The Marketing, Online & Research Agency for China

2014 Marketing in China: The Year That Was

China 2014

A lot can happen in a year in China, and 2014 is a testament to that.  It was the year China's face-kinis went global, girls with armpit hair went viral and Yao Ming's campaign to save sharks helped fin soup sales dive 82% since 2012.  Over the past 12-months, China surpassed Japan to become the world's second largest advertising market, with spending on online ads usurping television ads for the first time.  

'Authentic Christmas' in China – another shopping holiday

Christmas, the biggest celebration in the Western hemisphere, has spread its wings to China. Hotels and shopping malls compete in ostentatious decoration, from exuberant Christmas trees to unique Chinese-style garlands. Fairy lights added to the usual spectacle on China's skyscrapers are mingling to a sparkling scene. Although it brings a warm and festive atmosphere, the commercial undertones are omnipresent. Many brands take the chance and integrate their products into the cheer. German glass specialist Schott, for example, has turned the entrance of central Shanghai's Joinbuy Century Plaza into an enormous festive platform promoting their crystal wine glasses.

Wooing Chinese Tourists: Thinking Beyond Slippers and Kettles

Chinese Tourist Selfies

Last week in Beijing, free Wifi was rolled out across 12,000 of the city's buses.  It's great news for the millions of Internet-obsessed commuters in the capital, but also relevant for tourism operators in the West. 

Australia and China's FTA: The Long Game

China's First Lady Peng Liyuan in Australia

The long awaited China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChaFTA) was recently signed. The China FTA joins Australia’s other recently signed FTAs with South Korea and Japan. Together, the three countries covered by these agreements account for more than 61% of Australia’s exports of goods and services. The clock is ticking to take full advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by the new agreement.

There has been a lot of media celebration about the FTA but it is important to understand what the FTA means for you. Although there is still plenty of work to be done before the FTA is finalised, here are some indicative signals of the benefits to specific Australian industries:

Sprouts and More – China’s Food Unsafety

Fruits, milk formula, rice, chicken nuggets, rat meat, abalone and goose feet have a fateful common feature: They have all been featured in the Chinese headlines for food scandals. Now bean sprouts from a Beijing production site are on the top of the list due to the latest discovery of the bean sprouts containing banned additives. Food safety is a major concern in China where products with forbidden add-ins are regularly discovered. While in 2008 only 12% of Chinese claimed food safety to be a problem, this amount grew almost seven-fold to 80% in 2014 according to Horizon Research.

China's Fast Changing Food God

Chinese Food God

Mín yǐ shí wéi tiān, the famous Chinese proverb meaning “Food is the God of the people,” has been used for generations.  The definition of that God is changing rapidly for many Chinese.

Like in many industries, Chinese consumers' inherent curiosity to try new things, coupled with rising affluence and increasing awareness of what's out there from the Internet, travel and studying abroad has driven consumer demand beyond the staples.  Add some pioneering importers and hospitality aficionados to the mix, and the options for dinner just keep getting better and more diverse.

China's Latest Attempt for Better Air

Smokers in China
About one in 3 cigarettes worldwide are smoked in China. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in China, almost one third of the adult population smokes, with 53% of all men. The number of Chinese smoking grew by 100 million between 1980 and 2012. Whilst health may be the number one concern for the Chinese consumers, there remains a large portion of the population who choose to smoke.

Big Data for a Big China

Big Data in China

Big data is a buzzword that gets bandied around a lot these days, and with good reason.  When companies like Google, and more recently Baidu, can uncover flu outbreaks from spikes in web searches long before health agencies become aware, you know you're onto something good.

Applications for big data are starting to be used everywhere, but nowhere is it more relevant and powerful than in China.  China's sheer scale and diversity makes it the perfect environment to utilise the power of lots of data.  Although just 47% of China's population are online, they are mainly the urban, educated and wealthy classes who are likely to buy imported and premium goods and services, making the data particularly relevant. 

Theme Park-Boom in China: New Shanghai Disney Resort Nine Times Larger than Vatican

Shanghai Disneyland and Themepark Boom

2015 is the big year when Disney’s sixth resort destination is expected to open in Shanghai. Answering the demand of the growing affluent Chinese middle class for leisure and entertainment offers, Disney invested $ 5.5 billion in its new theme park. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, growth in China’s entertainment market will more than double between 2013 and 2015 to $148 billion. This reflects the expectations of China’s theme park visitations rising to 221 million by 2020, matching the current size in the US.

China: At Least Two More Decades Of Grim Pollution

Peng Liyuan Taking a Lead on Pollution

The China-U.S. Climate agreement signed at Apec last week is a positive step for the world, and China in particular. The unfortunate reality is that even if the commitments are delivered, China's pollution will continue to worsen until 2030. Beijing's toxic environment - earlier this year labelled 'almost uninhabitable for human beings', will continue to edge towards the unliveable, along with many other parts of the country. 


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