Permalink 01:54:52 pm, by dacare, 181 words, 200 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China's R&D spending up 11.6 pct in 2017

China's spending on research and development (R&D) grew faster in 2017 as the country continued to push for innovation-driven development.

Preliminary calculations showed that R&D spending rose 11.6 percent year-on-year to 1.75 trillion yuan (about 280 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017, 1 percentage point higher than in 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday.

The spending accounted for 2.12 percent of China's gross domestic product, 0.01 percentage points higher than the previous year.

Chinese enterprises spent more than 1.37 trillion yuan on R&D last year, up 13.1 percent from 2016, while R&D spending at government institutions and colleges increased 7 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

Some 92 billion yuan, or 5.3 percent of the total spending, was put into fundamental research in 2017, up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, the NBS said.

According to the 13th five-year plan for national science and technology talent development (2016-2020), China will increase its annual per capita spending on R&D to 500,000 yuan by 2020, up from 370,000 yuan in 2014.

China had 5.35 million people working in R&D at the end of 2015, the world's largest pool of R&D personnel.

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Permalink 04:25:10 pm, by dacare, 168 words, 196 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Sales of FMCG surge 4.3%

China's sales of fast moving consumer goods, such as packaged food, beverage and cosmetics, recorded the highest annual growth in three years in 2017 at 4.3 percent, with online sales volume rising 29 percent, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Retailers are adopting new methods to catch up with the digital transformation, with the combined sales volume of hypermarket, supermarket and convenience stores rising 2.6 percent, from 1.6 percent growth a year ago.

Most multinational and local retailers have strengthened their foothold with new store openings or business formats through tie-ins with Internet companies.

Sun Art Retail Group, which runs Auchan and RT Mart malls, remains the biggest player by sales, lifting its market share to 8.4 percent from 8.1 percent a year ago.

Yonghui recorded the fastest growth with new formats such as Super Species and community stores. It overtook Carrefour as the fourth largest retailer, with a market share of 3.3 percent.

About 60 percent of Chinese families have purchased fast moving consumer goods online, and in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, that figure is nearly 70 percent.

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Permalink 04:44:55 pm, by dacare, 395 words, 292 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China embraces new opportunities in offline retail despite e-commerce development

China's offline retail is embracing new opportunities as e-commerce is presenting innovative consumption experiences for the country, said People's Daily in a Monday report.

According to recent statistics released by China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the sales of 2,700 key typical retail enterprises rose by 4.6% year on year in 2017, 3 percentage points higher than that of last year over the same period.

Convenience stores are a miniature that shows signs of the recovery of the retail industry. The overall business index of China's convenience stores was 71.28 in the fourth quarter of 2017, 2.03 higher than that in the third quarter, said a report issued by the MOFCOM.

The statistics of different businesses of typical retail enterprises showed that in 2017, the sales of specialty stores, pro-stores, supermarkets, and department stores increased by 8.3%, 6.2%, 3.8%, and 2.4%, respectively, 6.6, 3.3, 1.9, and 2.7 percentage points higher respectively than those of the first half of this year over the same period of time.

Online and offline retail have always been considered rivals to each other. Some people even attributed the previous fall of market share of the real economy to the diversion of e-commerce.

"Online and offline competition is not a 'win and die' situation, and 'survival of the fittest' is the only market law," said Li Keaobo, Executive Secretary General of Center for China in the World Economy under Tsinghua University.

After timely adjustment, offline retail still has the opportunity to win the market share because of its unique advantages in meeting consumers' demand.

The narrowing gap between online and offline prices is the primary reason for the recovery of offline business. "Now the prices offered at online platforms and department stores are almost the same," said a consumer named Cai Wei, adding that he prefers the latter since it features more credibility.

"China's online and offline retail are experiencing integration and common development," noted Ren Guoqiang, senior partner of the global strategy consulting firm Roland Berger. More Chinese retail enterprises have realized that innovation, enhanced operating capability, and the upgrading of consumer experiences are the only way of development, he said.

"But we still have to further improve the business environment for retail industry," said Li. According to him, the online-offline integration calls for a fair and orderly competition environment.

Currently, online retail sales account for 15% of the total retail revenue in China, and a well-built monitoring system would better guide the direction for its future development.

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Permalink 03:05:01 pm, by dacare, 368 words, 194 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China's Hainan cuts red tape to attract foreign investment

Denis Koreshkov waited only one night before getting his business license in south China's Hainan Province.

The 34-year-old Russian engineer and his business partners were amazed at the administrative efficiency. The office of his company in Hainan Software Park in Chengmai County, which is undergoing fitment and equipment installation, will be put into use after Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 16.

Koreshkov and his partners moved their computer technology company from Russia to Hainan last year and established the Hainan firm with a registered investment of 10 million U.S. dollars.

"China is a rising power in the IT industry and has a huge potential market," he said. His company has signed three cooperation projects in Hainan.

The Russian entrepreneur is among foreign investors benefiting from the favorable business environment in China.

The country has been making efforts to remove barriers to market access and requires local governments to create healthy business environment for fair competition.

To attract foreign investors, since October last year the approval of foreign enterprises in Hainan has only taken three days, compared with 18 days previously.

Hainan took the lead on online administrative approval in July 2017, enabling applicants to submit administrative approval affairs at home with a computer.

"A highly efficient government will cut the institutional and time costs for companies' development," said Wang Jing, head of the Hainan provincial government affairs service center.

"Streamlining administrative approval procedures will push the transformation of government functions and create a favorable soft environment for economic development," she said.

Wu Yusheng, founder of Tetranov International, a U.S. pharmaceutical company, also feels the benefits of such policies.

The registration and construction of his health product plant in Haikou, the provincial capital, only took five months.

"We have lots of investment projects around the world. The Hainan project is the fastest," Wu said.

To attract foreign capital, Hainan also identified 12 key industries, including tourism, Internet, medical treatment and bio-pharmaceuticals, and introduced preferential policies.

Due to the policies, the island province has become a hot spot for foreign investment.

In the past five years, 360 foreign-funded enterprises have been set up in the province, with contracted foreign capital reaching 25.4 billion U.S. dollars. In 2017, the island signed almost 40 foreign investment projects.

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Permalink 02:53:00 pm, by dacare, 310 words, 120 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Game developers, designers among highest paying jobs: report

Game developers at Perfect World, a Beijing-based game company

Consider playing video games is simply a waste of time and money? You may need to think again.

Those thousands of hours spent playing video games, especially if supplemented with a degree in game development and design, can now lead to a career in the video game industry with a very competitive salary.

Game developers and designers are earning the highest salary among almost all professionals in the cultural and creative industry, with a median salary of over 10,000 yuan (U.S.$1562.5) a month in China, according to a report released by the Beijing-based market consultancy CNG.

Its chief analyst Wang Xu explained this could be attributed partly to rapid industry development and to the high demand for talents.

China's game market has become the world's largest, with sales revenue rising from some 10 billion yuan in 2007 to 203.6 billion yuan in 2017, a nearly 20-fold jump in a decade, according to China Gaming Report.

Despite the rapid development, the country still faces a lack of skilled professionals in the industry. Survey analysis shows the gaming market still need over a million game designers to match its rapid development.

Although a high diploma is not a must in the career, big game companies still prefer college graduates with hands-on experience and vocational skills in game development and designing, CNG reported.

Due to course design and lack of interaction with the industry, however, universities usually are not producing the kind of graduates suited to industry demand, said Guo Lei, executive dean of the Pixseed Digital Art Education Base, a talent incubator focusing on digital art fields such as games, comics and animation.

"We want to work with top universities at home and abroad as well as leading companies in course designing and work orientation, so as to cultivate more talents fitting the industrial demand," she added.

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Permalink 11:53:37 am, by dacare, 512 words, 98 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Traditional retailers fight to maintain market share

People select food products imported from Britain at an Ito Yokado department store in Beijing.

In their competition with online giants, which have recently expanded to offering fresh food in physical stores, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are gearing up to secure their market shares in this sector.

Sam's Club, the membership store and high-end format of one of the world's largest retailers by revenue Wal-Mart Stores Inc, has decided to set up "club depots", or storehouses, with Dada-JD Daojia, a food-delivery unit of the country's second largest e-commerce platform JD, at places where their physical stores have not yet reached.

The system will be built together by Sam's Club and Dada, including selecting locations for the storehouses, managing the inventory and deliveries.

Each storehouse will cover about 1,000 merchandise items, mostly high-frequency fresh groceries. That category currently takes up 20 percent of the Sam's Club stores' revenue. Every storehouse will cover a neighborhood market of three to five kilo-meters, offering delivery within one hour.

Chen Zhiyu, Walmart China vice-president, said since the testing of two club depots in Shenzhen, the delivery time has been shortened to 40 minutes on average, with orders quickly raised to 200 a day and repeating orders to 30 percent.

"We've often heard that despite consumer's preference in products at Sam's Club, they are often restrained by the long distance to the store or large packages of each item," said Chen, who is also in charge of Sam's Club's e-commerce and marketing and membership.

"The new storehouse will increase customer's shopping frequency and loyalty by satisfying their needs for convenience, especially for fresh goods," he said.

Chen, who held several positions at Alibaba Group Holding Ltd prior to his current role, said Sam's Club expects to increase its online sales to as much as the level of its physical stores within three years.

Sam's Club's digital services have seen three-digit annual growth in recent years.

French leading retailer Carrefour SA is also planning to expand its digital and online reach to 18 cities in China from the current 12. The six new cities include Guangzhou, Dongguan, Haikou, Changsha, Hefei and Dalian.

Carrefour has built its own shopping application and its stores have worked with online-to-offline delivery platforms including Metian, Ele.com and Baidu Waimai. Meanwhile, in Beijing and Shanghai, Carrefour has started to sell fresh goods directly from overseas, with a special focus on lobsters and oysters.

Meanwhile, traditional department store Ito Yokado has initiated upgrades on its remaining Yayuncun store after closing its seven other stores in Beijing.

The revamping efforts include expanding its food supermarkets, introducing catering, entertainment and education businesses and gyms, which cover nearly half of the total area, while the general merchandise area will be downsized.

Founded in 2002, the Yanyuncun store of Ito Yokado has an operating area of 21,200 square meters. The new store will set up a central kitchen to offer processed foods and half-processed food for consumers.

Fresh merchandise has also been upgraded to meet the demands for high-end products. Imported beef from Australia, food from Japan and packaged processed food for neighboring working families are now also available.

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