As the early epicenter of the pandemic, 2020 brought Wuhan countless challenges. One year later, the city is cautiously optimistic about its recovery. Despite COVID’s lingering impression on local consumer habits—particularly in the service industry—Wuhan’s slow but steady re-emergence as the tremendous industrial hub it once was serves as an excellent model for cities across the globe.
Despite its history of strict regulation against the industry, China’s gaming market is flourishing. Chinese MMOs and RPGs are topping lists around the globe while high-quality cross-platform releases, along with creative marketing through films, eSport competitions, and livestreaming, have set the tone for China’s growing gaming market for years to come at home.
To achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2060, China needs to ditch coal-fired electric power plants for renewable alternatives. However, doing so will require dismantling an antiquated system of incentives that are in place for local officials and power producers. Whether Beijing can summon the political will to overcome powerful vested interests opposed to these changes will be an important indicator of China’s capacity for meaningful reform.
Navigating the Chinese market had been challenging for international luxury fashion brands even before the pandemic, but shifting consumer trends in the world’s largest luxury goods market now threatens the bottom line for major brands worldwide. To remain competitive, luxury brands must identify the challenges within the market and restructure their China strategies around the culturally-charged consumer market.
China’s rapid economic development and rising household incomes have enabled a broader consumer base to invest in a healthy lifestyle by means of vitamins and dietary supplements. While domestic brands compete via localized advertisements and low-price leadership, foreign brands still reign king in terms of luxury, quality, and prestige.
Over the last decade, Beijing has spent billions of dollars developing AI technologies to become a global leader in autonomous vehicles. If domestic tech giants can lower the marginal cost of AVs, offer a safe and secure form of autonomous transportation, and secure full-scale adoption within the world’s largest consumer market, China will revolutionize the automotive industry and earn trillions in revenues.
China built its economic engine on the back of its strong manufacturing capabilities. However, 2020 has presented unique challenges for its producers as the nation contends with global trade tensions amid the pandemic fallout. While China’s manufacturing industry still may have a bright future ahead, Beijing and manufacturers will need to navigate the pitfalls on their road to recovery.
China is leveraging its global leadership in green energy development to engage OBOR nations in overseas green growth initiatives. However, in the shadows of China’s green campaign exists a more calculated game to secure its own economic interests through the not-so-green methods of shrouded fossil fuel infrastructure investment and debt entrapment.
Internationally, McDonald’s has long been dominant, but in China, KFC reigns king. KFC has twice as many outlets, with experts having long explained KFC’s dominance through better localization efforts. While this argument holds water, the competitive relationship between the world’s largest fast food chains has also bolstered their mutual success in one of largest and most complex markets in the world.
AI technology dominance is playing a larger role in China’s global ambitions. Now, Beijing and tech players alike are seeking to push the industry to the next level through AI Open Source Software – a framework that greatly influences innovation, shapes market norms, and cultivates healthy competition – making it a core component of China’s long-term AI strategy.
China’s cloud computing market, while the second largest in the world, remains a fraction of the size of its US competitor. As Beijing continues to prioritize investment in this sector, China’s tech giants will continue to propel the quickly growing domestic industry outwards into the global stratosphere.
The ‘Era of Live Streaming E-Commerce’ first blew up in 2019, creating a new industry at the intersection of e-commerce and live streaming. The pandemic has proven to be a major opportunity for this industry, both in terms of attracting new potential consumers and capturing shifting consumption habits. But one question stands: ‘Will it last?’
Since 2009, the Chinese government has looked to consumer subsidies to bolster its domestic electric vehicle market. In addition, strong domestic brands and supportive policy have helped the industry to develop into the world’s largest EV consumer market. Initially, Beijing sought to reduce its role in the industry to promote market consolidation and leverage global economies of scale; however, changing tides in sales due to policy reversals and the outbreak are driving policymakers to reconsider their exit plan.
The narrative of AIA and Ping An is one familiar to Western brands that enter China – with many fallen prey to the pitfalls of misaligned cultural values. AIA had not fully weighed the taboo of death when it entered the Chinese market and faced significant challenges when selling insurance – stymieing its growth and providing the perfect opportunity for China’s now largest life insurer to seize the market.
2020 is certain to be an arduous year for VCs around the globe; however, investors in China will emerge from the pandemic with a unique opportunity to invest in innovative companies at a discount. While China’s capital winter and coronavirus outbreak have shuttered the doors of countless startups, those resilient enough to have survived are likely to be positioned well to extend their industry influence and consolidate market positions.