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FMCG, Lifestyle, Wellness
August 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

Side Effect: MNCs Get Healthy

Double your daily servings.
Side Effect: MNCs Get Healthy

Health is a priority for Chinese consumers, and so it should be. After countless food and product safety scandals involving rat meat sold as lamb, carcinogenic baby formula and gutter oil, products in China must pass a Hippocratic litmus test of first doing no harm. In 2012, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai surveyed over 150 companies from nearly two-dozen industries on what they thought were the most salient developments in the Chinese market. Local companies ranked an “acute awareness of health and wellness” as one of the top three general trends, whereas MNCs failed to list it among even the top five. From pharmaceuticals to travel, opportunities abound for disparate products to discover their own healthy side effects. ...Read More

Branding, FMCG
July 11, 2013 | 0 Comments

Border War: Chinese Fight for Russian Brew

Summertime in Russia...
Border War: Chinese Fight for Russian Brew

While foreign cola, beer and hard alcohol have made inroads to the Chinese market, other beverage categories remain wholly sui generis to the Middle Kingdom. Herbal tea, for example, is a lucractive market under siege in a protracted battle between Chinese beverage giants Wang Lao Ji and Jia Duo Bao. Waged in the courtroom and across media channels, both companies are out to dominate a drink little known beyond China. Now, a similar scuffle has erupted in China's chilly northeast, this time over a local brew originally imported from abroad. ...Read More

FMCG, Wellness
July 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

Mystery Meat: Consumer Quest for Answers

Savory, delicious...what exactly?
Mystery Meat: Consumer Quest for Answers

Change is on the way for FMCG safety in China, says the news. Recent reports demonstrate plenty of high-level attention is being paid to the regulation of products like baby formula and pharmaceuticals. In addition, consumer rights are in the spotlight, from state-sponsored "consumer rights day" to legal revision of consumers as legal actors. And yet a story from the media’s back pages reminds us the average man also plays a part in safer FMCG. ...Read More

FMCG, Trends, Wellness
June 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Taiwan: Food Cleaner on Other Shore?

Food regulation: a dirty game
Taiwan: Food Cleaner on Other Shore?

Gutter oil”, or cooking waste reprocessed for sale as cooking oil, is a frequent target in China’s protracted war to defend food safety. Chinese eaters might feel slightly relieved to hear that similar problems extend beyond the shores of the mainland. Health inspectors in Jiayi, Taiwan have recently cracked down on the downright dirty behavior of local food processors, this time for “boiler oil”. What can Chinese consumers take away from more dirty business? ...Read More

Hospitality, Lifestyle
May 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

After the Goldrush: China’s National Vacations

Time for a policy U-turn.
After the Goldrush: China’s National Vacations

“Chinese dream” is the new party slogan, but of what do the Chinese dream? Wealth, national power and…travel. Chinese tourists abroad make headlines, and for good reason: the growing wave of outbound travelers shapes everything from luxury pricing in Europe to factory outlets in US. Domestic tourism, however, is proving just as lucrative. Many early travelers were businessmen, but an online travel revolution has marshaled an army of price comparison and booking sites for everything from plane and train tickets to hotel rooms. The biggest obstacle to the emerging domestic tourist industry? The answer is, strangely enough, vacation time. ...Read More

e-Commerce, Trends
May 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

App yours: Can Amazon save Google in China?

Amazon China: Share the love, with Google?
App yours: Can Amazon save Google in China?

Last weekend, Amazon China launched a virtual store offering both free and paid mobile apps. The apps are all Android-based, putting Amazon ahead of Google in the quest to monetize the latter's proprietary operating system. But what seems like one more missed opportunity for Google China might actually be the company's saving grace. ...Read More

Branding, FMCG, Trends
May 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

Nobody’s Hero: Foreign Formula Runs Afoul

Secret recipe?
Nobody’s Hero: Foreign Formula Runs Afoul

LVMH is China’s favorite luxury brand, but its most coveted luxury good is safe dairy. Chinese shoppers and the pursuit of dairy has led to empty shelves in Australian groceries, British rationing and border clampdowns in HK. International supplies to sate domestic demand is a recurring theme in China, accelerated after 2008 melamine-formula crisis and ever-sensitive in the wake recurring food safety scandal and outbreaks of contagion. Compared with other food and beverage sub-sectors like fast food and cola, foreign dairy maintains a healthy public image. That image, however, has taken a beating in recent weeks. The culprits? Switzerland’s Hero Group and China’s Xile Lier. ...Read More

e-Commerce, Electronics
April 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Back to the Future: Xiaomi’s ROM Machine

Waiting for mobile revolution?
Back to the Future: Xiaomi’s ROM Machine

Smartphones are changing China: used by nearly 50% of China’s 1.3 billion, 70% of mobiles sold are smart. China’s smartphone market, however, might be changing even faster. In the past 12 months, Samsung is ascendant and Huawei is rising fast. European heavyweights are marginalized, while early innovators like Apple have big margins along with market share and PR challenges. Xiaomi, China’s most intriguing local manufacturer, has been relatively quiet for the past year. 2013 promises big change for the Beijing-based tech firm, according a report from the current issue of Caixin. ...Read More