This week’s news and trends in China:
Champagne Journey: Roadmap for Protection of Foreign GIs in China: The journey of the “香槟(Champagne)” GI has outlined a roadmap for the protection of foreign GIs in China. Champagne is registered as both a GI product and a GI collective trademark.
Booming Trade, Frozen Investments: The Curious Case of India China Trade Relations: 2021 – a year where India-China relations were in a deep freeze over the LAC crisis – also happened to be a record year for trade between the two countries, crossing $100 billion for the first time to hit $125 billion. India’s imports accounted for a whopping $97.5 billion. China’s trade data for the first quarter of this year, shows 2022 may be another record year.
JD.com: Eight Consumption Trends of Staple Foods in China: JD Super’s data identified eight consumption trends for staples: 1. Low fat, low sugar and staples of grain variety increased significantly; 2. Organic food sales rose 78% in 2021; 3. Agricultural food with geographic indication (GI) are favoured; 4. New instant food categories are becoming trendy; 5. New types of cooking oil are gaining traction; 6. Guangdong, Jiangsu and Liaoning consumed the most cooking oil; 7. Third tier cities showed strong demand momentum for staples and condiments; and 8. Spending on staples accounts for 22% of urban consumers’ overall yearly expenditures.
Spillover Effects of Food Recalls: A Milk Recall Scenario Experiment in China: Food safety scares have significant negative impacts on consumers’ purchase intention on the recalled brand and purchase channel, and the impacts are more significant for online than offline marketing. However, voluntary recalls by online firms help mitigate these negative effects and restore consumers’ purchase intention more than offline voluntary recalls.
Unusual Drop in China’s Soy Demand Could Precede Pork Contraction: China will import 91 million tonnes of US soybeans in 2021-22 versus nearly 100 million in the previous year. Generally, lower soybean imports suggest lighter hog production and a potential increase in meat imports, but import reductions in both raw supplies and finished products may not be simultaneously sustainable without a larger-scale demand shift. One prominent shift is Chinese consumers’ rising taste for beef, although pork remains China’s protein of choice, set to account for 69% of meat consumption this year versus 13% for beef.
China’s Middle Class Increasingly Choosing Seafood as Pork Consumption Declines: Average Chinese pork consumption grew from 11.7kg in 1981 to peak in 2014 at 42kg. It is now under 40 kg. Much of this gap is being filled by an increase in seafood, beef and chicken, driven by higher incomes, health concerns and an aging population. China consumed 10 million tons of beef in 2021, of which nearly a third was imported. The country’s beef imports last year rose 10% percent from 2020 and are up tenfold over 2016 levels. China’s seafood production was up 2.2% last year, along with imports increasing 0.7% and exports decreasing 5.6%, indicating an increase in consumption at home.
Thousands of Kuaishou Creators are Betting on the Company’s VR Future: In 2021, short-video app Kuaishou launched its panorama feature, enabling content creators to upload VR panorama videos that can be streamed on mobile devices. Within a year, Kuaishou has added support for 4K resolution and accumulated over 6,000 VR panorama content creators, with over 50,000 VR shorts uploaded, and more than 100 million views per week. A variety of content has popped up, including jump-scare horror videos, virtual tours of popular locales around the world, workout instructions, and much more.
L’Oreal Sales Jump as Shoppers Buy Perfume, Pricey Skin Creams: L’Oreal in China had double-digit growth during the first quarter, outperforming the market in the country thanks to marketing campaigns for Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Women’s Day.
Analysis: Wealth Shock – Property Bust in Small Chinese Cities Rattles Households: New home prices in lower-tier cities have been down for seven months, with stocks swelling due to lower demand. The negative wealth effect of depreciating home prices has rippled through to consumer confidence, curbing the desire to spend even on basic goods such as clothing in these smaller cities. House prices in higher tier cities have held stronger.
Xiaohongshu Partners with Designers to Launch Digital Clothes for its Online Fashion Week: Xiaohongshu’s (Little Red Book) fashion ‘week’, running from April 15 to April 30, comprises a variety of events, including online launches of new designs by brands, users sharing their outfits and NFT apparel releases with fashion designer. With the ability to combine games and fashion, NFT’s have won the hearts of the younger generation and opened up new opportunities for the fashion industry. Not only is Xiaohongshu testing the waters, but luxury fashion brands with deep pockets such as Gucci, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton are doing so too.
Chinese Rock Star’s First Online Concert Sets Record: 61-year-old rock legend Cui Jian held his first online concert, a four-hour show topping nearly 45 million views with the website constantly crashing due to the large number of users trying to connect at the same time. It set a record for the highest number of viewers in the country.
Alibaba Moves to Promote Sustainability in China: Two thirds of respondents in a Chinese survey found it hard to tell if a product is “truly low-carbon.” Alibaba is piloting a carbon labelling feature on Tmall, which allows consumers to identify eco-friendly products on the platform, but also informs them of the carbon emissions they could save by purchasing certain products. In China, 72% of consumers said they try to buy from environmentally responsible companies versus 54% globally, according to PWC.
China Meets Eight Environmental Targets: China has seen continuous improvement in air quality, with cities at the prefecture-level and above experiencing fairly good air quality 87.5% of the time last year, beating the annual target by 2.3 percentage points. Nevertheless, coal-fired power is being promoted in China.
Audi Designed a Private Cocoon Concept Car for China’s Megacities: Last week Audi unveiled a concept car designed for customers in China’s megacities: a vehicle that aims to show how passengers of the future can escape the stresses of the city by withdrawing into their own private cocoon. The car of the future will serve several functions, allowing drivers to work, relax or socialize. Audi tasked designers with creating a multipurpose interior that can transform from an office to a cinema to a lounge with the press of a button.