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Unilever's Omo Only UK Brand On US-Dominated List Of Top Brands In China, Survey Reveals

July 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s Omo brand of laundry products is the eighth-most popular brand in China, according to a survey of 60,000 consumers conducted by Millward Brown on behalf of BBC. Restaurant chain KFC took the top spot on the list dominated by US brands, with eight of the top 10 spots occupied by brands owned by US-based companies. Data from Millward Brown revealed that while Chinese consumers used to favor low-priced products, rising living standards and income levels, combined with declining trust in local brands, local consumers are turning toward foreign-owned brands.
Ben Bold, "Unilever's Omo detergent strongest UK-owned brand in China", Marketing Magazine, July 25, 2013, © Haymarket
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China Business
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Household Care
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Beauty And Personal Care Industry Outperforms Rest Of The Market

July 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Stocks of cosmetics and personal care products companies gained 32 percent in 2013, according to market research company IBD. Leading the industry’s expansion are anti-aging products maker Nu Skin Enterprise, which gained 19 percent, and Peers Prestige Brands and Inter Parfums, both of which rose 13 percent. In the United States, the industry achieved $68.7 billion in sales and $433.4 billion globally in 2012. Sales in the US are forecast to grow 3–4 percent over the next five years to reach $81.7 billion by 2017, according to Euromonitor International. Growth in the emerging markets has made up for the slowdown in Europe, North America, and Japan, and global sales are forecast to expand around 5 percent yearly to reach $562.9 billion by 2017.
Trang Ho, "Big On Beauty: How Cosmetics Corps Beats The Market", Investors, July 12, 2013, © Investor's Business Daily, Inc.
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Nestlé Continues China Expansion, Opens Two Factories

July 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé opened two new factors in China as part of its expansion of its business in the country by growing its range of local and global brands. Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke attended the opening of the Nescafécoffee factory in Shandong Province and the Yinlu Foods factory in Anhui Province. Part of Nestlé’s joint venture with China’s leading manufacturer of ready-to-eat peanut milk and ready-to-eat rice congee, the Yinlu Foods factory created more than 2,000 new jobs.
"Nestlé continues to grow its business in China with opening of two new factories", Nestlé , July 11, 2013, © Nestle
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Nestle Says It Will Cut Prices of Infant Formula In China

July 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestle said its Wyeth Nutrition unit will sell infant formula products at lower prices in China following local authorities’ investigation of foreign companies for alleged price fixing. Wyeth Nutrition plans to cut infant formula prices by 11 percent on average, with the some price cuts going as high as 20 percent. Nestle also said Wyeth has been cooperating with China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the agency spearheading government investigation into the foreign vendors’ pricing practices.
Dean Best , "CHINA: Nestle to cut infant formula prices amid probe", just-food.com, July 03, 2013, © just-food.com
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Wal-Mart Plans To Expand Sam's Club Warehouse Club Business In China

July 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it plans to open seven new Sam’s Club membership-only warehouse clubs in China in the next two to three years. Aimed at the country’s affluent families, the planned warehouse clubs are part of the U.S. retailer’s efforts to deal with the slowdown in its hypermarket business. Sam’s Club opened its first store in China in 1996 and currently has 10 stores in the country. While conventional retailers, including parent company Wal-Mart, are slowing down their expansion plans in China, Sam’s Club’s business model has been successful in the country. In the United States, there are 620 Sam’s Club stores, generating $49 billion in annual sales for the company.
Wang Zhuoqiong , "More Sam's Club stores set to open", China Daily, July 02, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Herbalife Restructures To Become More Vertically Integrated

July 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to increased consumer demand for higher quality and safer dietary supplements, and to the proliferating global array of supplement product regulations, Herbalife has decided to vertically integrate its operations. That means a greater reliance on in-house manufacturing, and a lesser reliance on contract manufacturers. The company is building or acquiring factories here and abroad, and reorganizing its management team to better handle a vertically integrated structure. The company hopes to bring 65 percent of its manufacturing in-house by 2015, and has already invested $200 million in the transformation over the last few years.
Sean Moloughney, Editor, "Herbalife’s Strategic Transformation", Nutraceuticals World, July 02, 2013, © Rodman Media
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India, China Drive Growth In Global Men's Grooming Market, Study Shows

June 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
India and China are driving growth in the global men’s grooming market, according to market research firm Kline. Latest data revealed the world market for male grooming is valued at $13.4 billion, growing almost 4 percent, and is forecast to reach $15.5 billion at the manufacturers’ level by 2017. Although Western Europe remains the largest market for men’s grooming products in the world, growth is not as dynamic. In Asia, Japan and South Korea are the most developed markets; however, India and China hold the greatest growth potential, according to Kline.
Andrew McDougall, "Men’s grooming in Asia boosted by developing trends in India and China", Cosmetics Design, June 27, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Chanel Grabs Top-Brand Spot In China's Luxury Market, Report Says

June 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Chanel is the most sought-after global luxury brand in China, according to the second edition of the study World Luxury Index China. Data showed the brand has overtaken rival Louis Vuitton, due mainly to increased consumer interest in various product segments. Also, Louis Vuitton’s ranking is limited by the fact that interest in the brand comes mostly from the fashion market. Also, the report showed that interest of China’s consumers is dominated by automobiles, 53.5 percent; beauty products, 22.7 percent; and fashion, 14.9 percent. In the beauty segment, Estée Launder, Lancôme, and Dior have retained their spot as the top 3 brands, with Lancôme overtaking Dior at the number 2 position. Skincare accounted for about 60 percent of all beauty-related searches, according to data from the report.
"The World Luxury Index™ China 2013 : The Most Sought-After Luxury Brands", Digital Luxury Group, June 27, 2013, © Digital Luxury Group
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Tesco Plans To Start Selling Online In Shanghai

June 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco China said it will start selling online in the country and will first launch the service in Shanghai. Tesco’s ecommerce strategy will include food, vegetables, fruits, and everyday use products. Planning to use its own logistics system, Tesco will aim to reduce costs by initially covering only the inner regions of the city. Tesco’s move is in response to online operations of other major retailers in the country, including Wal-Mart, Carrefour, and local company NGS Supermarket. Tesco also said its retail stores in the city will deliver products purchase by consumers online.
Zhang Xiang , "Tesco China to start e-commerce in Shanghai", China Daily, June 27, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Neutrogena Partners With Jiepang To Launch Mobile Campaign In China

June 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Neutrogena partnered with location-based social app company Jiepang to launch a marketing campaign featuring Sunshine, a smart photo filter application, in China. Applied to more than 70,000 pictures during its first three weeks in the market, the application adds solar effects to a photograph, according to the time of day it is used. Consumers who use the application can also unlock a virtual badge they can redeem for special discount on Neutrogena products in retail stores and online shops. Also, the photo filter provides information, such as location, temperature, and UV rating, while users share photos, one of the most popular social activities on mobile.
Chantal Tode, "Neutrogena branded photo filter is applied to more than 70K mobile photos", Mobile Marketer, June 26, 2013, © Napean LLC
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Two-Track Strategy Could Boost Carrefour’s Asian Hypermarket Share

June 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour is looking at either partnering with another company or using an IPO to sell shares of its hypermarket business in Taiwan and China to raise cash. The company’s China business – with 220 stores and a 6.9 percent market share –  makes it the fourth-largest player in the country, well behind market leader Sun Art Retail Group (13.6 percent). Carrefour is the market leader in Taiwan with 48.1 percent of the market. The dual strategy would establish a basis for an IPO if the company can’t find a partner. Either way – with a cash infusion or a partner – Carrefour would be able to strengthen its Asian business, analysts say.
Prudence Ho, "Carrefour Explores Sale of Taiwan, China Businesses", Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Appconomy Launches Carrefour Mobile Shopping App In China

June 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Appconomy launched the Carrefour Smart Shopper mobile application in China. Appconomy expects the app, which combines an indoor location-sensing technology, a user-friendly social-shopping list, and an advertising system that lets retailers engage with customers, to change how consumers in China do their shopping and how retailers and brands interact with their customers. Currently used at selected Carrefour stores in Shanghai, the app's core functions are social shopping list, navigation guide, and promotional information. It will be rolled out across all of Carrefour's stores in the greater Shanghai area.
"Appconomy Launches Carrefour Smart Shopper App in China in a Major Milestone for the Retail Industry", PRWEB , June 20, 2013, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC
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Carrefour Reveals Expansion Plans In China, Focuses On Lower-Tier Cities

June 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour said it plans to expand its business presence in China by opening stores in 30 new cities in the next three years. While the retailer has been reducing or shutting down its operations in other markets, Carrefour has been aggressively expanding in China and Brazil. In 2012, Carrefour reported operating revenues in China grew 10.8 percent to €5.58 billion; however, at constant exchange rates, like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, dropped 5.1 percent. It is currently operating 220 hypermarkets across 65 cities in the country.
Michelle Russell , "CHINA: Carrefour eyes 30 new cities for China expansion", Just-food.com, June 20, 2013, © just-food.com
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Campbell Soup Acquires Danish Cookie Company

June 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Co. said it has agreed to acquire Kelsen Group A/S from private equity firm Maj Invest and other investors. Based in Denmark, the company manufactures baked snacks sold in 85 countries worldwide, with Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk among its major brands. With established distribution networks in Asian, South American, Middle East, and African markets, Kelsen is a market leader in the assortment segment of the sweet biscuits market in Hong Kong and China, where it has been exporting high-end Danish butter cookies for more than 20 years. Campbell Soup plans to operate Kelsen as a standalone Denmark-based company.
"Campbell to Acquire Kelsen Group to Expand Its International Presence and Drive Baked Snacks Growth in China", Campbell Soup, June 17, 2013, © CSC Brands, L.P.
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Western Hair-Loss Drugs Becoming Popular In China, Study Shows

June 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hair-loss drugs from Western companies, including Merck's Propecia and Johnson & Johnson's Rogaine, are becoming popular in China, where luxuriant hair is a sign of health and virility. Sales of hair-loss treatments, most of which come with Rogaine's active ingredient, minoxidil, increased 90 percent to 100.7 million yuan in the five-year period ending in 2012, according to Euromonitor International. Results of a survey of 1,280 balding men in several cities by the China Association of Health Promotion and Education revealed 47 percent of respondents said they had used hair-growth shampoos, visited hair-loss centers, or even resorted to swallowing snake gallbladders. The top hair-loss treatment in China in terms of sales in 2012 was Da Fei Xin, a minoxidil solution from Shanxi Zhendong Pharmaceutical, which accounted for 23 percent of the market.
Daryl Loo and Lisa Pham, "Hair-Loss Drugs' Big Growth in China", Bloomberg, June 13, 2013, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Johnson & Johnson To Expand Business In China, CEO Says

June 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Johnson & Johnson plans to focus more on China, a market characterized by an expanding middle class and an aging population, according to company chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky. China's middle class could grow from the current 300 million people to as much as 800 million in the next several years, Gorsky added. China's population is also aging, with 9 percent of the population above 65 years. That number is forecast to reach 25 percent in the next 20 or 30 years, J&J's CEO said. China accounted for almost $2.5 billion of Johnson & Johnson's $67.2 billion sales in 2012.
Li Jiabao , "Johnson & Johnson to serve growing middle class", China Daily, June 07, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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PepsiCo Is “Bullish” On Chinese Market

June 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo’s CEO told a Bloomberg Television interviewer that the company sees “enormous potential” for growth in China for packaged food and beverages. Indra Nooyi said the recent economic slowdown hasn’t put the brakes on PepsiCo’s sales in China. Sales growth has increased from the high single-digit percentage rate to low double-digit rate, an indication that the company is gaining market share from leading competitor Coca-Cola. It won’t be long before China becomes the world’s beverage market, Nooyi said.
Duane D. Stanford, "PepsiCo’s Nooyi Bullish on China Even as Growth Slows", Businessweek, June 06, 2013, © Bloomberg L.P.
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China's Grocery Market Surpasses $1 Trillion In Value

June 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China's food and grocery market is currently valued at more than $1 trillion and is expected to grow as big as $1.5 trillion by 2016, according to market research firm IGD. Not surprisingly, the market has attracted the world's leading food and consumer goods companies, offering them long-term growth opportunities and possible returns that could compensate for weaknesses at home and other markets. Local hypermarket company Sun Art Retail Group is one of the retailers that have benefited from the market expansion. Other retailers, however, have found China a tough market. UK-based retailer Tesco, for example, reported its first-quarter sales had been adversely affected by bad news, including the bird flu crisis and food safety scandals.
Michelle Russell , "China grocery market "hits US$1 trillion" - but not everyone is thriving", just-food.com, June 05, 2013, © just-food.com
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Boost In Chinese Household Income Spurs “Trading Up” Trend

May 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Growing buying power is giving Chinese consumers the desire – and the ability –  to buy goods and services that are a notch or two above the ordinary in terms of price and quality, Nielsen research finds. The average annual household income in China increased from $1,022 to $3,999 between 2000 and 2012 – a fourfold increase. At first this trading-up-to-premium trend was reflected in smaller purchases, like more expensive yogurt drinks. But it has grown to include all categories of FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), “ from infant baby formula to liquid milk, from a bottle of skin moisturizer to a tube of toothpaste.” And sales of luxury cars have tripled since 2007.
"In China, Premium Sells: From Toothpaste to Cars to Banking", Nielsen Newswire, May 22, 2013, © The Nielsen Company
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Shifts In Chinese Demographics, Consumer Buying Patterns, Offer Opportunities For Marketers

May 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
It’s a whole new economic world In China. Chinese consumers are better educated, more affluent and living more stressful lives, according to Nielsen analysis. The average annual per capita income experienced a fourfold increase to nearly $4,000. Households are shrinking as well: average the Chinese household decreased 15 percent to three people. Today’s Chinese consumers are much more motivated by individualism. They want products that are new and exciting, and offer convenience for their busy lives. Sales of ready-to-drink milk teas, juices and coffee products are growing by double-digit rates. Sales of mixing powders of comparable drinks are either flat or in decline. And the demand for convenience is driving sales of mobile devices.
"Tapping Opportunity Among China’s Increasingly Sophisticated Consumers", Nielsen/Consumer 360, May 22, 2013, © Nielsen
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Chinese Consumers Are Changing Their Shopping Behavior, Study Shows

May 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In China, the average number of shoppers' visits to large-format retail stores dropped 20 percent from 7.4 per month in 2008 to 6 visits per month in 2012, according to market research firm Nielsen. Average consumer spending, however, increased from 1,337 RMB in 2008 to 1,610 RMB in 2012. Growth in emerging retail channels, such as convenience stores, personal care stores, and online stores, has been mainly responsible for these changes in shopping behavior.
"China's Evolving Shopper Landscape", Nielsen/Consumer 360, May 22, 2013, © Nielsen
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Marketers In China Need To Allocate Their Ad Spend More Efficiently

May 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nielsen research finds that marketers targeting China’s one billion consumers need to optimize advertising – the message itself, as well as the frequency and distribution – to reduce or eliminate wasted dollars. Ads for mass brands should be delivered more frequently than messaging for premium products. The optimal response point for mass brands is a frequency of eight times compared with two times for premium products. Another waste-related problem is shelf space. There are 23 percent fewer advertised brands available to consumers compared to unadvertised brands, but they account for 31 percent more dollars. Of the 600,000 Chinese products on the market, only 2 percent will line the shelves of a hypermarket.
"Supercharge Ad Efficiency and Retail Distribution in China", Nielsen/Consumer 360, May 22, 2013, © Nielsen
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Chinese Women's Income, Household Authority On The Rise, Nielsen Study Shows

May 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In China, women's contribution to family income has increased from 20 percent in 1980 to 50 percent in 2013, according to market research firm Nielsen. China accounts for seven of the top 13 richest self-made women in the world, and 86 percent of mothers in the country believe the future holds new opportunities and financial stability for their daughters. These gains in income have greatly enhanced women's role in household decision making, including purchasing decisions. Marketers must recognize and adapt to this trend, including how they connect with Chinese women. Nielsen's research revealed 27 percent of women follow their favorite celebrities on social media everyday and 54 percent of women trust social media postings.
"Women: The CFO of the Chinese Household", Nielsen/Consumer 360, May 22, 2013, © Nielsen
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Danone Partners With China Mengniu Dairy In Latest Stab At China's Yoghurt Market

May 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
French dairy company Danone invested €325 million in two business agreements with China Mengniu Dairy Co. Ltd. as part of its efforts to increase its share of China's dairy market. Danone's previous attempts to expand its business in China's €2 billion yoghurt market, which the company expects to more than double in the next five years, have failed. Mengniu also expects to benefit from its deal with Danone, which it expect to help ease local consumers' concerns over quality following the 2008 scandal involving melamine-laced milk in China, which is Danone's fourth-largest market after Russia, France, and the United States. As part of the deal, the companies will form a joint venture between Danone and state-owned food company COFCO, Mengniu's biggest stakeholder.
Donny Kwok and Astrid Wendlandt , "Danone hopes to crack China with new dairy deal", Reuters , May 20, 2013, © Thomson Reuters
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"Lipstick Effect" Comes To China As Economy Slows Down

May 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China's economy grew at its slowest rate in 2012, and marketers and market analysts claimed the "lipstick effect" has come to the country. Lipstick effect happens when the economy slows down and consumers are more willing to spend on smaller and less expensive indulgences, such as lipstick, rather than on expensive luxury products. China's gross domestic product rose 7.8 percent in 2012, its slowest rate since 1999. In the first quarter of 2013, China's economy grew 7.7 percent. China's Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 49.2 points in August 2012, a nine-month low. Although the industrial and manufacturing industries declined in 2012, fast-moving consumer goods and fashion brands made significant gains. China's beauty and personal care market's retail value grew from 184.1 billion yuan, or $30 billion, in 2011 to 202.1 billion yuan in 2012.
"'Lipstick effect' hits China as economy slows", China Daily, May 20, 2013, © Chinanews.com
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Tesco Seeks Joint Venture Partner In China, Scales Down Expansion Plans

May 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
UK-based retailer Tesco is looking for a joint venture partner to help continue its expansion in China's grocery market. According to market analysts, potential partners include China Resources Enterprise, the state-controlled company that owns the Vanguard and Ole supermarket chains. In 2011, Tesco launched an aggressive expansion plans for the country, intending to invest billions of pounds to open shopping malls and supermarkets. Tesco, however, has lowered its targets in China, where it posted sales of £1.4 billion in 2012. Although the company maintains that China remains a market of strategic importance, it has nevertheless adopted a more careful strategy in the country.
Andrea Felsted , "Tesco seeks China partnership", Financial Times, May 19, 2013, © The Financial Times Limited
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Emerging Markets To Become Among World's Top 5 Economies In 2020, Euromonitor Study Predicts

May 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Emerging markets will dominate the world's top 5 largest economies in 2020, according to Euromonitor International. In terms of purchasing power parity, the three biggest economies in 2020 will account for about 30 percent of global GDP compared with 23.5 percent in 2012, with the most significant shift in global power expected in 2017 when China will overtake the U.S. to become the largest economy. While growth in emerging markets will mean better standards of living and decline in poverty, the trend will also have significant impact on the global consumer market. Euromonitor expects Brazil to join China as the only emerging markets on the world's list of top 5 consumer markets in 2020.
Media Eghbal, Country Insight Managing Editor, "Forecast: World’s Largest Economies in 2020", Euromonitor International, May 16, 2013, © Euromonitor International
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GLG Life Tech Partners With China National Cereals, Oils, And Foodstuff To Promote Stevia Products In China

May 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
GLG Life Tech Corp. entered into a strategic collaboration deal with China National Cereals, Oils, and Foodstuff Corp. for the Chinese market. A number of months in the making, the collaboration will focus on developing products that will help promote health food and beverage products and improving the health and welfare of consumers in China. Also, the partners announced that their collaborative efforts will focus on healthier food and beverage products, technology, and investments. GLG said it expects the official letter of intent to be signed the coming weeks, detailing the areas of partnership. China is one of the countries with the largest populations of people with diabetes, with about 90 million diagnosed with the disease and approximately 200 million classified as obese.
"GLG Life Tech Corporation Announces Planned Collaboration With China National Cereals, Oils, and Foodstuff Corporation ("COFCO")", GLOBE NEWSWIRE , May 15, 2013, © GlobeNewswire, Inc
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Wal-Mart Admits China Business Is Ongoing Struggle, Sees Long-Term Growth

May 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it is still working to optimize its business model in China where the U.S. retailer has about 8 percent share of the retail market. China operations accounted for $10.6 billion of Wal-Mart's $469 billion revenue in 2012, an increase of 15 percent from the previous year, according to IBIS World Inc. Wal-Mart International president Doug McMillon said his company is seeking to gain better locations and layouts compatible with a supercenter format. Although Wal-Mart closed four stores in 2012 and plans to close three more in 2013, it has no plans of leaving the market like what its rivals Best Buy and Home Depot did. Instead, the retailer said it is investing $80 million to remodel 50 stores and build 30 new stores more. Also, Wal-Mart said it will invest $16.3 million to improve food safety measures in China.
Kim Souza, "Wal-Mart still working to meet the China challenge", The City Wire Staff , May 14, 2013, © TCW Media
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Bird Flu And Unsafe Chicken Cause Yum! Brands' 29 Percent Sales Dive In April 2013

May 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Yum! Brands Inc., owner of the KFC fastfood chain, reported that same-store sales in China dropped 29 percent in April 2013. Concerns about the safety of KFC's chicken and the spread of bird flu in China prompted customers to stay away from KFC restaurants. KFC's efforts to offer localized dishes is working against KFC's brand, which is driven by the taste of its friend chicken and which is what made Chinese consumers fell in love with the restaurant chain in the first place. Also, KFC is feeling the pressure from U.S.-based competitors McDonald's Corp. and Burger King Worldwide Inc., which are expanding their China operations. Reports about high levels of antibiotics contained by locally sourced chicken also harmed KFC's sales and profit, which Yum forecast to decline by mid-single digit rate in 2013. In contrast, net income increased 21 percent to $1.6 billion in 2012.
Liza Lin, Leslie Patton , "Yum’s 29% Sales Collapse in China Goes Beyond Avian Flu", Bloomberg News, May 13, 2013, © Bloomberg L. P.
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Wal-Mart Spends $16.3 Million On Food Safety Measures In China

May 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it is investing 100 million yuan, or $16.3 million, to improve food-safety management at its retail stores in China. Government officials in that country launched crackdowns on violators of food safety rules following public furor over several well-publicized food safety scandals. Wal-Mart plans to expand mobile food-safety laboratories to manage third-party providers of food-quality tests at 70 stores owned by the company across China's southern Guangdong province. In 2011, Chongqing government officials accused the retailer of mislabeling regular pork products as organic pork, making them more expensive. The incident prompted heightened food safety awareness for Wal-Mart, which also plans to improve employees' food safety training and hire more retail compliance experts.
LAURIE BURKITT, "Wal-Mart Invests $16.3 Million in China Food Safety", Wall Street Journal, May 09, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Chinese Parents Trust Only Foreign Infant Formula Brands Sourced From Outside The Country

May 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Parents in China want only foreign infant formula brands, but trust them only if purchased from sources outside the country. Driven by food quality and safety scandals, the trend is having impact on sales in markets as far away as Europe where Chinese visitors sometimes empty store shelves. Food safety cases involving infant formula in China include the 2008 incident which killed six babies and downed 300,000 others who were given infant formula mixed with an industrial chemical designed to circumvent laboratory tests for protein content. Most recently, the local distributor of Hero baby formula, a high-end brand from Switzerland, was caught mixing expired milk powder into cans being readied for sale. China's leading formula brand, with 15 percent of the market, Danone's Dumex has been commended for its openness about its operations and efforts to convince consumers about its safety standards.
Anita Chang Beattie, "Chinese Don't Trust Food Made In China Either, Seek Baby Formula From Abroad", Advertising Age, May 07, 2013, © Crain Communications
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Alliance Boots Acquires Minority Stake In Nanjing Pharmaceutical, Aims For Pole Position In Consolidation Of China's Retail Market

May 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Alliance Boots acquired a minority stake in Nanjing Pharmaceutical, the fifth largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in terms of sales in China. Stefano Pessina, Alliance Boots executive chairman who led the sale of a stake in the retailer to United States-based pharmacy chain Walgreens, said China's retail market is poised for further consolidation. After selling 45 percent of Alliance Boots to Walgreen for about $6.5 billion, Pessina is looking forward to the second phase of the deal with the American retailer, which has the option to acquire the remaining 55 percent of the company for about $9.5 billion more in cash and shares and assumption of outstanding debt.
Andrea Felsted, "Alliance Boots aims to be in the vanguard of China consolidation", Financial Times, May 06, 2013, © The Financial Times Limited
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Germany's Metro Plans To Open More Retail Stores In China In 2013

May 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Germany-based retailer Metro Cash & Carry said it plans to open 12 stores in China in 2013, after an equally rapid expansion in the previous year. Believing that the recent economic slowdown in China is not part of the overall trend, Metro said it will focus on opening in more locations in the country. While Metro China, which reported a 23 percent growth in revenue to €1.89 billion in 2012, is expanding its operations, other major retailers have put on hold or scaled down their expansion plans because of slowdown in growth.
Tang Zhihao , "The more the merrier for Metro", China Daily, May 03, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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More Women In China Rise Up Corporate Ladder, Still Face Discrimination, Survey Shows

April 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In China, 30 percent of women are occupying senior management positions within companies, according to a survey by Starcom MediaVest Group. Many women, however, are not fairly compensated for their contribution, with their salaries about two-thirds of the salaries of their male counterparts. Results of the survey also found that although many respondents view men as equals, almost 88 percent of women said marriage and having babies make them less equal and limit their career opportunities in the corporate world. Modernization has transformed marriage and motherhood from a vocation into an obligation that limits women's chances for personal fulfillment, according to Starcom MediaVest national research and insights director for Greater China Jeffrey Tan. This perhaps led more than 90 percent of women to agree that marrying the right man, defined as a man with large enough bank balance, is important.
Jenny Chan , "Career mistresses, and the truth about women holding up half the sky in China", Campaign Asia, April 30, 2013, © Haymarket Media Ltd.
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Men In Asia Increase Use Of Cosmetics, UK And US Men Follow Suit

April 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Men account for 51 percent of the personal grooming market in India and 41 percent in China. In contrast, men account for 22 percent of the makeup and skincare market in the UK and 23 percent in the United States. Market observers claim that men's concern about how their looks can affect their career opportunities is driving the market for men's grooming products. South Korean men, for example, see using cosmetics as a means of improving their looks and enhancing their career. Korean Air even sponsors cosmetics training sessions for its male employees. Although the UK and US markets for male grooming products are currently limited to hand creams and a few facial creams, there are signs of possible market expansion in the future, such as new moisturizers, scrubs, and flash bronzers from Clarins and L'Oréal.
Emily Neil , "Why men are wearing make-up to get ahead at work", New Statesman, April 29, 2013, © New Statesman
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Unilever Launches Dove Men+Care Line Of Men's Care Products In China Via 360buy.com

April 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever's Dove brand launched the Dove Men+Care line of personal care products for men in China via online retailer 360buy.com on April 15, 2013. Dove said the product line outsold all other products in the same category at 360buy.com during its first week of release. Also, Dove Men+Care products the company claims are designed to meet men's skincare requirements that are different from those of women, including skin that is more oily, more prone to sweating, and men's tendency to take shorter and faster baths.
Zhuan Ti , "Company Special: Dove men's body wash is making a big splash", China Daily, April 25, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Yum Brands Faces Double Food-Safety Whammy In China

April 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Yum Brands reported operating profit at its China operations feel 41 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2013, which contributed to an 8 percent drop in earnings per share. Publicized reports about food safety problems at the end of 2012 focusing on excessive use of antibiotics by the company's suppliers in China caused most of the revenue decline. Although shares of the company stock rose 7 percent after the public had forgotten much of the scandal, an outbreak of avian flu in China's Yangtze River Delta region poses another serious problem for the fast-food giant.
TOM ORLIK, "Yum Fights the China Flu", Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Wal-Mart Faces Growing Labor Unrest In China

April 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart is faced with increasing employee activism demanding for workplace rights and an end to what workers claim are unfair labor practices in China. After opening its first store in the country in 1996, Wal-Mart now has 400 stores in 147 cities across China. Sales in China account for only 2 percent of Wal-Mart's global revenue; company executives, however, believe that the country is key to the company's future growth. Labor leaders have found that although the "Wal-Mart culture" encourages employee empowerment, along with it comes allegations of abuses that follow the retailer from the United States and almost all other parts of the world the company is operating. Former employee Wang Shishu, who was dismissed after he joined protests against the retailer's labor practices, symbolizes the growing employee opposition to Wal-Mart's alleged violations of labor laws.
Esther Wang, "As Wal-Mart Swallows China's Economy, Workers Fight Back", The American Prospect, April 23, 2013, © The American Prospect
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Cosmetics Giants L'Oréal And Estée Lauder Expand In China, Focus On Smaller Cities

April 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Luxury cosmetics companies L'Oréal and Estée Lauder are expanding their operations into China's tiers 2 and 3 cities and smaller urban centers. Expansion into China's secondary cities, where 75 percent of the country's urban population lives and which account for two-thirds of retail sales, helped Estée Lauder grow its retail sales by 28 percent in the second quarter ending December 2012. Consumer companies find China's smaller cities more attractive than their larger counterparts because of their higher average disposable income per head.
Scheherazade Daneshkhu, "Cosmetics groups move deeper into China", The Financial Times, April 23, 2013, © The Financial Times Limited
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Hardcore Customers Lift Bottomline Of China's Biggest Online Retailer

April 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China's online retailer Taobao reported that 1.08 million out of its 500 million registered customers are considered hardcore customers. According to data from the company, hardcore customers, also referred to as "hands-chopping customers", make at least 10 online transactions each month. These customers buy goods worth over 50,000 yuan or $7,981 each year. Men outspend women customers online one-to-two, according to Taobao manager Li Yan. In addition to hardcore online shoppers, there are 11 other types of customers who buy from Taobao, the company said. These include the 22.8 million people who usually shop online between 11:00 in the evening and 5:00 in the morning and are referred to as "night fighters" and the 1.3 million who are called "hoarders" and who like to buy goods enough to last for a year.
Shen Jingting , "Taobao's hardcore fans support company's growth", China Daily, April 11, 2013, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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P&G And Hong Kong Cancer Fund Partner To Launch Women's Health Campaign

April 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble partnered with the Hong Kong Cancer Fund to launch the P&G 6 Min Protects a Life campaign encouraging Hong Kong women to be more concerned with their health. The campaign also calls on women to have regular medical check-ups and to seek early treatment if cancer is detected. Some of P&G's leading brands, including Pantene, Olay, and Whisper, will take part in the campaign, which offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings for women aged 50 or older from low-income groups. Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-ling, who has represented the campaign in Taiwan for the last 18 years, will also be the Hong Kong campaign's ambassador.
Benjamin Li , "P&G and Cancer Fund launch awareness campaign in Hong Kong", Campaign Asia , April 09, 2013, © Haymarket Media Ltd.
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China's Cosmetics And Personal Care Markets Maintain Blistering Growth

April 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
China's cosmetics and personal care market expanded at a compound annual growth rate of 10.3 percent in the last five years to reach $15.2 billion in value, according to market research firm IBISWorld. Data revealed government regulations introduced by the State Food and Drug Administration in 2011, restricting the use of ingredients and additives, have forced vendors to reformulate or discontinue products. Rise in Chinese consumers' disposable income also helped grow the market; however, the low-base nature of growth means vendors have to compete in the lower-end market. Very few China companies compete in the high-end market, which has remained a near-exclusive territory of large Western companies, such as L'Oréal and Estée Lauder.
"China market continues to power ahead, but remains fragmented", Cosmetics Design, April 08, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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World's Largest Ecommerce Firm Alibaba Aims To Make World Hear About It

March 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
After handling $170 billion worth of online transactions in 2012, China's Alibaba is forecast to become the world's first ecommerce company to handle $1 trillion a year in transactions. Alibaba plans its initial public offering, estimated to be valued at $55 billion to more than $120 billion, making it a bigger IPO deal than Facebook's. Also, the IPO is expected to draw world attention to Alibaba and its remarkable rise to the top, as well as its potential for future growth. Alibaba's growth could speed up even more, driven by China's ecommerce market which is forecast to be bigger in 2020 than existing markets in North America, UK, Japan, Germany, and France combined. Another strength of Alibaba is its customer data, which is derived from its handling of more than 60 percent of parcels delivered in China.
"The Alibaba phenomenon", The Economist, March 23, 2013, © The Economist Newspaper Limited
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China's Ecommerce Market Gets Crowded With Entry Of Sina And Baidu

March 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Moves by non-ecommerce companies, including Sina and Baidu, highlight ecommerce's potential to become China's biggest and most profitable online market. Sina has begun developing its own ecommerce services, confirming media reports that its ecommerce partnership talks with Alibaba have failed. Negotiations between Sina and Alibaba, the world's largest ecommerce company, reportedly failed over price disagreements. China's leading online search company Baidu formed a strategic partnership with Yihaodian, the online store company acquired by Walmart in 2012.
Doug Young, "Baidu's Walmart ties, Sina's e-payments", South China Morning Post, March 23, 2013, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd.
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L'Oréal Wields New Tailored Products To Cut P&G's Lead In China's Personal Care Market

March 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oréal is relying on new products using traditional medical ingredients to cut its rival Procter & Gamble's lead in the beauty and personal care markets in China. More than 260 scientists are working L'Oréal's Shanghai research center to create products, including lipsticks and shampoos, designed for Chinese consumers. Examples of new products include a cosmetic balm for men seeking to cover up facial skin imperfections and skin serums derived from white fungus, ginseng, and a parasitic mushroom known as cordyceps. L'Oréal's share of the market, forecast by Euromonitor to reach $34 billion in 2013, rose to 11 percent in 2011 from 9 percent in 2008. P&G lost 1.6 percentage points to 15.8 percent in 2011.
"L’Oreal Eats Into P&G’s China Lead With Mushroom Lotions", Bloomberg , March 22, 2013, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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Face Care Remains Largest Segment Of Skincare Market Dominated By Asia-Pacific

March 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Facial skincare remains the largest category of the skincare market worldwide, according to Euromonitor. The market research firm also forecasts face skincare will grow 86 percent by 2016. Asia-Pacific is the most dominant region in the premium and mass categories of the facial skincare segment, data also shows. Despite the slowdown in their economies, Japan and China remained the top skincare markets, with China expected to post over 40 percent market growth.
"Asia-Pacific continues its dominance in premium face care, says Euromonitor", Cosmetics Design , March 21, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Estée Lauder Plans Large Expansion In Asia

March 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Estée Lauder said it plans to hire thousands more staff in the next seven years in Asia as part of the cosmetics company’s expansion of its retail operations in the region. Company chairman William Lauder said the cosmetics manufacturer gets 42 percent of its revenue from the United States, while 37 percent comes from Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Asia-Pacific accounts for 21 percent. Online sales account for only a small part of the company’s sales, with retail stores and beauty salons being responsible for majority of total sales. While men’s grooming products account for only 5 percent of sales, the segment is expected to see stable growth, according to Lauder.
"Estee Lauder eyes big Asian expansion as mainland China sales roar", South China Morning Post, March 13, 2013, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd.
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Facial Skincare, Natural Products Driving Skincare Market In China, Study Shows

March 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Facial skincare products account for 92 percent of the total skincare market in China, according to Mintel. Data also revealed strong growth potential for the market for beauty products with natural ingredients, with 90 percent of urban female consumers saying they prefer buying natural-ingredient products. Also, 80 percent of urban female consumers they always check the ingredients of skincare products before buying them. Moreover, 90 percent said they are concerned about the safety of skincare products.
"Mintel Beauty & Personal Care highlights growing potential for natural beauty products in China", Mintel, March 13, 2013, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Carrefour's Shanghai Stores Feature QR Code-Scanning Service, Ensure Food Safety

March 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour said shoppers at its stores in Shanghai, China, now can trace the chain-supply history of vegetables and fruits on sale by scanning the Quick Response codes of products using their smartphones. Information that consumers can see include production place and date and business license of suppliers. The QR code platform is part of Carrefour’s food safety efforts in China, which include purchasing agricultural products directly from farms.
"China: Shanghai Carrefour customers can now scan own produce", FreshPlaza, March 12, 2013, © FreshPlaza
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