Alibaba’s Singles’ Day By The Numbers: A Record $25 Billion Haul

After 24 hours of swiping on ‘Singles Day’ bargains, Chinese online shoppers once again broke records for e-commerce giant Alibaba. (Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day Shopping Festival is like no other. It’s a combination of commerce, entertainment and an exuberant celebration of consumerism.

Retail as entertainment is one of the hallmarks of Singles Day. A new word, “retail-tainment,” was created just for that. At the gala counting down to the opening of the sale before midnight November 11, a cohort of top celebrities including Nichole Kidman, Pharrell Williams, Chinese movie star Fan Bingbing put on an extravaganza for a cheering audience. Jack Ma, Alibaba’s charismatic founder, also made a surprise appearance as the “retail-tainment-in-chief.”

It’s almost like the Academy Awards, a New Year’s Celebration, and the Superbowl all in one. Continue reading

Xi Jinping Thought Combines Mao’s Totalitarianism and Deng’s Crony Capitalism

960x0On the opening day of China’s 19th Party Congress, North Korea sent a letter congratulating the Communist Party of China for its “correct guidance” in making “great progress in accomplishing the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

If Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping haven’t agreed on much lately, they certainly agree on that. Xi Jinping has made it unmistakably clear at the Party Congress that China will uphold Marxism, Leninism and Maoism. To show he is shoulder to shoulder with Mao, Xi had his name and ideology, so-called “Xi Jinping Thought,” written into the Party’s constitution. In addition, Xi didn’t appoint a successor – a common practice of the Party since 2002 to ensure a smooth power transition. This reinforces the speculation that Xi will continue to be in power, possibly indefinitely, after his term is up in 2022.

All this sounds too familiar. People in China are whispering: it’s like the Cultural Revolution all over again. Continue reading

Helen Wang On China’s Millennials As Consumer Superpower

I was interviewed by The Diplomat on Chinese millennials as consumer superpower. See the full interview below:
istock_000073091181_small Trans-Pacific View
author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Helen Wang – Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author of The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class and What It Means for You – is the 92nd in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.”

Explain the rise of China’s millennials as consumer superpower.

China’s millennials are a new breed of consumers who will shape the future of commerce. Numbering more than 400 million, they have indeed become a consumer superpower. Continue reading

Helen Wang On Chinese Millennials Using Social Media To Buy Properties Overseas

I was interviewed by CBC News, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, on how Chinese millennials are using social media such as WeChat to buy real estates overseas. See the interview below.

Believe it or not, Chinese millennials have more cash to burn. As I wrote here and here, they do not have student loan debt. And most of them don’t have housing expenses. Most importantly, they are the “One-Child” generation. They grew up privileged, entitled, and wanting to enjoy life.

The Chinese social media sites such as WeChat has integrated payment system. Millennials are very savvy in using social media for all sorts of purchasing, from beauty products to real estate properties.

Apparently, they are also pooling money from family members to buy properties overseas. One reason is that they are hedging against Yuan depreciation. Another reason could be that they feel lack of security under currently system. They want to move money out of the country, and this is another way to do it.

See the original interview on CBC site here.

The Trumps May Bring More Chinese Travelers To The U.S.

Ivanka Trump speaks, as President Trump listens, during a meeting with women small business owners in the White House on March 27, 2017. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

Despite Trump’s anti-China rhetoric during his campaign, more Chinese are choosing the U.S. as their next travel destination.

A survey by Brand USA reveals that the Chinese are the only group indicating that the political climate in the United States under Donald Trump has made them more likely to visit the country than before. This puts them in stark contrast to every other country surveyed, which includes Mexico, Canada, and Australia. Continue reading

Xi Can Teach Trump How To Make America Great Again

When President Xi Jinping meets President Donald Trump this week at Mar-a-Lago, Xi can certainly teach Trump a thing or two about how to make America great again. After all, the Chinese have been trying to make their country great again for the last few hundred years, and the result is apparent.

President Trump may not like it, but Xi’s success story will not be about protectionism and isolationism that seem to have characterized his administration.  Continue reading

The Real Reason Chinese Millennials Are Super Consumers

SuperConsumersEarly in March, more than 4,000 people gathered at “Millennial 20/20 Summit” in New York to discuss power of the millennial generation and how they will affect the future of retail.

Chinese millennials, numbering more than 400 million, are a force to be reckoned with. While many have recognized them as ultra-connected consumers, few have realized that this has been caused by their place in history as the only-child generation. This alone sets them apart from other millennials in a most fundamental way. Continue reading

Chinese Consumers Year In Review: Top Ten Stories

chinese new year2016 has been a turbulent year. From Briexit to the surprising result of the U.S. presidential election, the world is undergoing dramatic changes. In the meantime, another force is rising that will have a far-reaching impact – the rise of China’s middle class. As the year draws to an end, here is a recap of the top 10 stories about the rapidly-changing Chinese consumers in 2016. Continue reading