One of my new favorite China information sites is China Skinny It is a collection of stories related to marketing and lifestyle development in the Middle Kingdom. The variety of stories is very good and I almost always find more than a few things about which to read and learn.
This week China Skinny cited an article (you can find the link below) that the Chinese version of the popular US show “The Voice” is the #1 television show in China (ironically the article was from the Wall Street Journal on September 19 even though I read it every day (somehow missed this article). Apparently each week 70 million Chinese tune in to watch their now favorite show. The reason for the show’s success is much the same as it is in the United States – the fact that the judges must judge entirely on the sound of the contestant’s voice before they see what they look like. Chinese television audiences are very suspect of inauthentic programming. Still 70 million weekly viewers in the United States approaches Super Bowl numbers – on a weekly basis!
Another article on mobile phone hardware company Xiaomi shed new light on the plan for the sensational growth of this budget handset maker. Making a smartphone for $100US is no small accomplishment. Making one that people actually want to buy and use is another.
China Skinny has sections for a number of categories as depicted below:
Chinese Consumers Shift To Lifestyle Brands, Engage In Price Arbitrage; High-End Luxuries Most Affected, Says Credit Suisse: Tori Burch, Kate Spade and Michael Kors, as well as lifestyle-oriented brands like Vans, have stronger relevance for these younger Chinese consumers than brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dunhill. 30% premiums for foreign luxury goods are likely to drop to 10-15% before converging with global pricing according to Credit Suisse.
Unleashing the Chinese Consumer: With the rising Chinese consumer, the biggest winners exporting to China are likely to be food and agriculture, environmental equipment, financial services and other services, such as health care, education, tourism and transportation.
Amway Bankrolls Harvard Course For Chinese Cadres: China has been Amway’s top market for the past 9-years, accounting for 40% of global revenue. The company pays commission of up to 27% and has brought more than 500 Chinese leaders to Harvard on a fellowship programme, with leaders of three provinces amongst former fellows.
Internet, eCommerce, Mobile & Social Media
Xiaomi’s Budget Smartphone Redefines What You Get for Just $130…: ¥799 gets you a lot of phone in China these days, which will only help bring more mobile marketing opportunities to the masses. 100,000 sold in 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
HTC Edged Out by Xiaomi in China’s Smartphone Market: Poll: Samsung is the most popular mobile in China with 21.5% of China’s mobile market – 66% of consumers would like to buy one. The one to watch is Xiaomi, which has 7.1% market share, but 75.1% would like to own one.
China’s smartphone shipments to exceed 450 million in 2014: IDC: Smartphones sales in China are expected to grow 25% next year to 450 million, including an expected 120 million 4G devices.
Apple Kowtows to China’s censors; Removes Circumvention App: Apple knows it’s in the best interests of stakeholders to keep the Chinese Government happy and has removed an app from the Chinese app store that allows Apple users to circumnavigate the Great Firewall.
China’s Online Retail Turnover Rocketed 70% YOY To 880 Billion Yuan In 2013 H1: The number of online shoppers in China grew 29 million, or 12%, to 271 million in the first half of 2013.
Alibaba, Baidu, Haier ‘most admired’ companies in China: Chinese consumers love tech companies: Alibaba is the most admired local company in China, followed by Baidu. Haier comes in at number three. Just three years after it was founded, Xiaomi is the 11th most admired.
China Employs Two Million Microblog Monitors State Media Say: In addition to a slew of automated tools, the Chinese Government has more than two million employees, monitoring, analysing, reporting, deleting and black-listing public opinion online in China. That’s one for every 245 Chinese people online.
Food and Beverage
China Probes Juice Makers into Allegations of Processing Rotten Fruits: In another food scandal, Chinese juice makers are buying cheap rotten fruit to lower their costs.
Condé Nast Traveller Targets Chinese Consumers in London: Condé Nast is targeting the discerning Chinese traveller giving advice on how to spend their money while in London – be it fashion, beauty, jewellery and watches. This will be helped by the UK’s alignment with other European countries to make it easier for a single entry visa on the continent for Chinese travellers. Meanwhile, Chinese tourists in London spent an average of $12,800 each, breaking the record formerly held by the Middle Eastern countries.
Chinese Tourism Tastes Are Changing, and Here’s Why: A recent Tripadvisor survey found almost half of the top-20 international destinations for Chinese travellers were in SE Asia. Time-short, young, white-collar workers liked the proximity and were also inspired by films set in the region. 90% of China’s travellers over the past decade were under 45, with young increasingly opting for independent travel.
China’s Generation Winnebago Avoids Traffic in RVs: The number of RVs in China is forecast to grow from 9,000 in 2012 to 800,000 by 2022. Even Yao Ming has rented a Chinese-made one. The Government plans to increase the current 150 designated camping areas.
Chinese Clothing Market Attracting Global Brands: Chinese paid $24.4 billion on foreign apparel and textiles last year, 6.6% more than 2011. For smaller foreign brands, there are many lessons to learn, from marketing strategies and where to advertise, to opening hours and talent recruitment.
In China, Where TV is Often Scripted and Predictable, ‘The Voice’ has Become the Nation’s Most Popular Show: ‘The Voice’ is the most popular TV show in China, with 7 million viewers per episode on TV and 70 million online. A lot of the show’s popularity has been put down to winners chosen purely on their voices, not by their connections or good looks.
Chinese Property Investors are Looking Beyond New York and California to Cities Like Houston, Seattle and Boston, as the U.S. Rebounds: Chinese investors in the US are increasingly diversifying from the traditional cities to diversify their investments and get bigger lot sizes.
Ford Comes From Behind in China to Stun Japanese Rivals: Ford’s sales grew 50% in the first eight months of this year to 552K, and may soon overtake Toyota and Honda in the market. By 2015 Ford will have the capacity to produce more cars and trucks in Asia than it made last year in North America. Although Ford was a slow starter in China, Morgan Stanley values Ford’s Chinese operations at $15 billion, more than the global value of Mazda and Fiat. VW and GM continue to dominate in China, both expecting to sell more than 3 million vehicles this year.
New Warranty Law Threatens Small Chinese Car Builders: New “lemon law” gives Chinese consumers more protection when buying new cars with free fault repair or replacement of defective vehicles.
I read a great deal of curated content and curating content is its own art form which most of the time in my opinion is poorly done. The China Skinny does a great job of bucking that trend. If you are interested in learning what’s going on with Chinese consumers and the marketplace in general you’ll find it worth your while.