The Rise of Non-Traditional Sports in ChinaMay 15, 2013 by Mark
Ask a random westerner about sport in China, and they may rattle off Olympic swimming women, ping pong stars, badminton legends and a basketballer. Considering its population, China isn't well known for its sporting prowess. Nevertheless, like most segments in China, sport is big business and is on the rise. The NBA website, for example, has had 4.5 billion page views from China this season and 3.2 billion games streamed online, up 169% from last season. NBA has more than 100 employees servicing the mainland and a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, in a market worth tens of billions in advertising, sponsorship and merchandise. Nike's China fortunes alone are picked to increase $4 billion if LeBron James' Heat wins the playoffs.
Golf In China: Where The Money Will BeMay 9, 2013 by Mark
Outside of China’s once-every-four-year Olympic gold medalists, China is starved of global sports stars. When one of their own does make it, the patriotic Chinese are quick to elevate them to Messiah status, with the riches inevitably following. Much of the NBA’s runaway success in China can be attributed to Yao Ming’s presence in the league, which helped him become one of China’s youngest yuan billionaires. When Li Na won her first Grand Slam title at the 2011 French Open, almost overnight, sponsorship deals saw her become the 2nd highest paid sportswoman in the world and tennis’ popularity soared in China.
China's Rise & Rise of Imported FoodMay 6, 2013 by Mark
You probably heard the news late last week about China's fake beef and lamb made from rat and fox. Couple that with the H7N9 chicken drumsticks, decaying pigs in rivers, hauls of putrid, dead fish flavoured with ginger infused with highly toxic pestacide - and that's just in the past month. It doesn't exactly leave you salivating.
Alibaba & Weibo - Expect Good ThingsMay 1, 2013 by Mark
China's top eCommerce company, Alibaba, bought an 18% share of Sina Weibo this week. It's the biggest thing to happen for China's Internet this year and is likely to have implications for any business selling to Chinese consumers. Weibo is one of the hot marketing channels in China right now, although it has lost some of its mojo lately. With WeChat closing in, the Alibaba deal may just give it the shot in the arm it needs.
China's Government Influence over ConsumersApril 24, 2013 by Mark
Apple is again in the dog box in China, this time for having 'obscene' content in it's App Store. It was just last month Apple was being slammed for poor customer service and substandard warranty policies. The company that was once elevated to hero status in China, is increasingly being labelled as the villain.
Birdflu Not Scaring Off Chinese Car LoversApril 22, 2013 by Mark
It appears Shanghai's bird flu frenzy has been sidelined by the Shanghai 2013 Motor Show this week. Sunday, the first public day of the show, saw an estimated 100,000+ visitors paying ¥100 ($16.20) each to cram into the 280,000 square metres of vehicle displays. In what would be candy shop for opportunistic virus strains, there was barely a face mask in sight, and the old cough & sneeze did little to clear a space.
2,000 stands were spread across the 17 massive halls, showing off 1,300 vehicles, of which 111 were global launches, including 28 from foreign brands.
China's Future for CarsApril 17, 2013 by Mark
Shanghai's carbon footprint has spiked a little lately. Car lovers have flocked to town for last weekend's Shanghai Grand Prix and the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, kicking off on Sunday. China is already the world's largest vehicle market, and by 2016, will be the biggest for premium cars. With 80% of vehicles bought with hard cash, manufacturers still have the finance lever to create a few new traffic jams.
By 2030, Chinese will buy more cars than Europe and the US combined. Today, 60% of Chinese consumers consider buying a car as much a priority as buying an apartment and funding their children’s education. So it's little surprise the world's auto companies are falling over themselves in their quests to woo more Chinese consumers.
eCommerce is the New Black in ChinaApril 14, 2013 by Mark
Online shopping in China is the new black. Almost 250 million Chinese consumers shop online, together shelling out 55% more in 2012 than in 2011. That's pretty good growth even by Chinese standards. With Internet-connected smartphones costing less than $100, coupled with pollution and Bird Flu outbreaks keeping shoppers in their apartments, the rise of Chinese eCommerce is showing no signs of abating.
China’s Bird Flu H7N9: The Winners and LosersApril 7, 2013 by Mark
Although China’s current Bird Flu H7N9 scare has had just 24 ‘confirmed’ infections and seven deaths, memories of 8,000 SARS infections a decade earlier still cut deep with the Chinese public. With an online population increasingly connected through social media, news of cases, such as the Weibo post of the third death by a brave hospital worker, helps fuel changes in consumer behaviour in China.
Global Thinking Wins Chinese ConsumersApril 2, 2013 by Mark
More and more Chinese consumers are taking trips abroad. China's outbound tourism has grown almost 500% in the past decade, and 100 million are expected to travel this year. According to Global Blue, their overseas spending climbed 30% in 2012 alone. That's fantastic for airlines, hotels, tourism operators and souvenir shops. But it's also a great opportunity for other brands to win over a captive audience who could grow your market both at home and in China. The Chinese who travel are the affluent ones. They're generally fond of foreign goods and are more likely to be key influencers. They'll buy, recommend and even gift your wares to their family, friends and colleagues. They may even praise them on Weibo.