Posted by Abe Sauer on March 5, 2013 12:02 PM
The biggest PR disaster so far this year in China is happening right now.
The far and away top trending topic on 600-million-strong microblog Weibo is "长春" ("Changchun"). It's about the a baby named Haobo who was abducted when the SUV she was sleeping in alone was stolen in Jilin Province on Monday. Tuesday night, as the obsessed nation posted about the baby, a man turned himself in to police and "confessed that he had strangled the baby and buried him in the snow."
As events were unfolding, one of Buick's dealers in China decided the Changchun tragedy would be the perfect subject to tout features on its new model cars.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 21, 2012 12:01 PM
China is the second latest economy in the world, every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse!); but who's got the time?! A weekly potpourri of ten reads that will make you look like a keen China observer during any conversation about China.
This week, Iron Man, Disney's Luck 8, Adidas woes, fake Hello Kitty, KFC woes, Brand Beijing, Cadillac’s China ambitions, when a VW Jeets is a Santana, memes of the year and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 18, 2012 01:40 PM
China's streets are, sometimes literally, littered with the Apple logo. But as much an IP violation as unlicensed merchandise is, its existence has always said something about the power of Apple's brand in China. Indeed, it was only in January that the country's launch of the iPhone 4S forced the brand to halt sales after fears of uncontrollable crowds.
Apple's iPhone 5 China launch produced no mass hysteria and the barricades erected outside one Beijing store were unceremoniously taken down soon after launch. Yet the brand sold a tidy 2 million units of its latest iPhone over the weekend. How? By selling the iPhone 5 for under $100. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 5, 2012 12:59 PM
The urban Chinese consumer has greater confidence that green products are better for the environment than their North American counterparts, according to the a new study from DuPont — its China Green Living Survey: Consumer Awareness and Adoption of Biobased Products.
Seventy percent were either very or somewhat confident that green products are better for the environment, while of North American consumers, 65% of Canadians and 60% of Americans held similar beliefs.
The findings have exponential potential for greening-up in the world’s largest consumer market with growing demands for China to meet its sustainability targets. “Greater adoption of biobased products in China could help the country reduce its energy intensity and carbon emissions and advance a new era of green manufacturing,” stated Jeremy Xu, VP, Global Sales and Applications, DuPont Industrial Biosciences.
A majority of Chinese consumers are likely to purchase apparel, personal care, hygiene and household products made from biobased ingredients that offer environmental benefits. More than three quarters of respondents would definitely or likely buy such products in a range of categories including: Detergents 82%, Personal hygiene 81%, Clothing 78%, Personal Care Products 77%.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 30, 2012 12:14 PM
China is the second latest economy in the world, every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse!); but who's got the time?! Here's our weekly potpourri of ten reads that will make you look like a keen China observer during any conversation about China.
This week: Starbucks China's holiday campaign (above) plus spicy duck subways, Toyota China becomes "China Toyota," booze ad dollars, BMW and Mercedes, dinosaurs, scandals at eBay's Xiu.com, Chinese cheese and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 27, 2012 12:34 PM
Western retailers have been completely bombarding China with products and sales pitches in recent years. Having more than 1.3 billion consumers living within its borders can make a country’s citizens targets of such things.
Starbucks is about to go overdrive in its efforts to get the Chinese populace as dependent on their brand as plenty of Americans are, but the sell may not be so coffee-driven, but leverage the brand's tea drinks and food menu. The chain currently has 700 stores in China but that number will more than double in size to 1,500 in the next three years, according to the Wall Street Journal. That growth will also mean the chain’s employees in China will go from 12,000 today to 30,000 in three years. It also offers regional websites for Eastern China and Northern China.
Coffee sales went up 20% in 2011 over the previous year and brought in $995 million, WSJ notes, but China is still a tea-drinking nation. So Starbucks established a research-and-development unit in the country in order to figure out what it could do to attract a larger audience than those looking for a cup of joe. As a result, Starbucks China is not only celebrating Western customs such as Christmas, but serving up localized beverage and food items including a red bean frappaccino, green tea tiramisu, a Hainan chicken and rice wrap, a shredded ginger pork panini, and a Thai-style prawn wrap. And the Starbucks kiosks that work so well in the States don’t have the same effect in the Chinese market where consumers desire more space.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2012 12:01 PM
While it may not rule the morning everywhere, the once family-owned Weetabix cereal brand has been ruling British breakfast tables since the 1930s and now it's turning its powers onto another region of the world: Asia. Earlier this year, China’s Food Group Co Ltd agreed to shell out $1.12 billion to secure a 60 percent stake in the company and distribute the cereal all around the region. Marketwatch hears that the company “is considering listing Weetabix … on the Hong Kong stock exchange.”
"The Weetabix brand will have access to all of Bright Food's distribution channels, including our more than 100,000 retail outlets, which will allow it to be brought to Chinese households more quickly," said Wang Zongnan, chairman of Bright Food, according to China Daily.
“Bright clearly has a distribution capability in China that is very robust and much more than Weetabix could organically hope for,” said Clive Black, director and head of research at Shore Capital, according to Bakery and Snacks. “Therefore, assuming that the Chinese pallet for cereal-based breakfasts exists and grows, then this could be, should be, a material source of long-term growth for Weetabix.”
Still, it won’t be the same old Weetabix hitting breakfast tables in China.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 17, 2012 11:07 AM
"Car destruction ahead. Japanese made cars should turn around now."
So read the warning on a flattened cardboard box one Chinese man held up to traffic in the city of Xian. The man's advice was not based on fearful speculation either, as cities across China erupted in anti-Japanese protests over the weekend (including, The Economist notes, about 3,000 at the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai on Sunday), Japan's auto brands were bracing for the backlash. One man set his own Honda Civic on fire in front of a dealership. One of the more moving photos shared on social media was of a young woman, weeping as she begged protesters to spare her car.
Targeting Japanese products for boycott or destruction is nothing new in China. But this weekend's actions — sparked by ownership dispute over islands between the two nations — were especially dire, called the worst flare-up of tensions between the nations in decades by The New York Times. As Japanese companies ordered their workers to stay home and closed their factories over fear of reprisals, what's unknown is the degree to which Japanese brands have been hurt in China's marketplace.Continue reading...