Business

Business

How ‘China’s Hawaii’ thrived without international tourists
China has long had high hopes for international tourism in Hainan. In 2009, plans to transform the tropical island province into a desirable overseas destination by 2020 were announced. “But 2020 has arrived and failure to fulfill the island’s potential has not been for want of Beijing’s support,” reported the South China Morning Post in October. Not that Hainan has lacked in visitors. According to the Chinese tabloid the Global Times, “More than 83 million tourists from home and abroad visited southern China’s tropical island province of Hainan in 2019, up 9% year on year.” Tourism revenue also increased, rising 11% to US$16.2 billion, although noticeably absent from the article was the br
How China’s very own Starbucks went bust
Luckin Coffee, once hailed as China’s homegrown rival to Starbucks, has found itself in seriously hot water.  The chain was forced to file for bankruptcy earlier last month amid claims it engaged in the phenomenon of “adding water.”  The term “adding water,” or jia shuifen, harkens to a practice of manipulating accounting statistics to create false narratives. In Luckin’s case, it involved the alleged fabrication of more than US$340million in revenue to give investors the impression it was experiencing miraculous growth.  It is an ignoble end to a company that grew at record-breaking speed and - if only for a brief period - represented the global ambitions of many homegrown Chinese brands.
China’s super wealthy set to grow by 46% in the next five years, report claims
The United States leads the world in the number of ultra-rich individuals, but it was China that saw the fastest gain in 2020, according to the latest Wealth Report by property consultancy Knight Frank. It seems the Covid-19 pandemic did little to dampen the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest. In China, its elite club of people whose net worth exceeds US$30 million, excluding their primary residence, grew by 16% in 2020 compared to an 11% growth in the number of Sweden’s ultra-rich residents and ahead of Singapore at 10%, according to the 13th edition of the report. At the other end of the wealthy scale, Greece’s ultra-wealthy population declined by one-third. “The number of UHNWI [ultra hi
Chinese New Year holiday spending grew nearly 30% to US$127 billion
Despite the pandemic, Chinese consumers enjoyed a shopping and dining spree during this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations.  Sales increased to US$127 billion (821 billion yuan), a rise of almost 30% from 2020, but still below the 2019 record of $154 trillion (1 trillion yuan), government data showed.  With prevalent travel restrictions, many people spent more at retail stores, online outlets and restaurants.  China has continued to battle Covid-19 outbreaks in several provinces this year. As a result, the annual Lunar New Year mass migration home was severely disrupted after health authorities advised people from high-risk and medium-risk areas to avoid unnecessary travel and large gatherin
35 may be too old to find work in China
Is 35 suddenly becoming “over the hill” in China? It certainly feels that way to some workers.  As the competition for jobs becomes more fierce among a pandemic-related economic slowdown, a growing number of employment ads are posting age limits of 35 for fresh applicants.  The problem is so widespread that state media has even branded it the “age 35 phenomenon.” In his forties, David Huang is one of the scores of Chinese workers above 35 feeling increasingly vulnerable.  After the small clothing factory he owned in the southern province of Guangdong closed last year, he now roams between wet markets and roadside stalls, trying to sell his remaining inventory of about 10,000 garments. “I’m
Steam is coming to China and fans are not happy
Steam, the popular online video game mall, is launching a China-only version, but the news has not been greeted with much enthusiasm from Chinese fans.  China tightly regulates the games that get published, and last year the government required all publishers to obtain a special license.  These tight rules left Steam as the only avenue for its 30 million users to access games that have not been approved in China. Gamers are worried that an official Chinese version will spell the doom of the international Steam site, which is likely to have far more games.  Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at market research firm Niko Partners, says the international version of Steam operates in a legal grey a
‘Touching fish’ becomes unusual work philosophy of China’s Gen Z
Young people in China have recently embraced new ‘unofficial’ laziness rules in the workplace to protest against a modern work culture they believe is far too demanding without sufficient rewards.  In a snub to China’s rat race and expectation to work long hours, Generation Z is calling on their comrades to start slacking off, or as they have dubbed it, “touching fish,” or “mo yu.” Among the rules for laziness are doing stretches in the office pantry, using the most toilet paper in the company and filling a thermos full of Chinese tea or whiskey as a desk-side companion, business news outlet Quartz reported. This philosophy of “touching fish” is borrowed from a Chinese proverb which states,
China’s new airline takes flight for the first time with domestically-made jetliner
China’s latest airline has completed its maiden flight using a home-grown jetliner, signifying China’s continuing ambitions to be a world leader in aerospace.  The nearly two-hour commercial flight from Shanghai to Beijing was the first flight for One Two Three (OTT) Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines.    The company used a 90-seater ARJ21 jet for the flight, China’s first domestically made plane. The ARJ21 went into service in 2016.  The ARJ21 was manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), which has spent the past decade developing its own commercial aircraft as it seeks to break the Boeing and Airbus manufacturing duopoly.  While it is still early days
Alibaba trounces Amazon in the world of high fashion
Amazon is the pre-eminent e-commerce company in the world, and its decades of supremacy in America have turned its founder Jeff Bezos into the world’s richest man.  But despite flirting with high fashion – the giant e-commerce company ran its first fashion advert in 2012 – Amazon clothing has been more “brandless fleece coat” than “embellished high-fashion catwalk.” Luxury fashion, almost uniquely among retail sectors, has been largely untouched by the online giant. Not for much longer – according to Amazon, anyway. In the US last month, the mega platform launched its latest bid for the luxury market with a glossy new designer section. Brands can create their own digital online boutiques wi
The Indian ‘cow dung lights’ aimed at China
Normally made out of mud and clay, one farmer in Gurugram is trying to support the government’s “Make in India” campaign by making “Diya” lamps out of eco-friendly cow dung. Aside from being an inexpensive material, the creator is keen to stress the lamp’s environmental benefits as they can be recycled as organic compost.