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15 November 2012

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The Big Call

White goods sales rebound

Home appliance sales recovered in October and early November as the broader economy warmed up, our survey of home appliance retailers in nine provinces has revealed.

Consumer China

The rise of convenience China

An estimated 50m core white-collar workers are at the vanguard of modern Chinese consumerism, driving the rise of a retail and service universe that emphasises convenience above all else.

Shopping: FamilyMart – popularity symbolises rise of convenience culture

While a number of domestic and foreign convenience stores are expanding rapidly to service cash-rich, time-poor consumers, Japanese brand FamilyMart appears to be leading the way.

Shopping: Yihaodian – groceries at the click of a mouse

Extensive product selection and efficient same-day deliveries have driven strong customer loyalty for the specialist online grocery retailer, in which Walmart owns a controlling stake.

Shopping: SF Express – delivery firm riding the e-commerce boom

Having benefited from the rise of e-commerce over the past decade, China’s largest express-delivery firm has now launched its own online shopping site.

Lifestyle: Dianping – China’s urban directory

Consumer review and group-buy website Dianping has built up a strong user base and attracted several rounds of investment ahead of a possible future IPO.

Lifestyle: Jiayuan – the white-collar matchmaker

Online dating site Jiayuan has begun to turn a profit, but faces growing competition and soaring marketing costs due to weak user stickiness.

Food: Tingyi – instant noodle king expands its territory

Market leading instant-noodle maker Tingyi is expanding its product portfolio to cater to changing white-collar tastes.

Food: Wanchai Ferry – red-hot demand for frozen dumpling brand

Changing lifestyles, rising incomes and improved transportation and logistics have driven strong growth for General Mills’ Chinese frozen-food brand.

Food: Yum – feeding China’s office workers

The US fast-food giant has adapted its food offerings and business hours to tap into the shifting demands of its Chinese customers.

Rural China

Rural wealth creation accelerates in October

Rising farm machinery and rural vehicle ownership, and a bumper 2012 harvest lifted the China Confidential Rural Wealth Index to 53.4 in October.

Financial China

Accounts receivable: a ticking time bomb for Chinese banks

Non-performing loans are down according to listed banks’ 3Q12 results but a rise in accounts receivable at companies may soon shatter this illusion that bad debts are receding.

Selected financial charts

A selection of key financial data over the past fortnight.

Capital Intensive China

Long road home

China has a long way to go in terms of housing and infrastructure provision, suggesting that investment still has an important part to play in the economy.

Best of Chinese Commentators

The new monetary policy orthodoxy

Economists and academics discuss the significance of a widening of financing channels and an increasing use of open-market operations to manage liquidity.

Growth, income to double by 2020

Commentators discuss the significance of new GDP and per-capita income targets unveiled at the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.

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