27 Feb 2014
A scheme pushed by Beijing appears set to make headway against several obstacles in providing insurance cover against serious illnesses, with significant implications for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries – and the future of consumer spending.
Foreign convenience-store chains are leading the charge to tap into the vast new market created by the hectic lifestyles of China’s new urban consumers, but have yet to overcome their biggest challenge – turning a profit in China
Sichuan’s leading convenience store operator has benefited from strong distribution and plans to use the proceeds from its recent IPO to fund further regional expansion.
The world’s largest convenience store chain is hoping that a new focus on franchised store expansion can help it see off stiff competition from domestic and multinational competitors in its China markets.
Small stores, limited product selection and perceived poor service have seen the domestic convenience store chain lose market share to multinational rivals in recent years.
The parent company’s recent decision to reclaim a controlling stake in its China joint-venture has re-energised the Japanese chain’s expansion plans in China following years of stagnant growth and declining market share.
Family Mart plans to quadruple its number of China stores over the next four years to become the leading convenience-store chain in the country, but it is yet to turn a profit seven years after entering the mainland market.
Despite unveiling ambitious Rmb17tn investment plans in recent months, a shortfall in income from land sales and bank loans means that local governments lack the funding to support another 2009-style jump in local investments.
A selection of key financial data over the past fortnight
Developers have increased land purchases and construction activity in recent weeks, reflecting a renewed focus on rising demand from first-time buyers.
Economists have been debating the likelihood and impact of prolonged Sino-Japanese trade disruption following recent violent anti-Japanese protests in a number of Chinese cities.
Commentators discuss the likely impact of the expiration of US import tariffs for China’s tyre manufacturers.