The Marketing, Online & Research Agency for China

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. 

Singles' Day International: Buzz around the World

Global Sales on Singles' Day: AliExpress International

This year’s 11.11, not only Chinese profited from the discounts. Alibaba’s international shopping platform AliExpress offered free shipping to overseas which consumers abroad made use of in large scale, processing more than 6.8 million paid orders. Surprisingly, Israel was among the Top3 buyers, whereas the USA only ranked No. 6.

China's Singles' Day Breaks More Records

China's Singles' Day breaking world records

Fancy buying a Xiaomi smartphone online in China? If you'd done it yesterday, you would have joined more than a million others who collectively spent  ¥1 billion ($163 million) buying Xiaomi gadgets by noon. That was Singles' Day - the largest online shopping festival on the planet, by far.

Goods were discounted by 50% at many of the 27,000 participating Tmall stores, drawing in the bargain hunters en masse.  By 1:20pm, 2013's record ¥36.2 billion ($5.8 billion) sales figure was broken.  At the strike of midnight 11 November, a total of ¥57.1 billion ($9.3 billion) worth of merchandise had been sold over the day, 58% more than 2013.

Photos: The Singles' Day Stampede at the Alibaba Campus

Singles's Day photos

On the strike of midnight on 11 November 2014 it all changed.  The calm became a frenzied storm of clicks and taps from all over China, with consumers from the mega cities to the rural villages forgoing sleep to get the first and best deals for the Singles' Day online shopping festival.

Early on on Singles' Day, almost half of online shoppers were on their mobiles, trying to get the pre-researched deals lined up swiftly.  But as the day went on, shoppers slowly moved to PCs, as they were sitting at the desks at work, and to enable easier exploration for the best offers on Tmall.

It took just 2 minutes for Chinese consumers to clock up one billion RMB of sales online, and under 18 minutes for a billion dollars.

Photos: Pre-Alibaba's 2014 Singles' Day Bonanza

Alibaba Singles' Day Doube 11

The Singles' Day Bonanza eclipsed last year's record-breaking ¥36.2 billion in sales by 1:23pm, by which time more than 160 million goods had been sold - over 40% on mobile, compared to last year's 21% and 5% in 2012. To quote Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai, nothing represents "the unleashing of consumption power of China like Singles' Day".

Singles' Day's posters have a similar look and feel to previous years, but the scale of sales is almost unrecognisable, with an average of 640% a year growth since the first Singles' Day just six years ago.

Alibaba Singles' Day Posters

Chinese Brands Rising in China and Abroad

Chinese brands in America

Back in 2011, most of the cool kids in China were sporting foreign-branded Apple, Samsung and Nokia phones, with the three brands accounting for 57% of all smartphone sales. By June this year, eight of the top-10 selling brands were Chinese. Local darling Xiaomi, which released its first smartphone just three years ago, now outsells every other brand - foreign and local - in the Mainland.

Making Sense of China's Economic Indicators

Chinese numbers

Batten down the hatches! China's GDP growth is expected to slow to 7.2% this quarter year-on-year from 7.5%. While those growth rates would have most countries salivating, it is not quite the blistering expansion that China has enjoyed since last millennium.  Couple that with luxury sales, which are expected to decline 1% in the Mainland this year, and house prices dropping 1.3% in September - the sector's first yearly fall, and things don't sound overly positive.

For some categories, the golden run may be over.  Yet, if we scratch the surface, most products and services targeting consumers have plenty of reasons to be upbeat about China. 

China's Ecommerce Global Expansion

Costco in China on Tmall

Few segments represent the dizzying rise of China and its unique characteristics like eCommerce. In addition to breathtaking growth rates, online shopping is fundamentally altering consumer behaviour across both online and offline channels, from product research to purchasing.

Last week's announcement that America's second largest retailer, Costco, is launching in China just on Tmall further emphasises this. Whereas Costco is predominantly a physical big-box retailer in its traditional markets, it realises that China needs a different approach. The high cost of real estate, low car ownership, HR challenges and the popularity of online shopping in China has seen many large-format Western retailers from Home Depot to Media Markt fail.

Are Chinese Consumers Paying Lip Service to the Environment?

Chinese consumers influence pollution

WeChat's global ambassador, Lionel Messi, was in Beijing last week for the all star football clash between Argentina and Brazil. What should have been a celebration of the beautiful game, turned out to be a demonstration of China's abominable pollution. 

As PM2.5 levels soared as high as 499 on Thursday - 20 times the WHO recommended safe levels - during practice Messi frequently covered his nose and mouth, had to stop for plenty of rests and ended up leaving early.  Brazil's team left the sanctuary of their hotel for just 2-hours to train over a 24-hour period.   The toxic air also filled the lungs of some of the world's top riders in town for Tour of Beijing, and pop diva Mariah Carey at her outdoor concert at Worker's Stadium.


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