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What's News? December 6, 2013 | 0 Comments

Retail sales, consumer confidence rise

November numbers for consumer retail sales and overall consumer confidence were both on the rise. Total consumer retail sales rose 13.3% year-on-year for November, while consumer confidence found a half-year high at 102.9. Consumer confidence has outpaced total consumer spending over the past two months.Industry insiders point towards Singles Day, which saw RMB 35 billion in transactions on Alipay alone, as one reason for continued gains. Source: Sina

What's News? December 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Gov ticketing site tries, tries again

The much-maligned 12306.cn, official ticketing site for China's rail system, is rolling out a new website on December 6. Despite a development budget reputed to exceed $100 million, the website experienced buggy debut during Spring Festival 2011. 12306's recent mobile app has been similarly panned. 12306 was launched by the now-defunct Ministry of Railways and is currently run by the China Railway Corporation. Source: iFeng

What's News? December 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

Lei Jun: iPhone still the best

In a recent interview with the Beijing News, Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun--angel investor in Chinese tech notables like Kingsoft, Joyo, and Vancl--admitted that, despite Xiaomi's increasingly global ambitions, "the iPhone is still the best smartphone in the universe." Xiaomi is often characterized as "the Apple of China", although the company's PR strategy and reliance of software set it apart from its American rival. Xiaomi's marketshare in China surpassed Apple in the second quarter of 2013. Lei Jun's interview also touches upon new Xiaomi products for 2014 and his recent appointment to China's National Congress. Source: Netease

What's News? December 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

“Prohibition” on baijiu continues

Baijiu industry analysts are talking on "prohibition" on high-end spirits after big losses from a key distributor for Wuliangye. Yinji Group, one of Wuliangye largest distributors, reported HKD 771 million in losses during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2013. While Yinji pointed out that the period between Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival (late-January to mid-September) is typically slow due to lack of holiday-related gifting, the company lost even more--HKD 957 million--during the first quarter of 2013 and the last quarter of 2012. The wider issue remains a push to clean up conspicuous consumption of the sorghum spirit. Source: Netease

What's News? November 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Cheap dairy no more

Milk and dairy are the latest goods to be affected by overall inflation on food products. Sanyuan Dairy, a large state-owned conglomerate, announced price increases due to what the company claims amount to a 50% increase in the cost of production. While rival Mengniu is higher prices as well, fellow dairy giant Guangming declared its own products will maintain current sticker cost; Yili, a principal suspect in the 2008 melamine scandal, has yet to respond to press queries. Industry experts pin the increases on both increasingly expensive production costs and dairy companies' desire keep pace with rival firms' pricing. Source: Tencent

What's News? November 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

Retail data out for October

The Ministry of Commerce has released data on consumer retail spanning January-October 2013. Retail sales have increased at a nominal rate of 13%, with growth remaining steady from September to October. A cross-section of 3000 "key" retail companies monitored by the Ministry of Commerce reported monthly growth of 8.9% during October, slowing 0.3% from September. Source: China General Chamber of Commerce

What's News? November 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Taobao experience, abroad

Domestic online shopping, with the power to create new shopping holidays and attract old guard companies, continues to gain on already formidable momentum. Chinese consumers, however, are also looking to foreign online retailers to satisfy their retail needs, especially in categories like cosmetics, luxury goods, and dairy products.The key spurs to buying abroad include better product quality, price advantage, and certain goods simply being unavailable in domestic markets. Frequently-cited restrictions on overseas online retail include tariff logistics and language difficulties. Source: iFeng

What's News? November 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

iPhone attracts more safety concerns

The iPhone and safety of Apple products are back in the news again behind a story in which a Beijing man has alleged his Apple handset exploded. Previous reports from 2013 highlighted fears of grey-market chargers used in tandem with official Apple goods, but the most recent story reports that the victim's iPhone was not charging at the time of explosion. In addition to fears of electrocution, Chinese consumers spent summer 2013 expressing outrage at Apple service, itself subject to negative reports about unreasonable return policies and scalped tickets for Apple store services. Other foreign manufacturers also found themselves the subjects of safety concerns alongside Apple. Source: Tencent

What's News? October 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Xiaomi gets “golden” markup

Xiaomi has long been accused of scarcity sales, or releasing smaller batches of its handsets to engineer "sold out" headlines. Whether the ultimate cause is manufacturing scale or canny marketing, the new Mi3 is not exception to the rule: 100 thousand units sold in only 1 minute on October 15. As a result, the aftermarket markup from Chinese scalpers (or “golden bulls") has reached 33%, cutting into the appeal of Xiaomi's price advantage over foreign rivals. Source: Netease

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