This week’s news and trends in China:
Brands Must Rethink Their Approach to Chinese Festivals: Luxury brands on Tmall introduced more than 500 styles of limited edition products for Qixi. In the week prior to Qixi on JD, sales of cosmetic products surged 600% over 2020. Yet many are saying that the over-commercialisation of festivals is causing shopper fatigue with less consumer buzz with this year’s Qixi. Many brands are simply doing routine work for festivals, losing focus on what Chinese consumers care about in the real world, and failing to stand out as a result.
The Biggest Losers From China’s Aging Crisis? Millennials: Under the one-child policy, Chinese millennials were “little emperors” pampered by an entourage of older relatives. Now, their former caregivers have reached old age — and the one-child generation is struggling to cope. In Shanghai, local authorities have vowed to provide 175,000 extra nursing home beds by 2022. Yet the city is already home to a staggering 5.8 million senior citizens, and supply remains woefully short of demand.
China’s New Gen Z Jobs Reflect Changing Views on Life and Society, from Pet Morticians to Ancient Chinese Stylists: Pet dietitians, wardrobe organisers and esports players are appealing new jobs that China’s youngest adults are embracing. A growing reluctance to have children, coupled with a rapidly ageing society, is making pets more popular among young and old people alike, and the related job sector is growing fast.
China Passes New Personal Data Privacy Law, to Take Effect Nov. 1: After many years of tech giants taking advantage of liberal rules around data collection and usage, China has passed one of world’s strictest data privacy laws. It lays out conditions for which companies can collect personal data, and algorithms for “personalized decision making” such as recommendations must first obtain user consent.
China Now Wants to Tell Influencers How to Speak and Dress When Livestreaming: China’s Ministry of Commerce has outlined proposals for an “industry standard” for livestreamers who market products on online shopping platforms. The rules include details about how hosts on such shows should dress or speak in front of the camera, as well as guidelines for how platforms should allow consumers to provide reviews for hosts or the products that they market.
Differing Ingredients for Unilever Ice Cream in China and Europe Generate Controversy: According to the ingredients list of a China-made Magnum ice cream bar, water and vegetable oil are listed ahead of milk powder. However, milk remains the major ingredient of Magnum ice cream in Europe. The proportion of vegetable oil, or coconut oil in China-made Magnum ice cream, is also higher than its European counterpart.
The Five Major Trends Motivating the Ecommerce Snack Customer in China: Online snack sales grew 91% last year, with customers coming from all scenarios and regions. Their tastes differ greatly, ranging from everyday treats to the most eclectic like mango-flavoured chocolate and sauerkraut-flavoured potato chips. In 2020, puffed snacks, chocolates and biscuits were the three most popular categories in the early months of the pandemic, while wafers, bulk food and chocolates experienced the fastest growth.
Dole and Hema Fresh Organized Sweetio Super Sweet Banana Activity for Chinese Valentine’s Day: Many key opinion leaders (KOLs) weighed in on the new look of the Dole Sweetio banana brand during the promotional activity in Shanghai. The Hema Fresh store in Shanghai’s Baodi Plaza was fully kitted out with happy Sweetio super sweet banana images for Qixi.
How to Name a Lipstick for the China Market: The choice of name for a lipstick can have a powerful impact. In China, it pays to think like the Chinese. With the rise of idol culture and Chinese dramas, foreign brands have started marketing products as “same-colours” associated with specific celebs. Globally, female consumers often buy products named with reference to food or hints of sexuality, but in China, laws prohibit “the use of vulgar language or vocabulary unintelligible to consumers”. Nars Cosmetics lists its Orgasm Blush as Pleasure Pink on Tmall.
Driving Licence Deal Makes it Easier for Chinese to Take to the Roads in France: Mutual recognition of Chinese and French driving licences have come into effect. One French politician backing the plan noted ‘if you can drive in China, you can cope with the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe’. China has been pushing for similar moves around the world to help the large numbers of its citizens living overseas, however once travel opens up again, it will support rising self driving holidays as a way to reduce the risks of virus contraction.
China’s Youth React to Gaming Curbs with Anguish and Cunning: China’s gaming youth are the latest targets of Beijing’s tighter tech regulation, but many are finding loopholes in the broader curbs, such as spreading time across different games or borrowing a parent’s account or smartphone.
China Considers Legal Changes to Curb Noise Pollution from the Country’s Notorious Dancing Grannies: Of all the regulations being introduced at present, this is the most heartbreaking. Dancing grannies could be fined ¥200 to ¥500 ($30 to $77) under the new rules.
US-Bound Chinese Students Face Costly Tickets and Crowded Airports: In 2020, 372,532 Chinese students enrolled at universities across the US. As America relaxes travel restrictions and universities start in-person classes, Chinese students are paying big bucks for air tickets and facing long lines at check-in counters pose as the last hurdle before they finally take off to study abroad.
Chinese Consumers Embrace Low-Carbon Products Amid Green Drive: When buying furniture or appliances, Chinese consumers are increasingly thinking more about the eco-friendly goods as they are free from harmful chemicals or emissions.