CCTV Interview: Chinese Spring Festival

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I was interviewed on CCTV-America on Friday to discuss the gigantic human movement during the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival – 3.6 billion trips, according to an official estimate.

The Spring Festival, which will officially start on January 31, is the Chinese Lunar New Year. It usually lasts for at least two weeks. During this period, many businesses are closed, and people go home to visit their families or travel for vacation. It is like Christmas in this country.

China has over 260 million migrant workers. They will be going back to their hometowns or villages for the Chinese New Year. For upper middle class Chinese, they will be traveling to overseas. I have seen many Chinese coming to this country for vacation during the Spring Festival.

Still, 3.6 billion trips is a mind-boggling number. That means every single person, including infants and elders, will make 3 trips during the holidays, which seems very unlikely. Perhaps they have a different way to count trips.

Regardless, it is a good sign for the Chinese economy. The Chinese government wants China to move more toward domestic consumption. As Chinese have more income, they will travel more, which, in turn, contributes to a more “service-oriented economy. “

The Rise of China’s Generation-2 Consumers

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A new research by McKinsey indicates that a new generation of sophisticated young Chinese consumers are changing the rules for China’s consumer market and the companies that serve it. See the video below:

The image of China as a place to sell only low-cost, unsophisticated mass-market products is changing as dramatically as its demographics. Lifted by a wave of growing middle-class wealth, the country’s economy is undergoing significant shifts in consumption dynamics as a new generation of young, prosperous, and individualistic shoppers moves to the fore. Our latest research suggests that within the burgeoning middle class, the upper middle class is poised to become the principal engine of consumer spending over the next decade.

As that happens, a new, more globally minded generation, born after the mid-1980s, will exercise disproportionate influence in the market. In this video, Yougang Chen, a principal in McKinsey’s Greater China office, explores the rise of these Generation-2 (G2) consumers, their buying preferences, and the impact on Chinese and multinational companies as niche product categories and luxury goods become the hallmarks of China’s consumer evolution.

Why Some Brands Succeed While Others Struggle in China

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I was invited to be on CCTV-America, the America bureau for China Central Television, to discuss China’s middle class and what it means to Western brands. Here is a clip:

Apparently, CCTV-America was launched last February in the United States. It broadcasts a daily program from its Washington DC production center.

 

Chinese Consumers Spend Twice as Much

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Luxury retailer Shanghai Tang CEO Raphael le Masne de Chermont told the Wall Street Journal that its Chinese customers spend an average of 500-600 euro per year, which is about twice as much as their counterparts in New York and London.

Chermont also said that Chinese consumers are getting more sophisticated, meaning they are now less about big brand names to show off their status, but more about consuming the luxury.

However, Chinese consumers still want to be re-assured that Shanghai Tang is not just a Chinese brand, but a brand with stores in Paris and New York.

As Chermont pointed out, even though Chinese economy may slow down a little in the coming years, there are still a lot of potentials for growths.

Becoming a Bridge between the US and China

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Recently, I participated in an International Speech Contest at a Toastmasters Club. Although I didn't win the contest, it was a great experience. Below is a video of the speech:

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