Page 1

Part # 1 Cities in China. Part # 2 People living in China. Part # 3 Some Chinese businesses and communities.

Part # 1 Cities in China

Urban clusters and hub cities in China

Hangzhou, a city of over 6 million inhabitants close to Shanghai in East China and a long-renowned destination for its historic pagodas and natural beauty, is now also recognized on another score - as “China’s e-commerce capital.” There are more than 60,000 employees in Hangzhou working in Internet and e-commerce companies such as Alibaba and Panshi.

Langfang in northern China is emerging as an information technology services hub with many big data centres ree_snapshots_from_chinas_next_chapter

Yinchuan, Chongqing and Chengdu in the West of China have been given an additional boost by the government's Go West campaign.

Middle and affluent classes in China are rapidly expanding beyond the coastal cities

2 0 1 0

2 0 2 0

The geographic centre of middle class in China is shifting. Share of middle class, by geography, %

Growth in city population Million people, page 32.

China’s government revenue and expenditure as % of GDP, 2009

Part # 2 People living in China

The part of the Chinese population above 65 years of age will increase

Percent of people aged 60 or above in Asia

Inputs to help you read Chinese

Further inspiration

Chinese culture

Power distance



Uncertainty avoidance

High power distance

In group settings, in particular, the Chinese pay much more attention than westerners to hierarchy.

Hierarchy is reflected in the way Chinese people address and greet each other, who speaks during meetings, and how decisions are made.

To maintain economic growth, China needs technological innovation, which it will never develop unless it abandons its test-based education system, now controlled by gaokao, the all-important college entrance exams. China is accustomed to hierarchy and ranking, and the education system delivers both. Chinese students regularly win any competition that depends on test performance. Where they fall short is creativity, originality, divergence from authority.

Much of Chinese R&D investment is not market driven but heavily state directed.

Company decisions are typically reached in a top-down manner, with only the very top of the pyramid involved in decision-making.

One of the tensions inherent in Chinese business culture is autocracy vs. empowerment.

As a consequence of the massive economic transformations in China, new behaviours and qualities, such as assertiveness and autonomy, are required for achieving success, whereas characteristics that used to be beneficial for adjustment, such as obedience to authority, are perceived as problematic., p. 2.

2/3 of big Asian firms are state-controlled or - often family-run - “business houses�. China’s drive to reform its state-owned firms is meant to make them more responsive to customers. Xi Guohua of China Mobile plans to give shares to his staff.

Some Chinese companies are crowdsourcing product development. Xiaomi, for example, has an online community of fans whose recommendations for product improvements are reflected in weekly software updates.


Economic development in China has been linked to changes in work values with the new generation of Chinese managers placing a higher value on individualism and less importance on Confucian values than older generations of managers.

Small units / teams at Li & Fung Ltd.

Chinese society is collectivist in that individuals identify with an “in-group� consisting of family, clan, and friends. Within this, cooperation is the norm. Outside it, zero-sum competition is common.

Instead of working in separate departments, like most large corporations, Haier’s 80,000 employees now work in some 2000 fluid teams. Any employee can propose an idea and if it is voted a winner then that person becomes the team leader. The team manages itself and is responsible for the profit or loss of the project.

The symbiotic relationship between the enterprise and the state makes such CEOs sympathetic to corporate social and economic goals beyond maximizing shareholder value.

If you want to get something done in the West, you have a meeting and you discuss the issues and perhaps you vote. In China, the meeting is usually the last step, only a formality.

Further inspiration on meetings

Low uncertainty avoidance

In the 1970s, China had an extraordinarily high level of inequality. The state taxed 80% of the population - the peasantry - in order to subsidize the 20% in urban China.

1st generation private entrepreneurs in China tend to come from humble and rural backgrounds.

Many Chinese CEOs make decisions instinctively, feel comfortable with rapid and flexible responses to new industry trends and shifts.

Commercial success in China is often intimately linked with tempo. Innovation in this sense involves not the development of brand new technology, but rather the introduction of incrementally upgraded products with unprecedented rapidity.

The emphasis on speed in China can be seen in part as a response to a particular kind of customer routinely found in China.

This customer demands new functionality, low price and rapid delivery. He/she wants the new product now and wants immediate service when bugs arise.

Further inspiration

Part # 3 Some Chinese businesses and communities

Gross domestic product of China from 1952 to 2005

China’s share of global GDP is growing


For hundreds of years prior to the West’s Industrial Revolution, China and India together accounted for about 50% of the world’s economic activity.

Then, as Western economies industrialized, China and India fell behind - down to only 8% in 1970. This trend began to reverse in the 1980s, and today, these two countries account for just over 20% of global economic activity.

Manufacturing labor costs in China and India are growing

Top 8 manufacturers by share of global nominal manufacturing gross value added

In China, manufacturing share of GDP is large

China – Africa trade is growing strongly USD billions

In China, state-run companies and their affiliates account for more than half the country’s GDP and jobs, and of the 73 Chinese companies listed in the 2012 Fortune Global 500, 65 are state-owned.

Most Chinese investments are in European companies

Top 10 most active Chinese investors in 2012

Natural resources

The Yangtze river is the longest river in Asia


The Yangtze river flows 6,280 kilometers from West China to the East China Sea at Shanghai and provides China with 35% of its fresh water.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) works with Coca-Cola, which operates 39 bottling plants in China, to improve the water quality of the upper reaches of the Yangtze river. For example, WWF and Coca-Cola work with rural farmers to reduce the runoff of animal waste into the river by turning pig waste into biogas, a type of fuel that can be used for cooking and heating.

Energy / natural resources have strong strategic importance for China


The about 16'000 chinese mines are the most dangerous in the world. In 2008, more than 3,000 people were killed in mine floods, explosions, collapses and other accidents in China’s coal-mining industry.

China has become the world’s largest market for wind power technology, accounting for 35% to 45% of annual installed capacity globally.

Some suppliers of wind power technology


Beijing-based Goldwind acquired turbine designs by partnering with, and later acquiring, Vensys, a wind turbine company based in Neunkirchen, Germany.


PetroChina spends 0.3% of its revenue on IT and Sinopec spends 0.1%, both well below the global industry average of 1.4%.

Online crowdsourcing platforms such as,, and allow companies to post R&D challenges.

Companies can build their own platforms, as Dow Corning has done with its digital direct channel, Xiameter, which focuses on SME customers and now represents 40% of the company’s sales.

The major Chinese players for chemicals include Alibaba, HC360, and Guangzhou Chemical Exchange Center.


The “big four” banks in China The Bank of China The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China China Construction Bank The Agricultural Bank of China

The big four Chinese banks mostly evolved from government organizations into quasi-corporate, state-owned entities. The Bank of China is publicly traded out of Hong Kong and run like a banking corporation. However, the CEO of the bank does not report to the shareholders and is not appointed by them. The CEO is chosen by Organization department of the Communist party which technically owns nothing. But the CEO also holds a vice ministerial rank in the government which makes Bank of China somewhat of a government ministry as well.

The big four Chinese banks can function as an arm of the government into the economy. When the central government wants to influence various aspects of the Chinese economy, directing the lending of the big four banks is their most direct tool. For example, they can increase lending to stateowned enterprises and local governments and/or increase lending into strategic industries and infrastructure. In this regard, it is worth noting that the big state-owned enterprises to which lending from the big four banks tend to go, account for just 20% of the Chinese workforce. While small and medium enterprises employ 80% of the Chinese workforce, they account for only 20% of bank lending.

Tiantian Fund Sales Company Limited,, is a leading information portal and sales platform for mutual funds. is a personal finance mobile app that allows consumers to track and analyze their daily expenses and receive investment product recommendations.

Alipay, a leading Chinese third-party online payment provider, served more than 845 million registered accounts and facilitated transactions worth more than $290 billion in 2012.

Yu’ebao, a money market fund linked to Alipay’s online payment platform, had attracted more than 80 million investors as of February 2014, just 8 months after its launch.

Consumers can buy insurance from insurers’ websites, online marketplaces such as, and specialized insurance marketplaces such as and

Tencent is one of the participants in Webank, which will focus on lending to small firms and consumers.

CreditEase launched the first P2P banking platform in China.

Internet search


Social media

Sources has the same 140-character limit as Twitter, however 140 Chinese characters convey far more meaning and information than 140 western characters.

Due to reasons such as government control and censorship of state-owned media and traditional trust in word-of-mouth in China, Chinese people trust social media to a far greater extent than traditional media sources.

People in China and the Middle East are the busiest and most enthusiastic internet users, a study of the world’s online habits has revealed. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and China topped the list, with about 55% “highly engaged”.

79% of Chinese Internet users send instant messages, compared with 21% of U.S. users

Similar to the text messaging service WhatsApp with elements of Instagram and Skype tossed in WeChat has accumulated over 300 million users in its first two years by embracing an entirely different strategy from Weibo: going after the international market head on.

App stores and marketplaces

Android app stores




In 2012, Walmart bought a 51% share in Yihaodian.

Marketplaces’ share of e-tailing in China is large

China’s e-tailing market has grown very fast since 2003 USD billions

China’s e-tailing market is highly concentrated

How China’s e-tailing market differs from the US market

A typical Chinese company spends only 2% of revenue on IT versus international benchmarks of around 4%. As these companies struggle to bring technology into the core of their operations, they need massive amounts of help to do so.


Sources and further inspiration

Hon Hai / Foxconn Technology Group is partner for joint-design, joint-development, manufacturing, assembly and after-sales services to global computer, communication and consumerelectronics companies.

The share of mobile phone handsets manufactured in the Asia-Pacific region doubled to more than 80% from 2001 to 2011, with more than 60% of production now in China.

Xiaomi crowdsources features of its new mobile phones rather than investing heavily in R&D.

People at work making Lenovo products

Lenovo’s U.S. workers are cross-trained and can perform different functions, whereas Chinese workers are typically trained to perform just one.

Housing and construction

In China, buyers of homes are usually forced to pay 1 - 3% commissions for broker-facilitated purchases of existing homes, and renters must pay up to one month’s rent as a commission. Online platforms such as and can now match supply and demand without commission fees.

Online sourcing platforms from and, two of the top Chinese real estate developers, are growing strongly.

The best Chinese firms have rushed to upgrade their technology by buying, or entering joint ventures with, foreign competitors and suppliers.  bought two German firms, Putzmeister and Intermix, and entered a joint venture with Palfinger of Austria.  bought CIFA of Italy.  and formed joint ventures with, respectively, America’s Cummins and South Korea’s Doosan, to improve their diesel engines.

A few companies, such as and, have rolled out community service platforms. Examples of apps  Colour life.  ZhuZhe.

There's an increase in remote working in China. The need for office space is expected to shrink by about 20% by 2020. Remote working also allows companies to avoid heavy traffic, high rents, and the high living cost in central business districts.


Shangpinzhaipei, the made-to-order furniture maker, has online storefronts where consumers design their furniture themselves. As a results, a typical Shangpinzhaipei store is only 200–400 square meters, while other brick-and-mortar furniture retail stores usually need 400 - 1,000 square meters to display a dozen or more showrooms. Sources

Movie business

The Chinese government allows a limited number of foreign films into the country every year. In 2012, it increased the number of foreign-made movies that could be shown on the mainland from 20 to 34.

Musical instruments

Of 493,000 pianos made worldwide in 2012, nearly 80% were manufactured in China. More than 100,000 were produced by Pearl River, the world’s biggest piano-maker.


2 auto industries in China

Some car manufacturers in China  Beijing Automotive Industry Group (Daimler partner).  BYD. 10% owned by Warren Buffett.  Chang’an Automobile (Suzuki partner).  Chery Automobile Co.  China First Automobile Works.  Dongfeng Motor (Citroën partner).  First Auto Works (Volkswagen partner).  Geely Automobile Holdings.  Great Wall Motor Company.  Guangzhou Auto Group (Honda partner).  SAIC (GM Partner).  Shanghai Automotive Industry Group (Volkswagen partner).  Tianjin Automotive Industry Group (Toyota partner).

Auto vertical websites like and are growing rapidly.

The used car market in China is expected to grow more quickly than new car sales, from 3 million vehicles sold annually in 2014 to more than 20 million by 2020.

E-commerce platforms such as and can help dealerships source quality used cars, help consumers find the right vehicle, and increase the transparency of information in each transaction.

The taxi app market in China is dominated by Didi Taxi and Kuaidi Taxi - backed by Tencent and Alibaba respectively.

Further inspiration on transportation innovation

Health care manages schedules for hospitals and physicians. It is China’s leading physician-patient consultation platform. More than 50,000 doctors from across China answer patients’ question at no charge.

Doctors can turn to learning portals such as to stay on top of the latest research.

22 innovation hubs – similar to Silicon Valley - have been created within the life sciences and biotech industries across China.

To overcome its many challenges in China, Pfizer is taking a 3-pronged approach to alliances. 1. It has teamed up with a local company, Zhejiang Hisun, to tap into low-cost manufacturing capabilities and a generic drugs portfolio. 2. It has allied with China’s Jointown Pharmaceutical Group to extend its reach to hospitals in the countryside. 3. It has invested USD 50 million in Shanghai Pharmaceutical Industry, which has vast R&D capabilities.

Chunyuyisheng is a doctor’s consultation app that lets users remotely consult with physicians.

Chunyuyisheng has more than 15 million consumers registered along with 10,000 physicians and claims to receive hundreds of thousands of queries a day.

More than 1 million members of the Chunyuyisheng platform are paying USD 1-2 per month for the opportunity to ask unlimited questions and receive answers within the hour.

Thank you for your interest. For further inspiration and personalized services, please feel welcome to visit Have a great day.


Part # 1: Cities in China. Part # 2: People living in China. Part # 3: Some Chinese businesses and communities.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you