Category Archives: Consumption

Guangzhou focuses on nightlife

Workaholics in the provincial capital who can never find enough time to shop, or dine, or drink as much as their friends do are about to run out of excuses. The city’s Commerce Bureau has released a “Guangzhou nighttime economy map” that lists 15 commercial clusters as landmarks of “Guangzhou by Night”. This, it says, is a blueprint for the city’s plans to “enrich and expand nighttime consumption options” and develop Guangzhou into a “sleepless city” in the Greater Bay Area.

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Guangdong disposable income breaks RMB20,000

Per-capita disposable income of Guangdong residents climbed to RMB20,322 in the first half of the year, representing a nominal growth of 8.6% or 6.0% in real terms (after inflation) from the same period last year. The nominal growth rate was the same YoY but 0.1 percentage point higher than the previous quarter. 

According to official data, urban residents had an average of RMB25,161 to spend, up 8.3% YoY, while rural residents had RMB9,645, up 8.7% YoY. The growth rate in rural areas was 0.4 percentage points higher than the urban areas.

The province’s consumer price index (CPI) rose by 2.5% YoY in the same period, up 0.5 percentage points. Food, tobacco and alcohol was the impetus, rising 4.2%.Read more in Chinese. 

Shenzhen boosts retailer subsidies

In its latest effort to stimulate domestic consumption, the Shenzhen government has set up a dedicated fund to reward top-performing retailers by fattening their profit margins. 

Mom n’ pop shops need not apply. The scheme is for retailers who have achieved more than RMB100 million in YoY sales growth. They will get a cash “reward” of RMB500,000, i.e., an addition of 0.5% to their profit margins for every RMB100 million of sales they achieve. The reward will be capped at RMB10 million per company. 

The fund will also be used to encourage the development of original design, technological research and development, procurement and trading, events and exhibitions, and brand building. Companies making use of new technologies, such as IoT, big data and blockchain, to develop new retail projects, will be eligible for 20% of cost subsidies, capped at RMB20 million per year.

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Guangdong consumers powering ahead online

The “Double 11” shopping festival in November is not the only time of the year that Chinese consumers go crazy on their smartphones. They can’t wait that long, and so the “6.18 Shopping Festival”, a mid-year sale extravaganza of online shopping platforms like Tmall, Taobao, JD.com, and Vipshop, was created for them. 

The festival took place this year on – surprise, surprise – June 18th. (Actually, yesterday was when it finished. It began on June 1.) What was most notable this time around was the relative strength of Guangdong participants, who did their province proud. Not only did Guangdong end up boasting the largest number of brands selling more than RMB100 million over the festival, but Guangdong consumers also overtook their peers from other provinces atop the buying boards.

“Technology-empowered quality consumption prevailed as the overall trend of this year’s festival,” a senior official was quoted by local media as saying, pointing out that both online and offline sales saw a significant increase. No exact figures were given, because this is a private party, and so the national statistics bureau doesn’t know. JD.com said it saw good business, booking RMB179.5 billion in sales, up 12.5%. The much-smaller Suning said sales jumped 171% – both online and offline. Alibaba was being coy, saying Tmall saw more than 100 brands’ sales surpass their numbers for the Singles Day shopping festival, with some seeing 40 times growth.

The market for tech gadgets saw the most rapid growth. This was where Guangdong’s “smart-manufacturing” companies excelled, standing out on the list of companies that reached RMB100 million sales over the festival. The top-selling stars included Midea, Huawei, Honor, Gree, Vivo, OPPO, and TCL. It only took three minutes for Midea and Gree to reach RMB100 million sales on JD.com. 

Guangdong brands also led the sales of digital appliances on Vipshop, with an increase of 70% compared with last year. 

Communications devices – primarily smartphones – continued to power ahead, reflecting the strength that the province has been showing in its official statistics so far this year. Guangdong Statistics Bureau data showed this segment up 15.1% in the first five months of this year. 

The integration of online shopping and offline service has also become more noteworthy. Online fresh food sales are becoming increasingly popular in Guangdong with the development of spin offs from online shopping giants like Alibaba and JD.com, as well as supermarkets like Yonghui Superstores. 

Guangdong residents continue to show the rest of the country how it’s done. By June 18th, Guangdong-based sales were No.1 on both JD and Vipshop. The GBA cities were star performers, but more interestingly, growth came fastest in the rural areas. 

Read more in Chinese

Guangdong ranked third in highest average wages

Guangdong residents earn the third-highest salaries on average in the country, just behind Beijing and Zhejiang province, reports China News.

Average wages for all workers, non-private and private, in Guangdong were RMB88,636 and RMB58,258 respectively, reports China News. Non-private includes state-owned enterprises, township collective enterprises, joint ventures, joint-stock companies, foreign-invested firms, and companies with investment from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Shenzhen, however, was way above this, with an average annual wage for urban non-private sector workers of RMB110,304 and RMB63,635 for private sector employees.

The highest average annual wages are in the financial and information technology sectors, followed by scientific research and technical service sectors.

The salaries cited refer to pre-tax wages and also includes personal income tax withheld and social insurance and housing provident fund benefits that are paid by individuals.

Read more (in Chinese).

Shenzhen, Guangzhou to add 180,000 license plates

Guangzhou and Shenzhen will add 100,000 and 80,000 car licenses, respectively, over the next 18 months, in a move widely seen as an economic stimulus measure amid a challenging external environment.

Shenzhen will provide 20,000 via license lottery and the remaining 60,000 will come via bidding concerning automobiles that meet China’s Phase 4 national emission standard. The additions raise the city’s total quota to 120,000.

Half of the 100,000 new plates in Guangzhou will come via bidding and half will come through lottery.

The two cities began to limit excessive growth of automobile inventories via a license plate quota in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Consumers must apply for local plates by a lottery system or auction. The pair are the first to loosen restrictions and other cities could follow suit.

Read more (in Chinese).

Guangdong’s consumers prove resilient, so far 

Retail sales held up in Guangdong in March, judging by Q1 statistics released today. At RMB1.01 trillion, up 6.9% over Q1 last year, growth was 0.5 percentage points higher than the cumulative total for January-February.

Tourism is seen as contributing to the growth, according to local media. Chinese new year brought record numbers to the province, and the momentum has been maintained since then, as seen over the recent Labor Day holidays in early May. Retail sales in the key cities, including the GBA’s nine, accounted for the lion’s share, at RMB881.662 billion, up 6.7%. However, rural areas grew 8.2% to hit RMB136.234 billion.

Local media said growth was likely to speed up more in the rural areas, as major fast-moving consumer goods companies were focused there. So are commercial property developers: In Q1, of all shopping centers opened in the country, 20% were in third-tier cities and 22% in fourth-tier cities.  Moreover, it is consumers from these cities that are seen as driving growth in the bigger cities on shopping trips.

Read more (in Chinese).