The Week in China: Coke, Brands On Weibo, 300 KFCs, Starwood Skis, Xiaomi, HTC and a Homemade Lamborghini


China is the second latest economy in the world, every significant brand’s future is impacted by its growth (or collapse!); but who’s got the time?!  A weekly potpourri of ten reads that will make you look like a keen China observer during any conversation about China.

This week, Xiaomi, Apple, Google, Lamborghini, Coca-Cola, Chinese fashion dilemma, brands on Weibo, a 300th KFC and more… [more]

Google Finally Leads in China — in App Ad Sales
“The deal allowed Hylink to resell the space to clients such as BMW’s China unit and Shanghai General Motors, a Chinese venture of General Motors Co., Su said. The Google-run advertising includes a banner ad for GM’s Chevrolet brand, seen at the bottom of the screen in the mobile edition of China’s state-backed Global Times newspaper.

‘At the moment, in the field of mobile Internet, Google has a clear advantage,” Su said. “The market is heading the way of mobile.'”

Coca-Cola at bottom of beverage satisfaction list
“Due to a series of quality scandals, Coca-Cola is losing the trust of Chinese consumers. In a recent survey, it ranked at the bottom of soft drink brand satisfaction, China National Radio reported on Monday.

Coca-Cola got the lowest score among 12 brands of soft drinks sold in China in the survey led by the China Association for Quality, a non-profit consumer organization, while in 2010 it was sixth on the same list.”

Taiwanese Government Calls on Citizens to Buy & Support HTC
“HTC’s operations have weakened, impacting Taiwan’s export figures, resulting in 5 successive months of negative growth and seriously affecting Taiwan’s economic growth. In order to stop the decline, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang today (the 10th) called for his fellow countrymen to ‘Affirm and support HTC, starting with loving and using their mobile phones’. This statement prompted backlash on the internet, PTT saw countless posts slammed, criticizing HTC for considering themselves to be a mainland Chinese brand and belittling Taiwan, [with netizens] unable to agree with Shih Yen-shiang’s point of view.”

27.5% China Weibo users search for Brand information on Sina Weibo

“According to CNNIC’s latest report issued on July 2012, over 70% weibo users search hot trending news which is ranked at the top position, followed by friends and celebrity. It is noteworthy that 27.5% search brand info and 19.6% search company on Weibo.”

Xiaomi Phone 2 Launch Event Looks Like Apple Keynote with Steve Jobs
“Mirroring Apple’s annual WWDC, where devotees would pay to listen to Steve Jobs showcasing new products, Xiaomi company only charged their fans 199 yuan (US$31) to attend the Beijing launch party, with the proceeds going to charity and offer attractive free gift for every attendees. Over 1,000 people flocked in to the event. Enthusiasts came from all over the country, were all lining up in a Bauhaus-style art hall in Beijing, enticed by hardware that matches the iPhone 4s at just half the cost. We don’t like the venue for the event, because most of the time all attendees were under the hot sun while waiting outside the entrance, without any cover, and the air-conditional was terribly weak inside the event hall, which created heavy sweating.”
Related Reading: Why China’s Xiaomi is inspiring loyalty that rivals Apple ‘fanboys’ and Google ‘fandroids’
Related Related Reading: Red hot: Latest smartphone from China’s Xiaomi sells its 200,000-unit launch batch in 30 minutes

China’s patent targets mask weak innovation: study

“China’s ambitious drive to produce millions of new patents in the next few years as part of a switch from a “made in China” to “designed in China” economic model will curtail innovation standards, a European study warned on Tuesday.

China is seeking to transform itself from being the world’s factory floor into a global pioneer by setting ambitious state-mandated patent targets — a goal that has already resulted in it surpassing the United States last year in patent filings.”

Starwood Unveils First Dual-Branded Ski Resort Complex in China

“The Dalian Wanda Group-owned resort complex in Changbaishan features Westin and Sheraton-branded hotels, with the Westin property including a 1,322 metre squared Heavenly Spa among its facilities.

The highly anticipated opening marks Starwood’s first ski resorts in Asia Pacific, and further lengthens the company’s footprint as the largest international luxury and upper upscale hotel operator in China where the company recently celebrated 103 hotels in operation, with another 100 hotels in the pipeline.”

The Chinese Fashion Dilemma: Go Guerilla Or Look For International Recognition?

“With a growing number of young Chinese designers debuting collections both at home and abroad — next month, Qingqing Wu will show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York while Vega Zaishi Wang shows in Milan — and some domestic brands investing heavily in international expansion, the dilemma for “created in China” fashion hopefuls has never been more stark. Is it better to target China’s billion-plus population, ballooning middle class and fashion spendthrifts or seek acceptance overseas? Does the expectation of greater legitimacy and branding brownie points legitimize the huge risk and expense of international forays for independent designers and ambitious premium labels, or is it more lucrative and sustainable to target a broader base of potential buyers in second- and third-tier cities?”
Related Reading: China’s Luxury E-Commerce Market Heads In A New Direction

300th KFC restaurant opens in Beijing

“Two customers pose with a staff member dressed as the mascot of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Sanders, for photos at the opening ceremony of the 300th restaurant in Beijing. Yum! Brands Inc, the Louisville, Kentucky-based company, which owns both KFC and Pizza Hut, has over 3,800 KFC restaurants on the Chinese mainland 25 years after it entered the market.”

Homemade Lamborghini In China Dubbed “Most Awesome Sports Car Ever”

At top, it’s not dead, just made in China now, like everything else.