effective kind of luxury tourism today, suggest the researchers, is “aesthetic”, “escapist” and “immersive”.
Chinese Students Weigh Overseas Options as Covid-19 and US Visa Limits Take Toll: Report: The growth in the number of Chinese students studying in the US plunged to less than 1% last year, and some parents were opting for international schools in China rather than sending their children overseas according to a report by the Centre for China and Globalisation. $15 billion in tuition fees could be lost by US universities as a result of Covid. Chinese students were also returning to China more after completing their studies overseas: 580,003 in 2019, up 12% from a year earlier.
Winter Sports Development Sets Hot Pace: Ice and snow sports in China are expected to attract 230 million visits by participants in the 2020-21 winter season, with revenue projected to top ¥390 billion ($60.27 billion). Investment in the sector exceeded ¥900 billion ($139 billion) over the past three years. A total of 770 ski resorts were in operation nationwide in 2019, a rise of more than 67% compared with 2014. The number of skiers reached 13.05 million in 2019, up from 8.05 million five years previously, while the number of skier visits rose by 103% over the same period, to 20.9 million in 2019. The number of Chinese tourists staying in mountain destinations in the winter in countries including Switzerland and Austria, have grown by over 500% over the past decade.