Fifteen years ago, pet ownership was seen as a pastime enjoyed only by the rich, but today more and more Chinese families are hosting fluffy friends. In China, 73.2% of pet owners fall into the 20–35-year-old category, meaning the vast majority of pet owners are not retired people who have spare time, but the young professionals who tend to be more generous on spending money on their pets—for their food, toy and spiritual needs. China’s pet economy is growing like never before, and the trend will only continue.
Some people think Chinese people and enterprises have not formed the habit of giving. Is it true? Although it is the world’s second largest economy and has the second largest number of billionaires, China ranks 144th out of 145 countries on the 2015 CAF World Giving Index, which measures engagement in charity and willingness to help strangers. It is also reported that China’s top 100 philanthropists gave $3.2 billion—which is less than the amount given by just the top three givers in America. But despite the disappointing numbers, there are reasons to believe philanthropy is on the rise, with an awakening of social awareness and increasingly new ways to give.
Over the past two years, the Big Five publisher’s share of the e-book market on Amazon has dropped from 43% to roughly 23%. Publishers Weekly’s Apple iBook Bestseller list also includes self-published authors: on the Feb. 17 list, three of the top ten best sellers were self-published. As these numbers suggest, digitalization is not just changing which books reach the market, but how they are put together. For writers, choosing independent publication is no longer the shameful last resort it once was, and for average writers, this path raises the odds of success from nil to slim.
Most of us have heard that the secrets of our lives are hidden in our genes. As the technology advances, genetic tests have become common in certain situations, such as prenatal tests and medical treatment. Also, from genetic test results, professionals can read things like your personality, talent and health risks. Many Chinese companies, though with no intention of becoming “fortune tellers”, are luring people to do genetic tests and offer easy-to-read talent results–and public demand is running high. Startups are receiving millions in funds for making this technology accessible to ordinary people. But is the model of selling cheap genetic testing services sustainable? And are these tests accurate?
A fundamental generational change in attitude is happening: business people in China have started to question lavish banquets with too much bajiu, and new approaches to health and wellness are coming into vogue—particularly among the young, hip and urban. Rising with this trend is a multibillion-dollar fitness and food industry. Fitness apps are being downloaded by the tens of millions, and gyms are popping up almost everywhere you look in major cities. Market researchers predict that the gym, health and fitness clubs industry is to generate $5.81 billion, and that does not include sales of health food, which seems to be a craze all its own.
China’s desire to become an elite football nation is having an impact on and off the pitch. While the national football team still has no way to comfort their weary fans, the government has unveiled grand visions for the game’s development, exhibiting a desire for international prestige and a more consumption-based economy. Although observers say China Soccer League standards have improved, currently the men’s national team languishes 81st in FIFA’s rankings, below Zambia. In contrast to China’s success in many Olympic sports, where a top-down training model has yielded amazing results, football, as a team sport, is less suited to such a model. There is no quick fix.
More Chinese students are studying abroad than ever before, here are the numbers. Chinese students are studying overseas in much greater numbers than ever before. Statistics shows that in 2014 alone, more than 459,800 Chinese students went abroad, heading to mostly the United States, Australia, Canada, the UK and Japan. Two-thirds of 4.5 million chose […]
As one of the more influential components of the so-called “soft power” push, China’s film industry reflects the overall weak cultural impact of the whole. Even as economic ties multiply between China and the outside world, the flow of cultural exchange remains imbalanced. Chinese works, traditional or modern, consistently struggle to find the same acceptance abroad as Western works enjoy on the mainland. While money remains at the heart of China’s soft power push abroad, time is also required for fulfilling China’s creative potential—it’s going to be a long process towards change.
In November 2015, Chinese collector Liu Yiqian spent $170.4 million, the second-largest amount ever spent on an artwork bought at auction, on the purchase of Nu Couché by Italian painter Amodeo Modigliani. People like him are driving the attention of both the media and the world’s biggest auction houses toward China. But the nation’s art scene is also flourishing domestically as Chinese artists gain international acclaim and both galleries and museums open all over the country—China has seen over 100 new museums a year every year since 2008. Eventually, the burgeoning Chinese art market means serious money, and also an incredibly richer cultural scene.
As China re-embraces traditional beliefs and religion, just how is this affecting business in the country?