China’s (Urban) Rise

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Urbanization has already had a huge impact on China, but a new McKinsey report (h/t All Roads Lead to China) entitled “Preparing for China’s Urban Billion” brings it into focus: “The scale and pace of China’s urbanization promises to continue at an unprecedented rate. If current trends hold, China’s urban population will expand from 572 […]

Brands for China’s Wealthy Consumers

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

While McKinsey are talking about China’s Urban Billion, others have (rather optimistically) written about a billion Chinese customers. There is no doubt that China does have a growing (and changing) consumer market, but it is challenging to understand and even harder to access. Luckily, plenty of research is being done. China Law Blog points to […]

Retail Reality

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

While there can be little doubt that the future of retail in China, and of the Chinese consumer market generally, is full of potential, it is not without its challenges – as seen by big international players like Best Buy and Kingfisher. Access Asia report in their newsletter on the Best Buy situation under the […]

(Processor) Gate Closes on (Dell) Hell

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Dell’s 2006 consumer backlash problems in China were covered here. Now CIC provides an interesting update on the company’s use of a Chinese-language blog as part of its communication strategy – and notes that direct communication with (and monitoring of) China’s powerful “netizens” is an increasingly important part of the PR mix. The post notes: […]

Stampeding to Regulation

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

While foreign retailers are making inroads in China, harsh lessons are being learnt when things go wrong and consumers react in unexpected ways. Xinhua reports on a tragic accident – and the rush to regulate: “China’s Ministry of Commerce issued an urgent circular on Monday banning time-limited sales promotions in shops following a deadly stampede […]

The Nouveau Riche Niche

Friday, November 9th, 2007

The Harmonious Society is a worthy aim indeed, but it is (or was) also glorious to be rich. We already know something about what the merely wealthy like to buy, but Forbes gives some insight into who those at the top of the pile in China are today. “All 40 members of the Forbes Asia […]

China Mobiles To Pass 540 Million

Friday, October 26th, 2007

It was only in July that China’s mobile phone numbers passed the 500 million mark. Now it is reported that the number will reach 540 million by the end of the year – and that falling prices will lead to greater penetration of smartphones. It is no wonder then that China Mobile stocks have been […]

Luxury Brands & Some Super-Rich People

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Time Magazine has reported on a luxury brand survey that covers China, India and Russia. The China section is based on interviews with “411 affluent Chinese respondents” at upscale locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The respondents are reported to earn over RMB15,000 a month. Best-Known Luxury Brands: 1. Rolex (76%) 2. Lacoste (72%) 3. […]

A “Made in China” Apology

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

An interesting story from the Washington Post (h/t China Challenges) about the Mattel toy story. The company made an apology for the recall, and the Chinese media took it as an apology to China. But is that how it was meant?: “Mattel says that Thomas A. Debrowski, its executive vice president for worldwide operations, was […]

Dell Goes to Gome

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Business plans and practices have to be adaptable if they are to be successful in China. I reported some time ago that Dell was launching low-cost PCs for the mass market, using showrooms, call centers, and cash drop-off points (for the many without credit) – now they have done a deal to sell through (initially) […]