Hello from Shunyi again for Friday 6th, the first week of August. A more meaty selection of topics this week, in fact spoilt for choice. So we begin with an ultra fast glace at China’s economic recovery over provinces, a mention of Huawei and a new but down graded P40, can China’s beverage makers tackle Coke, more DADA news, does Alibaba have Sunning in its sights, a look at EV in China and more.
China’s Patchy Provincial Growth
Economics is not one of our focuses, however provincial growth rate is often an indicator many overseas firms look to when assessing their China entry. The latest figures, up to July 2021, indicate a patchy post Covid recovery rate across China’s 31 provinces. Leading the pack by a good margin was Hubei, ground zero for China’s original virus outbreak, with Qinghai holding up the tail. Detailed analysis and graphics can be found here: Post-Pandemic Recovery Diverges Province by Province across China courtesy of Caixin Premium or email Denise Jia (firstname.lastname@example.org) reporter- fore more details.,
Huawei Mobile News
Last week we mentioned that the old Huawei brand HONOR was making a comeback. This week we heard Huawei is also on the smartphone comeback wagon. Usually, this industry trumpets its new releases with a fanfare announcement of new cutting edge tech. This time however, Huawei are turning this on its head. In a comeback move Huawei has released a modified P50, powered by Kirin and Qualcomm chips. This effectively downgrades the device from 5G to 4G. However we hear form people bemoaning the fact that is it is hard to get a decent 4G phone, so maybe this will be a shrewd move from Huawei? Time will tell.
Are gen Z Driving China’s Economy?
We briefly covered something similar to this when we talked about local China brands gaining favour with Chinese consumers. This week we read where Gen z are driving sales of domestic beverages and how it may present a challenge to global giants such as Pepsi and Coca Cola. According to some analysts, Gen Z are are themselves driven by an awareness of healthy eating and lifestyle, China national pride and a “Nostalgia for all things China and Chinese.”
Really? There is undoubtedly some truth in the first claim. But awareness of healthy lifestyle, a shift to healthier diets is not restricted to Gen Z. This appears to be across a wider spectrum. As for the rest. Well, we have always questioned how much of these “demographic” breakdown are actually driven by marketers themselves. Is it not a case of which comes first: the chicken or egg? Or a self fulfilling prophesy. We wrote about this back in 2018 19/, maybe time to revisit? Meantime, you can read Caixin Premium’s take on: China’s Generation Z Inspires Homegrown Beverage-Makers to Take On Coca-Cola
Foreign policy Shift Needed?
Just before we go to the final closing quick links this piece from China’s former Commerce Minister Chen Deming makes interesting reading. He was speaking at an annual conference hosted by the Centre for China and Globalisation.
In his address he suggested that China still needs to go further with IP protection, as well as making Gvt policies more transparent and predictable. According to him, the current practice of offering tax breaks to attract foreign investment in China are no longer effective.
As as senior ex minister of some note, his comments, suggestions may carry some weight. However, one should bear in mind that today he is chairman of the China Association of Enterprise with Foreign Investment, which represents a group of mostly overseas organisations with foreign investments in China. He may be a little biased? Full story here: China Needs Policy Shift to Retain Foreign Companies, Former Commerce Minister Says
Suning and Alibaba- Wedding Bells?
To most, Suning is a China Electric Appliance Chain selling brown and white goods. However it is actually a mega foundation and has, ever since the Bic has been in China, struggled financially. Part of its problem may be linked to it’s slow adoption of E-tail and what some consider a poor decision to buy the Carrefour Hyper market chain. Covid has hammered home the issue and brought everything to a head with talk of restructuring , sell offs and bailouts.
Recently, one of the casualties has been their Chairman who was recently replaced by Huang Ming Tuan. On the surface, a normal p business move, often in difficult times chairs take responsibility and resign or it is suggested they consider it. What has some tongues waggin’ this time is that Huang Ming Tuan is also an exec of Alibaba.
Speculation is rife in some quarters that Alibaba is eyeing Suning for a possible take over. However the Gvts current aversion to big tech companies and monopolies might cool that idea. Caixin Premium have a little more depth to the story here : Huang Ming-Tuan Named Chairman of Suning.com
DADA Delivery Goes Autonomous
We recently commented on DADA and its aspirations in launching a sub 1 hour delivery service for buyers of Xiaomi phones via its on demand e-com site. Last week dad launched its automated, autonomous delivery service to further increase pressure on its competitors. Caixin has the story here: Dada Doubles Down on Autonomous Delivery Service as It Takes Aim at Meituan
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