Smartphones Slotting in Everywhere in China
Smartphones were always destined to take off in China. On a surface level, there's an inherent love of gadgets, the shiny and new. More importantly, it's China's leisure activities that really lend themselves to surfing on the Samsung. Playing sports and going to the pub aren't as common as in most Western countries, however popular activities such visiting shopping malls have seen the smartphone become the must-have accessory. China's consumers spend a lot of time at home in the evenings and weekends, but it's generally not out in the garden and increasingly not watching TV - China's middle class are online 34% more than in front of a TV.
Taxi Apps Show How Chinese Consumers are Changing
Who would have thought that something as simple as hailing a taxi, would lead to apps that could create such a multi-dimensional drama in China?
Taxi hailing apps are ideally suited to China's growing smartphone numbers. They service a need, effortlessly linking passengers who are prepared to pay extra to find a taxi quickly, to drivers hoping to bolster their modest incomes. They combine the connectedness and immediacy of the Internet with the location-based features of a smartphone.
China's Changing Definition of Healthy Living
China's Personalised Kind of Love
Happy belated Valentines Day. With Spring Festival fatigue still evident, the timing wasn't great to be pushing another celebration in China. Nevertheless, there were still plenty of starry-eyed youth with arms full of flowers and chocolates walking city streets throughout the Mainland last Friday.
Like most celebrations, observing the Feast of Saint Valentine has become a bit of a cash cow in China. Long gone are the days of taking your princess to the noodle vendor, and dropping $2 on an intimate dinner. Nowadays in China, some define a 'medium-priced' dinner for two as a ¥500 ($82) graze - the most popular priced deals booked on plush restaurant website, DiningCity.
What We Can Learn From Chinese New Year
China's biggest holiday has come and gone. The festivities were filled with the usual orchestra of pyrotechnics, red paper cut-outs symbolising good fortune, and reunited families huddling together with one eye on CCTV's Spring Festival Gala and the other on their smartphones.
Each passing Lunar New Year sees businesses develop more innovative ways to capitalise on Chinese consumer's generosity, to capture a share of the $605 per capita allocated for gifting. There were the customary limited edition horse-engraved gift sets for everything from liquor to lipstick, but there were a few surprises as well.
Profiling Chinese Consumers
Demographic profiles help us to better understand our Chinese target markets and the user makeup of the channels we are communicating to them through. However, with a market as vast as China, it's important to remember that Chinese consumers can vary significantly between city tiers and regions, and should often be considered as a matrix of different markets, rather than one homogeneous mass.
China's Investment-Obsessed Consumers
We only need to look as far as Chinese consumer's online search habits to get an idea about what's on their minds. One of the interesting outtakes from China's top Baidu search terms in 2013 was the focus on investments. Chinese have long been known as some of the biggest savers in the world, but unlike in the past when they'd stuff wads of cash under the mattress, or deposit it in the bank, those with cash to burn are increasingly looking for better returns.
China's Wine Drinkers a Long Time Coming
If you'd popped into a Chinese village about 4,600 years ago, there's a slim chance you'd have been offered a clay flask of wine. Although archaeologists have discovered Chinese produced wine from native "mountain grapes" since the time the Egyptians were building the Giza pyramids, drinking wine never took off in China like it did further west. Yet, with changing lifestyles, tastes and demographics, China is finally coming to the party.
China is expected to become the second largest consumer of wine by 2016, and the sixth biggest producer - Chinese actually drink four times more locally-grown plonks than the imported stuff, and local vintages are starting to receive international acclaim.
China's Mobile Shopping A Two Horse Race
Happy New Year, we hope your 2014 has started off with a bang. While many of you would have still been crooning Auld Lang Syne, another record was broken in China, where 808,298 Sina Weibo posts were sent in the first minute of 2014 - up 11% on last year's record. But Weibo's record, helped by partnering with CCTV's New Year broadcasts, does little to hide the reality that the network's popularity has taken a hit with the rise of Tencent's WeChat.
China in 2013: The Year That Was
With Christmas upon us next week, this is the last Skinny for 2013, providing a good opportunity to reflect on the year that was. It's difficult to do justice to China's past 12-months by squeezing them into a few paragraphs, but we've done our best.
As 2013 kicked off, it was the pollution that was the talk of the town. More transparent monitoring and rampant posting on social media helped raise awareness, quantifying the seriousness of the 'fog' that was suffocating China's cities. The foul air has been a recurring theme for much of the year, keeping the Chinese indoors, with many opting to shop online rather than brave the air outside. Not surprisingly, one of the fast-growing categories on Taobao this year was facemasks, which grew 181%.