Harnessing Smartphones to Fix China's Pollution
China's pollution is one tough nut to crack. Although the Government has pledged ¥1.7 trillion ($270 billion) for pollution control as part of the current Five Year Plan, it's unlikely that more than 1% of urban Chinese will be breathing safe air any time soon. Coal consumption grew 2.5% last year, increasingly wealthier consumers are using more electricity, and the Government is hopeful that of the 25 million+ vehicles expected to sell in 2015, 500,000 will be hybrid and electric - just 2% of all sales.
The health effects of China's pollution are sobering. Lung cancer deaths grew 400% in three decades, asthma rates are up 40% in five years, and even infertility is on the rise.
Weibo's Piece in the China Puzzle
All the way back in 2012, restaurants across Chinese cities were full of diners taking selfies and photos of their dinner, just to share them with thousands of friends and strangers on Weibo. Fast forward to 2014, and many diners are still more interested in taking snaps than conversing with their dates, yet they're sharing them on WeChat now.
The changing habit has contributed to the findings from a recent study by Weiboscope, which concluded just 10.4 million Weibo accounts published original posts on the service, or about 5% of active users. In total, 94% of all Weibo posts came from just 10 million accounts.
How Jack Ma's Spending Spree Represents the China Market
Alibaba's founder Jack Ma has been on a big Single's-Day-style spending spree over the past week or so. He's dropped more than a billion dollars on brick and mortar stores and a financial software company, and penned a deal with some local newspapers. His recent purchases and partnerships represent some important current trends in the China market.
KFC is Showing Businesses How to do it in China - a Different Way This Time
35 years ago when China began its economic reforms, it was a big deal to own a wrist watch and a single speed bicycle. Today, the allure of the $4.4 trillion that will be spent by urban Chinese by 2022 has created the fiercest consumer market on the planet.
Hundreds of new products and promotions are launched every day in China. Consumers have gotten used to, and almost expect, a constant stream of new offerings. In addition, Chinese consumers themselves are also evolving.
An Unexpected Ally to Solving China's Fake Fiasco
China has long been known as the land of fakes. The country was the source of two thirds of fake goods seized globally between 2008 and 2010. Street-side stalls, shops and entire shopping malls are dedicated to counterfeit bags, garb and DVDs. Staff in a fake Apple store were fooled into believing that their employer was the real thing. Rat meat has been sold as beef and lamb. Even the kids aren't sacred, with a local zoo in Henan duping visitors with a fake lion. From the minute Chinese are old enough to consume, they are exposed to a myriad of phoneys.
Evaluating China's Best Locations to Focus On
Now that Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are considered mature markets, China's 'smaller' cities often present the most opportunities for growth. With 75% of China's affluent consumers expected to live outside China's big cities by 2020, Tier 2-4 cities are often the best locations for expansion, or even market entry, to realise China's significant opportunities.
Depending on a business's segment and strategy, the hyper-competitive Tier 1 cities may just be too tapped out to make headway profitably. Whilst it is often worthwhile for luxury brands to have an aspirational flagship store Shanghai or Beijing, and demand for product categories such as coffee or champagne being much more mature in Tier 1 cities, China's less competitive cities are a better option for many products and services.
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.