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Walmart Launches Third-Party Payment Business In China's Shanghai Free Trade Zone

December 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart launched Niuhaidianshang, a third-party payment services company, in the Shanghai free trade zone in China. Walmart transferred its business from Yihaodian, a business-to-consumer ecommerce company it acquired in 2012 and which provides consumers with an online shopping platform. Taking advantage of the free trade zone's liberal policies, Walmart plans to use the new company to compete with third-party payment companies, such as Alibaba and 360buy.
"Walmart taps third-party payment services in China", WantChinaTimes.com, December 15, 2013, © WantChinaTimes.com
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China’s Commitment To GM Crops Is Challenged On Food Safety And Patriotic Grounds

December 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Growing public sentiment in China opposing genetically modified crops – often seen not only as a scary food safety issue but as a strategy by the U.S. to weaken China and control the world’s food supply – has created a predicament for China’s government. The Chinese food ministry -- and its agri-science community -- has long been committed to the use of genetically modified crops, and to the development of its own GM varieties. To that end, it has spent a lot of research money on GM technology, hoping to ensure self-sufficiency in food by increasing crop yields on limited farmland. More than 70 percent of China’s cotton is genetically modified. The imported (often from the U.S.) soybeans it overwhelmingly uses are GM. Five years ago the government approved safety certificates for GM varieties of rice and maize, but further approvals for commercial growing are delayed and certificates could expire – thanks to anti-GM pressure.
"Genetically modified crops: Food fight", The Economist, December 14, 2013, © The Economist Newspaper Limited
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China Bans Northwest U.S. Shellfish Imports Because of Contamination

December 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Geoduck clams, oysters and other two-shelled bivalves harvested off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Northern California have been banned from import into China, because of a contamination problem. Chinese government inspectors discovered that some of the clams were tainted with arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. U.S. officials are waiting for more information from China to determine the source of the contamination. The open-ended ban is seen as a major blow to the $270 million Northwest U.S. shellfish industry.
Ashley Ahearn and Katie Campbell and Anthony Schick, "China Imposes First-Ever West Coast Shellfish Ban", KUOW.org, December 12, 2013, © ERTHFX
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Unilever To Keep Expanding In China Despite Global Downsizing Plans, CEO Says

December 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s plans to lay off 2,000 employees and reduce its personal care product range by 10 percent will not affect its expansion plans in China, according to company CEO Paul Polman. Facing a slowdown in the personal care market, which is also affecting its main rivals Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, and Johnson & Johnson, the company aims to cut costs by $683 million in 2014. In the third quarter of 2013, Unilever’s global sales grew 3.2 percent to €12.5 billion, compared with 5.9 percent in the same quarter in 2012. Sales in emerging markets, which account for 40 percent of the company’s sales, grew 6.2 percent, compared with 10.7 percent in the same quarter in the previous year.
"Unilever's planned cuts won't affect China expansion", Want China Times, December 12, 2013, © WantChinaTimes.com
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Natural Personal Care Market Posts Strong Growth In 2013, Study Shows

December 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In 2013, the natural personal care market grew 10.6 percent to $29.5 billion at the manufacturers’ level, according to market research firm Kline & Company. Data from the report “Natural Personal Care: Global Market Brief” revealed Brazil and China posted the fastest-growing rates, with sales in China expanding by 24 percent and gradually challenging the global market share of the United States. Developed markets also showed strong growth, with the United States posting 7 percent and Europe, 6 percent. In China, both domestic and foreign brands are growing, although local brands account for about 80 percent of the market. Brazil’s market is dominated by local marketers Natura and O Boticário, which together hold about 85 percent of the segment. Since 2008, the world’s natural personal care market has been expanding with a CAGR of 11.3 percent and is forecast to grow 9.2 percent to reach $46 billion in 2018.
"At $29+ Billion, the Global Natural Personal Care Market is Naturally Strong, sees Kline ", Kline, December 10, 2013, © Kline & Company
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China Bans Phenol-Containing Whitening Cream From Avon

December 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China’s Food and Drug Administration ordered the removal of Avon’s Naturals Rose and Rose Hips Fairness Cream skin-whitening cream from the market after it was found to contain phenol, a prohibited substance. According to Beijing Society for Environmental Science deputy secretary-general Dong Jinshi, the substance may affect female fertility and may cause liver and kidney damage. Avon’s China division said the cream is not included in its local catalogue; however, it is sold on Chinese online stores and has a serial number from local authorities.
"Avon whitening cream banned in China after phenol discovered", WantChinaTimes.com, December 07, 2013, © WantChinaTimes.com
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Carrefour Announces Expansion Plans In China; Says Will Focus On Smaller Cities

December 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour SA said it plans to open 20 new hypermarkets in China as part of its efforts to expand its presence in the country by entering 30 new cities and opening 60 new stores in the next three years. Currently operating 236 stores in 73 cities, Carrefour’s new expansion strategy focuses on China’s third- and fourth-tier cities. Although facing strong competition and challenges in the local retail market, Carrefour, which reported sales in China rose 4.7 percent in the third quarter, remains optimistic and sees many opportunities in the market.
Wang Zhuoqiong, "Carrefour shops around for new locations in China", China Daily, December 06, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Second- And Third-Rung Cities Drive Growth For China's Luxury Goods Market

November 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China’s overtaking of Japan as the world’s largest consumer of luxury goods is driven by spending that came from the country’s tiers 1 and 2 cities. Data from marketing and media company Startcom MediaVest Group revealed more than third of the country’s luxury goods spending already comes from cities other than Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. While the company predicts consumer spending on luxury products will grow 8 percent in tier-1 cities, luxury spending by consumers in tiers 1 and 2 cities is forecast to grow at almost 16 percent. For example, the average income among tier-2 city Chendu’s 7 million residents has increased at 14–21 percent over the last three years, according to the city’s Statistics Bureau. Also, the city’s business attracts consumers from across the Sichuan Province, which has a population of more than 80 million and is home to more than 25,500 millionaires.
JEN LIN-LIU, "China's Smaller Cities Thirst for the Luxe Life", The New York Times, November 20, 2013, © The New York Times Company
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The Body Shop Welcomes China's Plan To Adopt Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Policy

November 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer The Body Shop said it welcomes reports that China is planning to revise its policies regarding testing for cosmetics manufactured in the country. Among the first cosmetics companies to campaign against animal testing for cosmetics, The Body Shop began its advocacy for cruelty-free cosmetics in 1989, becoming the first industry leader to lend its voice to the movement. In 1996, The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick joined Cruelty Free International’s founding organization BUAV.
"The Body Shop Welcomes the News Reports that The Chinese Food and Drug Administration will Adopt a New Approach to Animal Testing for Cosmetic Products ", PRNewswire , November 08, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Western Brands Join Singles Day Online Shopping Rush In China

November 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China’s Singles Day holiday offers Western brands an opportunity to expand their online presence in China. Created by university students in 1990s who figured the data November 11 or 11/11 resembled four lonely stick figures, the annual event has become the world’s largest ecommerce occurrence. In 2012, online transactions during the holiday overloaded banks, with Chinese ecommerce company reporting $3 billion in sales, which is twice the amount that all of the U.S. retailers jointly recover on Cyber Monday. Also referred to as Double 11, this year’s version of the informal holiday sees many Western brands, including Gap, Adidas, and Toys ‘R’ Us are pushing their discount deals and promos on online stores in China, such as Tmall and Taobao. Software giant Microsoft is joining Tmall for the first time this year.
Ad Age Staff, "How Western Brands Are Tapping Into China's Crazy-Big E-commerce Holiday", Advertising Age, November 04, 2013, © Crain Communications
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Walmart Plans To Develop Small Community Shopping Centers In China

November 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart plans to develop small community shopping centers in China’s third- and fourth-tier cities, replicating its U.S. small-town community-based stores approach in the country. Walmart’s development strategy, which involves selecting locations in less popular cities including those in Guangdong Province, has been described as a smart move by market analysts, such as Wang Rong, vice president of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants’ Greater China office. With a Walmart supermarket or a Sam’s Club membership warehouse as the planned shopping centers’ anchor tenant, Walmart will not find it difficult to recruit other businesses as tenants. Despite market analysts’ endorsement of Walmart’s expansion plans in China, the retailer has been very cautious with its strategy, driven mainly by growing market competition. Commercial real estate investments in the country reached $82 billion in the first half of 2013 alone, with as many as 150 shopping centers opening or have been opened this year.
Tang Xiangyang, "Walmart Plans To Replicate U.S. Small-Town Strategy In China", Worldcrunch, November 01, 2013, © Worldcrunch
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Comfort Launches Selfie Campaign In China

October 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s Comfort brand of fabric softeners partnered with mobile app Face Gossip to launch a marketing campaign in China. Aimed at consumers who love doing the “selfie” self-portrait and self-taken photography trend, the campaign includes a game that automatically measures the brightness level of clothes worn by the users who take their self portraits. Comfort offers clothes designed by celebrity fashion designer Zhang Jingjing as prizes for five lucky participants who also have to share their photographs on China’s leading social media site Sina Weibo.
Jenny Chan , "Comfort taps into 'selfie' photo trend to sell fabric softener in China", Campaign Asia, October 28, 2013, © Haymarket Media Ltd.
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Western Retailers Look At Ecommerce To Expand Business In China

October 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Western retailers are increasingly adopting ecommerce to reach more consumers in China, following the footsteps of local online retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Despite the potential for success offered by ecommerce, many foreign companies, including eBay Inc., Google Inc., and Groupon Inc., have found the online business harder than it looks in China. Western retailers have to compete with local online giants and must find ways to deal with distribution-related difficulties in the country and Chinese online shoppers’ passion for low prices. All these issues notwithstanding, China’s ecommerce market, which overtook the U.S. in 2013 to become the world’s largest and is forecast to reach $540 billion by 2015, is simply too big to ignore. Consulting firm Bain & Co. says the online retail market in China has grown more than 70 percent annually since 2009, compared with the U.S. market’s 13 percent.
Kathy Chu, "Western Retailers See Online as Ticket to China", Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Despite Strong Homegrown Competition, Walmart To Push Expansion In China

October 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart announced it will speed up development of its China business by opening 110 stores over the next three years. The expansion strategy comes in the face of strong competition from local retailers, the company said, noting that China represents a strategic market. CEO Mike Duke and Walmart China CEO Greg Foran told reporters in Beijing that the company is committed to continued growth in large and small cities across China, and “doing it in the right way”. The company will open stores in so-called tier-two, tier-three and tier-four cities, creating nearly 19,000 new retail jobs. Walmart will focus on building Supercenters and Sam's Clubs, remodeling existing stores, and further investment in its logistics network.
"Walmart to Accelerate Development in China, Creating 19,000 Jobs", News release, Walmart, October 24, 2013, © Walmart Stores, Inc.
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China's Cosmetics Market Slows Down, Report Says

October 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The growth of the cosmetics industry in China slowed down, with gross retail sales reaching $21.94 billion, according to the report “China Cosmetics Industry Report, 2013–2016,” by search engine Reportlinker.com. In contrast, the cosmetics market in the country saw faster growth rates in the start of the century, with sales of beauty and personal care reaching $24 billion in 2010, according to a report published in the July 2013 issue of the “Cosmoprof-Asia” magazine. At present, foreign brands dominate with local cosmetics market, with the top 3 —L’Oréal, Olay and Mary Kay —together accounting for 12.45 percent of retail sales, according to the Reportlinker.com report.
Caroline Berg , "Holding a mirror to China's economy through cosmetics", China Daily, October 15, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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China's Cosmetics Market Posts Strong Growth; Likely To Catch Up With U.S. Market

October 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China’s cosmetics market is fast catching up with the United States, which currently leads the world market with its $55 billion in annual sales. Annual sales growth in China is averaging 15 percent, much higher than the single-digit global growth rate, and is forecast to reach $38 billion in 2013. In China, skincare accounts for 40 percent of the cosmetics and personal care market, compared with 30 percent for the rest of the world. Foreign-owned cosmetics brands account for 90 percent of sales in China, with Procter & Gamble leading the market with 15 percent share, followed by L’Oréal with 10 percent. Shanghai Jahwa is the leading local cosmetics company, powered by its good brand diversification and multichannel distribution.
Mark Mobius, "China's beauty industry looking good", The Business Times Singapore, October 10, 2013, © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
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L’Oréal Posts Strong Growth In China; Continues Domination Of Market

October 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oréal’s sales in China grew 12.4 percent year on year to RMB12.05 billion in 2012, according to market research firm ResearchMoz. Data also revealed rivals Olay and Mary Kay combined accounted for 12.45 percent of the cosmetics industry’s retail sales. Local brand Shanghai Jahwa, with its popular product lines Liushen, Herborist and Maxam, is competing quite capably with its bigger international rivals for share of China’s beauty market. Overall, retail sales grew 21.5 percent YoY to RMB134.01 billion, with skin care sales growing 9.9 percent to RMB80.48 billion, making it the market’s largest segment.
Michelle Yeomans, "L’Oreal still dominating China with 12.4% growth", Cosmetics Design, October 08, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Wal-Mart Pushes Restart Button In Asia; Seeks To Speed Up Expansion Efforts

October 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is revising its business practices and legal-compliance strategies in Asia as part of its efforts to speed up its expansion efforts in the region. While the retailer has expanded faster in other regions, such as Brazil, Wal-Mart has encountered several snags in Asia. Its sourcing practices in Bangladesh became the focus of media and industry attention following the collapse of a garment factory building, which killed some 430 people. Government restrictions in India, economic slowdown in Japan, and the rise of stronger competitors in China have dampened the U.S. retailer’s operations in the region’s leading markets. In China, the company plans to upgrade its stores to help satisfy Chinese shoppers’ demand for more upscale-looking retail stores.
LAURIE BURKITT, "Wal-Mart Looks to Gain Ground in Asia", Wall Street Journal, October 05, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Tesco, CRE Announce Joint Venture Combining Retail Operations In China

October 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
After announcing their memorandum of agreement on August 9, 2013, Tesco PLC and China Resources Enterprise, Ltd. revealed they have agreed to launch a joint venture combining their retail operations in China. Under the terms of the JV agreement, Tesco will have a 20 percent stake in the merged business, which combines the UK retailer’s retail practices, international sourcing, and digital and online commerce capabilities with CRE’s strength in local knowledge and brand. Combining Tesco’s 134 stores and its shopping mall business in China with CRE’s China Resources Vanguard business, the JV will be the largest retailer in seven of China’s eight most populated and highest-GDP provinces.
"Tesco and CRE to create the leading multi-format retailer in China", Tesco, October 02, 2013, © Tesco
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China's Animal Testing Requirement Puts Western Cosmetics Firms In A Bind

September 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
While Western cosmetics companies are excited by the prospect of continuing growth in China’s $32 billion beauty products market, they are also in a quandary regarding the country’s requirement that cosmetics be tested first on animals before selling them to local consumers. Hundreds of thousands of animals are reportedly killed each year in tests required by the government for all new beauty and personal-care products, according to animal rights group Cruelty Free International. United States, European, and Indian regulators have already banned animal testing, with the European Union expanding the ban to outlaw sales of new products tested on animals elsewhere.
Liza Lin , "An Ugly Dilemma for Beauty Companies", Businessweek, September 26, 2013, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Estée Lauder Revs Up Revenue By Consolidating Product Lineups And Remaining Focused On Premium Market

September 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Premium cosmetics company Estée Lauder reported its profit grew 84 percent for the fiscal year ending June 31, 2013, with total net sales breaking US$10 billion for the first time. Several factors helped drive the company’s revenue growth including focusing its resources on reduced number of product lineups and a conservative approach to expanding into emerging markets, including China and Brazil. Also, the company has focused on raising awareness for its brands in medium-sized cities in China and Brazil and on promoting its prestige brands instead of expanding significantly into the mass market.
Rob Walker, "It’s a Beautiful World for Super-Premium Brands", Euromonitor International, September 18, 2013, © Euromonitor International
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Tesco Closes First Store In China, Highlights Challenge Faced By Foreign Retailers

September 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco plans to shut down its first retail store in China located in Shanghai’s Changning district. In 2012, Tesco closed four branches in China and the planned closure of the Changning Tesco outlet highlights how tough the changing retail market in the country is for foreign-owned retailers. US-based retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. also closed three stores in April 2013, with more branches likely to be shut down also.
Chen Tian , "Tesco to shut down first Chinese store", The Global Times, September 17, 2013, © The Global Times
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Henkel Plans To Expand Personal Care Business In China's Smaller Cities

September 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel AG plans to expand its hair care and skincare business in China to include smaller cities outside Beijing and Shanghai. CEO Kasper Rorsted said the company will invest significantly to increase the share of its consumer business in the company’s total business in China from its current 20 percent to 30 percent. At present, adhesives account for 80 percent of the company’s revenue in China. Henkel aims to increase its revenue to €20 billion in 2016 from €16.5 billion in 2012, with half of sales coming from markets that include Latin America and Asia-Pacific region.
Bloomberg News , "Henkel to Expand Beauty Care Business in Smaller Chinese Cities", Businessweek, September 12, 2013, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Unilever Starts Building Third Manufacturing Site In China

September 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever launched its third China manufacturing plant in Pengshan County in the country’s Sichuan Province. With a total land area of 27 hectares, the manufacturing site’s first phase will be a $48.7 million detergent production facility capable of producing more than 200,000 tonnes. Aside from catering to the China market, the Sichuan facility will supply products to other countries.
"Unilever launches new plant in SW China", Xinhua General News Service, September 11, 2013, © Xinhua, english.news.cn
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China's Growing Middle Class Drives Demand For Higher-Quality Products

September 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Premiumization, or the demand for better and more expensive variants of products, is growing in China, according to several market and consumer studies. Premiumization is a major factor driving the growth of major FMCG products in China, according to the latest retail and consumer confidence data from market research firm Nielsen. In 2012, for example, sales of premium products contributed as much as 55 percent of overall sales growth for products, such as toothpaste and biscuits, and almost 50 percent of sales of moisturizers and milk. China’s middle class is expanding, and along with it grows consumers’ spending power. Also, the country’s upper middle class is forecast to grow from 12 percent of the total urban population to more than 50 percent.
Chris Davis , "China in transition: FMCG goes premium", Campaign Asia, September 09, 2013, © Haymarket Media Ltd.
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Osiao Launches Marketing Campaign Featuring Singer And Actress Miriam Yeung

September 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Estée Lauder's Osiao brand of beauty products for Asian women announced its endorsement deal with actress and singer Miriam Yeung. As brand ambassador, Yeung will be featured in the brand's advertising and advertorials, public relations, in-store, and on the Osiao website. Launching in October 2013 issues of beauty magazines, the campaign will highlight the brand's Inner Radiance Concentrate and Inner Radiance Beauty Tablets product lines.
"Osiao Debuts a New Radiance with Miriam Yeung, Award-Winning Actress and Singer", Estée Lauder, September 05, 2013, © The Estée Lauder Companies
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Chinese Shoppers Find Ways To Circumvent Imported Goods Sticker Shock

September 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Chinese consumers – whose average per capita income is $7.500 compared to $42,693 in the U.S. – are paying a lot more for the same retail goods, from food to clothing to luxury items, that the rest of world buys. According to experts, the higher price tags reflect not only government taxes and tariffs, but also the steep costs of opening a retail store in China – passing tests, getting licenses and permits, etc. – all of which are  passed on to the consumer. For years, consumers were willing to pay the higher prices for the cachet of owning quality imported goods. But these days the sticker shock is leading not only to government crackdowns but to consumer backlash: shoppers are using the Internet and travel abroad to buy goods for less.
Laurie Burkitt, "In China, Veil Begins to Lift on High Consumer Prices", The Wall Street Journal, September 04, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Mondelez Redesigns Supply Chain To Reap Savings That Will Drive Marketing Investments

September 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez International hopes that redesigning its supply chain will drive a 60- to 90-basis-point yearly improvement in its operating profit. The company is accelerating investments in emerging markets to boost growth, and it hopes the supply chain redesign will expand margins in established markets “to levels at or above the average of peer companies”. The redesign will mean $3 billion in gross productivity savings, $1.5 billion in net productivity savings and $1 billion in incremental cash over the next three years in North America and Europe.
"Mondelez Redesigns Supply Chain", Consumer Goods Technology, September 03, 2013, © Edgell Communications
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Tesco's China Setbacks Caused By Failure To Understand Local Consumers, Marketing Expert Says

September 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco was forced to scale down its business operations in China because it failed to understand the Chinese consumers, according to Warwick Business School professor of marketing and innovation Qing Wang. Also, Tesco failed to see that its clubcard loyalty marketing program is not suitable for the Chinese market, the marketing expert added. She said Tesco should have studied the cultural differences in China before investing there.
Rick Pendrous, "'Tesco failed to understand the Chinese consumer'", Food Manufacture , September 03, 2013, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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China's Online Market Forecast To Overtake U.S. E-commerce In 2013, Report Says

August 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China’s ecommerce market is forecast to overtake that of the United States in 2013, according to management consulting firm Bain and Co. Data from the company’s latest report showed China’s online retail segment has grown an average rate of 71 percent from 2009 to 2012, compared with 13 percent in America. Its total size is forecast to reach 3.3 trillion yuan, or $539.07 billion, by 2015. Total spending by Chinese consumers on online shopping reached $212.4 billion in 2012, compared with $228.7 billion in the United States. Chinese companies, including Haier Electronics Group and Suning Commerce Group, have seen their online sales grow faster than conventional sales.
Paul Carsten, "Chinese shoppers set to become world leaders online", Reuters, August 28, 2013, © Thomson Reuters
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L’Oréal Plans To Acquire China's Leading Facial Masks Maker Magic Holdings

August 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oréal said it plans to acquire Magic Holdings, the largest manufacturer of facial masks in China and owner of the MG brand. A relatively young company, Magic Holdings has been growing at an amazing pace for its first five years of operations. L’Oréal's acquisition of Magic Holdings follows the French cosmetics company's acquisition of Mininurse in 2003 and Yue-Sai in 2004. These acquisitions have expanded L’Oréal's production capacities and demographic and socioeconomic market reach.
"Unmasking Great Potential: L’Oréal Announces the Acquisition of China’s Magic Holdings", Kline Blog, August 28, 2013, © Kline Group Inc
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Johnson & Johnson Revamps Management, Business Operations In China; Appoints Local Chairman

August 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Johnson & Johnson appointed Jesse Wu as chairman of its J&J China business unit as part of the company’s reorganization of its management team and business operations in China. Wu will be reporting directly to Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky. Also part of the company’s reorganization in the country, each general manager of the company’s China units will report to Wu although the units will still be responsible for determining their respective business strategies.
Ransdell Pierson, "UPDATE 1-J&J puts Chinese businesses under local chairman", Reuters, August 27, 2013, © Thomson Reuters
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Personal Care Markets Post Strong Growth In China And Japan, Kline Says

August 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In 2013, the natural personal care markets in China and Japan are growing, with the Chinese market posting a growth of almost 25 percent and Japan seeing growth of about 5 percent, according to market research firm Kline. In China, the market growth is driven by the culture-driven popularity of traditional Chinese medicine, increase in transparency in product safety and health-related issues, and rising levels of disposable income. Although natural products account for a smaller portion of Japan’s personal care market, the segment is seeing strong sales increases in natural shampoos, conditioners, and personal cleansing products. Products that are truly natural are showing higher growth rates than those of their merely natural-inspired counterparts.
Nancy Mills - Industry Manager, Consumer Products, "Natural Personal Care Markets Flourishing in China and Japan", Kline Blogs, August 22, 2013, © Kline
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China Resources Enterprises Plans To Partner With Tesco To Bid For Hong Kong's ParknShop Retail Chain

August 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
State-owned retailer China Resources Enterprises Ltd. said it may join Tesco PLC to bid for billionaire Li Ka-shing's ParknShop retail chain in Hong Kong. CRE plans to raise debt and may consider selling non-core assets to fund a purchase of the Hong Kong retailer, chief financial officer Frank Lai said. In August 2013, CRE announced a joint venture deal with Tesco, which will merge the companies' retail operations in China. Hutchison is reportedly seeking $3 billion to $4 billion for ParknShop, which had 33 percent of the Hong Kong grocery market in 2012, according to market research firm Euromonitor.
"China Resources May Join Tesco to Bid for Li’s ParknShop", Bloomberg , August 22, 2013, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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Young Consumers' Craving For Milk Tea Driving Growth In China's Instant Tea Market, Study Shows

August 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Instant tea accounts for 38 percent of China's $9.6 billion retail tea market, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. In 2002, instant tea contributed only 4 percent to total sales in the country, but has grown $22 billion in the last 10 years. China accounts for 93 percent of the world's total instant tea sales. Unlike in other markets, however, China's instant tea sales are driven by the milk tea trend. Pushed by young consumers' demand for sweet tea products, the milk tea trend began in cafés and street stalls and kiosks that serve milk and bubble teas. The market grew by $143.6 million in 2007–2012, the study showed.
Jonas Feliciano, "Instant Milk Tea in China Rides Youth Culture Wave", Euromonitor International, August 22, 2013, © Euromonitor International
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Tesco Downsizes China Operations; Foreign Retailers Find The Market A Hard Nut To Crack

August 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
UK-based Tesco PLC, along with the world’s other leading retailers, is finding out how difficult it is to penetrate China’s retail market. Foreign-owned retailers, including Carrefour SA and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., began coming in to China in the early 1990s, seeking to grab their shares of the market whose growth is being driven by the rising middle class. Recently, Tesco announced its plan to merge its China operations with the state-owned China Resources Enterprise Ltd. Combining Tesco’s 131 supermarkets, hypermarkets, and shopping malls in China with CRE’s nearly 3,000 stores, the deal marks a major decline in Tesco’s business after nine years of operating independently in the country.
Lyu Chang , "Not such a super market for the overseas giants", China Daily, August 19, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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China Pushes For Consolidation Of Domestic Infant Formula Market

August 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China's government is pushing for a consolidation of the country's infant formula industry by reducing the number of domestic manufacturers to 3–5 companies with revenues of more than CNY 50 billion by 2018. Citing sources in the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the China Securities Journal reported the government is supporting merger and acquisition deals in the sector, aiming for the top 10 domestic brands to grab an 80 percent share of infant formula sales in the country. Chinese consumer confidence in locally manufactured infant formula was seriously affected by the 2008 scandal involving melamine-contaminated products.
Katy Askew , "CHINA: Beijing "wants 3-5 formula manufacturers" in consolidation push", Just-food.com, August 16, 2013, © just-food.com
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JD.com Plans To Launch Its Online Retail Business In The US Market

August 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
JD.com, formerly called 360buy.com and one of China’s largest online retailers, plans to expand its international business unit JD.com Global in the United States. With more than 100 million registered users and 20,000 suppliers, JD.com has seen transactions on its website grow between 100 percent and 350 percent each year to reach $9.8 billion in 2012. JD.com vice president and general manager of global business development Shi Tao visited Seattle, Washington, and met with the local business community at a reception organized by the Washington State China Chamber of Commerce. JD.com has six fulfillment centers with 71 warehouses in 27 cities and almost 1,000 delivery stations and 300 pickup stations in China as of May 2013.
Deng Yu in Seattle , "Move over Amazon, JD.com is coming to town", China Daily, August 16, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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GLG Lifetech Partners With China's Largest Food Company To Develop Healthy Products, Help Tackle Obesity And Diabetes Epidemic

August 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Stevia producer GLG Lifetech announced it is working with state-owned China National Cereals, Oils, and Foodstuffs Corporation, the largest food company in China, on three major healthy food and beverage formulation projects. Two of the projects cover dairy products for the COFCO Mengniu Dairy business unit and one involves the company's China Foods subsidiary, according to GLG investor relations head Stuart Wooldridge. China's government is concerned about the increase in number of obese people in the country to more than 200 million, while those diagnosed with diabetes have reached 90 million. As part of its deal with COFCO's Nutrition and Health Research Institute, GLG will supply stevia ingredients and technologies and help the Chinese company develop products with zero or reduced sugar content.
Elaine WATSON , "GLG Lifetech works with China’s largest food company to tackle obesity, diabetes epidemic with stevia", Nutraingredients USA, August 15, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Tea, Both Bottled And Brewed, Is Poised For Global Growth In Sales

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Tea manufacturers and retailers have a key opportunity to increase sales through premiumization and a deeper understating of the evolving preferences of consumers, according to researcher Euromonitor. Tea is by far the most consumed beverage in the world, far outpacing water, coffee, carbonated drinks, etc., especially in China, India and Pakistan. But that high level of consumption is not really reflected in sales, which at $40.7 billion a year lag far behind coffee at $75.7 bullion and carbonate drinks at $183 billion. Consumer tea preferences are changing: they are switching from unpackaged tea bought in open-air marketplaces to branded teas sold in stores. And the fact that tea is appealing both in brewed and bottled form makes it “ripe for customization and premiumization in all channels” – and a “huge amount” of long-term growth.
Elizabeth Friend and Jonas Feliciano, "Dual Opportunities for Tea in Retail and Foodservice", Euromonitor International, August 13, 2013, © Euromonitor International
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Tesco Hollers For Help In China; Will Partner With China Resources Enterprise

August 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
British supermarket chain Tesco has abandoned attempts to make a profit by itself in China, and is pursuing a partnership with China Resources Enterprise Ltd. Retail analysts say the move by Tesco is an acknowledgement that it -- like other foreign retailers -- had a tough time negotiating with suppliers in a “fast-growing but tricky market”. CRE has an intimate knowledge of local customers and an established supplier and distribution infrastructure. The joint venture would have sales of $15.6 billion, with CRE and Tesco’s interests pegged at 80 percent and 20 percent respectively. Tesco would merge its 131 stores with CRE's Vanguard unit, which operates 2,986 mainly hypermarkets or supermarkets across China and Hong Kong.
Denny Thomas, Donny Kwok and Neil Maidment, "After nine years, Tesco gives up on cracking China alone", Reuters, August 09, 2013, © Reuters
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Tesco Assigns Ownership Of China Retail Business To Joint Venture With State-Owned Retail Operator

August 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
UK-based retailer Tesco said it plans to transfer its 131 stores and shopping malls in China to a joint venture with state-owned China Resources Enterprise. Tesco will hold a 20 percent stake in the joint venture, which would have combined sales of about £10 billion annually. CRE will receive 80 percent of the joint venture in return for its 3,000 Vanguard stores across China and Hong Kong. China’s economic slowdown and stiff competition have made it hard for some international retailers to make money in the country. Earlier in 2013, German retailer Metro announced its plan to close its consumer electronics business in the country. In 2012, Home Depot closed its seven big box stores in China.
Mark Thompson, "Big retailer finds China market is tough", CNN Money, August 09, 2013, © Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company
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Wella Marks 30th Year In China

August 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble’s Wella hair-care brand celebrates its 30th year of presence in China in 2013. Looking back at its 133-year history, the brand also celebrates the numerous innovations that have had significant impact on hair fashion. For example, more than 90 years ago, the brand introduced a perm service for beauty salons that helped hairstylists to offer the short, curly hairstyle that defined the Roaring Twenties era. In 1954, the brand introduced the Wella Koleston Perfect, which became the market’s first permanent coloring cream that also conditions hair. As the first international professional hair-care brand in China, Wella has introduced hundreds of innovations during its 30 years of business operations in the country.
"Celebrating the Past, Imagining the Future: Wella Marks 30 Years of Leading Beauty in China", Procter & Gamble, August 08, 2013, © Procter & Gamble
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L’Oréal Luxe's Growing Brands Gain Market Shares In Asia Pacific

August 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oréal Luxe’s beauty care brands, Kiehl’s, Biotherm, Helena Rubinstein, and Yves Saint Laurent, are seeing growing sales in China and other emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region. First introduced in May 2006 at the Hong Kong International Airport, Kiehl’s is expected to become one of the top 3 skincare brands in the region soon despite its limited distribution, the company said. After a period of revaluation and redevelopment, the Helena Rubinstein brand of skincare products was re-launched by L’Oréal Luxe. Biotherm has also been transformed as a brand, supported by the “Beauty From The Deep” rebranding campaign. Also, the company revamped and repositioned its Yves Saint Laurent brand in China and other markets in the region.
Rebecca Mann, "L’Oréal Luxe's developing brands advance in Asia Pacific", The Moodie Report, August 08, 2013, © TheMoodieReport.com
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Wal-Mart Looks At Hong Kong's ParknShop As A Possible Buy

August 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is considering a bid for Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.'s ParknShop supermarket company in Hong Kong. Valued at $4 billion, the proposed sale has generated interest from various corporate and private equity buyers, including Aeon Co. Ltd. from Japan, China Resources Enterprise Ltd., and Wesfarmers Ltd. and Woolworths Ltd. from Australia. Wal-Mart, which in 2012 announced plans to open 100 new stores in China over the next three years, is reportedly working with a bank as it studies its options for the Hong Kong-based supermarket business.
Stephen Aldred and Denny Thomas, "Wal-Mart weighs bid for Li's Hong Kong supermarket chain: sources", Reuters, August 07, 2013, © Thomson Reuters
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Five Countries Offer Investors Alternatives To BRIC Countries As FDI Destinations

August 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Chile, Peru, Poland, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan are the top 5 emerging markets, which offer feasible and in some aspects better alternatives to Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These BRIC countries together accounted for 39.2 percent of total foreign direct investment inflows to emerging markets in 2012. Chile is the highest ranking Latin American country, at 37th place on the Doing Business 2013 index. It also ranks high in investor protection and payment of taxes. Peru’s economic reforms, including tax regulations, have made it easier to invest in the country than in Brazil. With its highly educated workforce and considerably less corruption, Poland is a much better FDI destination than Russia. Malaysia has implemented reforms to reduce red tape as part of its efforts to become a developed economy by 2020, making the country a better place for investments than China. Kazakhstan, which is fast becoming a key frontier market, has improved its index ranking to 28th place.
Carrie Lennard, "Top 5 BRIC Alternatives for Emerging Market Investment", Euromonitor International, August 06, 2013, © Euromonitor International
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BRICs’ Production Output Pace Is Slowing, But They Are Still Formidable In World Economy

August 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Real output rates in the so-called “BRIC” countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are slowing as the labor forces grow older and smaller, and production capacities have become strained. But that doesn’t mean the BRICs are becoming less relevant to the global economy, according to Euromonitor. On the contrary, they represent 41.3 percent of the total global population in 2013 and 20.2 percent of total global GDP (expected to rise to 23.8 percent of total global GDP by 2020). This year consumer expenditure in the BRICs will account for 15.8 percent of total global consumer expenditure, which in real terms this will rise to 19.7 percent of total global expenditure by 2020. In fact, the market researcher says, “[the BRICs] will continue to offer opportunities to investors in the long term”.
Hilary Walsh, "The BRICs are More Important than Ever to the Global Economy", Euromonitor International, August 02, 2013, © Euromonitor International
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Unilever Foundation Representatives Visit Save The Children Projects In China

July 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Foundation ambassadors and Unilever employees Dana Buchanan and Carlos Castillo Cano came to China to visit Save the Children’s projects in the country. China is one of the five countries where Unilever is supporting the nonprofit group’s Every One global campaign to prevent preventable deaths of children and their mothers. Among the projects visited by Buchanan, who is a senior manager from Australia, and Cano, a customer development executive from Spain, are a community health center and a kindergarten in Shanghai.
"Unilever Foundation Ambassadors visit China with Save the Children", Unilever, July 31, 2013, © Unilever
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China’s Pollution Problem Invades Rural Areas, Threatens Food Production

July 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Farmers in China’s grain basket, the rainy central province of Hunan, continue to battle with industrial waste water that is contaminating the water needed to grow crops. Rural China's descent toward becoming a toxic wasteland is a result of two trends: expansion of polluting industries into rural regions far from population areas, and heavy use of chemical fertilizers. Researchers report that between eight percent and 20 percent of the country’s arable land – between 25 and 60 million acres – could be tainted by heavy metals. According to The Wall Street Journal, a five percent loss in arable land would be a disaster, severely reducing the 296 million acres currently needed to sustain the population.
Josh Chin and Brian Spegele, "China's Bad Earth", The Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Economic Uncertainty Drubs Ad Spending In Hong Kong

July 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Advertising spending in Hong Kong rose 9 percent to HK$19.9 billion in the first half of 2013 from HK$18.2 billion in the previous year, according to media monitoring company admanGo. Data also showed ad spending declined to HK$3.4 billion in June from HK$3.6 billion in May. In contrast, ad spending rose 13 percent during the first half of 2012, driven by promotions aimed at mainland shoppers and marketing campaigns related to the London Olympics. Marketers expect only a modest increase in ad spending in 2013, according to a survey published in February 2013 by the  Hong Kong Advertising Association and market research firm Nielsen, with a slowing down economy causing pessimism overall in the market.
Bien Perez , "Slowing economy hits marketing campaigns", South China Morning Post, July 25, 2013, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd
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