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October 25 2019

PHD China’s Friday Data Snack!

Industry Insights Our Views
PHD CHINA Friday Data Snack

Start the weekend with a nibble!



According to IDC, products with hearable features are estimated to reach 46.9% of the overall wearable tech market by the end of 2019. In late August, high-tech giant Huawei and eyewear brand Gentle Monster launched smart sunglasses, equipped with a microphone, earphones and a wireless charging spectacles case, which received 190 million views on Weibo. Click for more…

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Fashion and tech are two top categories attracting young generations in China. When these two desirable elements merge, a significant social media buzz is highly likely to be generated. This is why it is not surprising that the global fast-food chain KFC has launched an innovation lab for incubation of tech ideas, while in other cases we saw how the cookie brand Oreo utilized technology to develop its music box that hit the spot with younger audiences highly passionate about music. Young and tech-savvy consumers are very open to new and innovative products, so ageing brands should factor this into their rejuvenation image efforts and think how technology and cross-category collaboration can change consumer perception and create highly desirable products. 


The Night Economy is on the rise. Consumption during the night has accounted for over 50% of the whole day’s sales in Tier 1 and 2 cities. Post 80s, 90s and 00s are the most active consumers at night, accounting for 90% of total night purchases. Click for more…

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Due to faster work pace, urban residents have less leisure time during the day, which is why nighttime has become the right time for self-indulging with food and entertaining activities. In 2019, several businesses in the catering industry have seized this opportunity and launched new products to fulfil demands. This includes Xibei, a popular restaurant chain specializing in China’s Northwest cuisine, launching a sub-brand called Xibei Yogurt House, offering a wide range of food choices including yoghurts, barbecue and beer – all top favourite choices of China’s “night owls”. Starbucks also launched Bar Mixato in top tier markets Shanghai and Beijing. Brands should consider the changing lifestyles of Chinese consumers and understand not only how they can reach them effectively, but also make sure they are present in their moments of need with the products consumers truly want.


In 2019 Q2, Apple had a market share of 6%, ranking fifth behind Huawei, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi in the Chinese mobile market. Additionally, the share of foreign automobile brands has dropped by 13% and the share of watches by 6%. Click for more…

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: The rise of preference for domestic brands started in 2016, and now the trend is impacting most categories in the consumer market. One example is the domestic formula milk powder brand Feihe who managed to avoid the disaster the domestic industry faced after the melamine scandal in 2008 by repositioning as ‘the milk powder brand that better suits Chinese babies”. The country of origin is becoming increasingly less important compared to brand storytelling and the ability to create consumer value. With an increasingly sophisticated consumer mindset, global brands in China need to think about how they can creatively localize their brand messaging and product offering to build competitive advantage and successfully challenge local brands.


More than 500 million shoppers are expected to participate in this years largest eCommerce bonanza Double 11, about 100 million more than 2018. 200,000 brands are joining the festival and eCommerce company Alibaba estimates that this years coupons and promotions will help consumers save RMB 50 billion in total. Click for more...

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Entering the 11th year of Double 11, Alibaba has made extra efforts to sustain the buzz considering the slowing growth of Double 11 last year (following overall e-commerce sales growth slowdown in China) and increased competition from rivals like Pinduoduo and JD. In an effort to address this, Alibaba decided to launch pre-festival sales started on 21st Oct this year, a full 21 days before November 11th and is expanding its activities globally by leveraging their cross-border marketplace T-mall Global and having their overseas platforms join the activities. Furthermore, the company will continue its expansion into developing, lower-tier markets in China as a new source of growth.

With eCommerce saturation in upper-tier markets and enthusiasm in lower-tiers, brands need to ensure they creatively utilize this opportunity by launching new, interesting products that will reignite consumers interest and allow the target audience to engage with the brand. With the wide range of brands and products available, differentiation and creativity are key elements that will help brands attract attention and win over consumers’ hearts.


Have a great weekend!

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