China never stops.
Witness of these changes, I share my observations, knowledge and analysis. I also conduct street surveys and interviews.
You like the articles? Please support the work! Make a donation and share the posts! Georges Hymans

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

All powerful supermarket chains in China?

Since I came back to China after many years, I noticed some main changes.
One of these change is certainly the position of supermarket chains in China.
Huge supermarket chains such as Wall-Mart, Carrefour, or Chinese chain Bubugao got more powerful.
They extended their sphere of influence, following a trend that we have all seen in the west.


From importer and distribution in supermarkets to local franchise shops.A few years ago these huge company would only import goods, distribute them in supermarket.
Today they target local customers. They develop a network of franchise shops everywhere.
Doing so of course they kill all the independant shops, offering a wider product choice.
Today there is less and less opportunities to develop your own small business, unless you invest in a franchise shop and follow the "supervision" of some huge supermarket chain.


Controlling shopping malls: leaving no choice to shops.In China shops have less and less choice to find good commercial space. They need to rent inside a shopping mall or not at all.
First supermarket chains occupy the place. Then they build and develop. After that they rent to commerce. The rent is often over-priced. Thinking about it, it makes sense, a shopping mall will benefit more if commerce don't stay for too long, but keep changing frequently! Constant novelty attracts customers: Chinese customers want new things.


Supermarkets in China even provide their own free buses for shoppers.

Monday, October 13, 2014

In China be harmonious: avoid conflicts

From a very young age, Chinese people learn how to live together peacefully.
They learn to avoid conflicts. They learn that the core value is harmony.

The Chinese pyramid of value is completely different as in the west.
In China on the top of the pyramid you have harmony inside the group.
Then you have the face, the reputation.
Then comes the truth.

I would say that in the west, on the top of the pyramid you have the truth being honest and therefore the trust in other.
Then you have the individuals, their rights.
Then you have the group.

My point is in China in order to avoid conflict and preserve the group harmony, all is allowed.
You can lie even deny the obvious. Harmony is the highest value.


From this brief explanation, you know that in China you should avoid conflicts, no matter what your other values tell you: passion, rights, no lying to others...
For instance when asked about Taiwan, Tibet and anything that would mean conflict: avoid it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

1st of October, Chinese national day

The 1st of october is an important date in China, the Chinese national day.


7 days holidays
For Chinese people it means 7 days holidays.
In fact it is not really 7 days as Chinese people must catch up for several days! Productivity should not go down. They must work the week-end before and after the national holiday.
But it seems that most Chinese people don't notice this. They don't feel it is unfair to catch up for the holidays.


What are Chinese people doing their holidays?
Most Chinese people travel during their holidays.
Most Chinese people travel back to their home town. Then they stay there together with their relatives. They spend their time playing cards, Mah-jong, betting money, eating and eating and shopping.
Since a few years ago, many Chinese people travel and visit. They travel in China and visit famous tourist place: place from the past from the history of the communism or from the history of the old China, temples, palaces...
The wealthiest travel abroad to Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, Philippine, Hong-Kong...


How about companies?
Companies can sell. Chinese people spend a lot during their holidays: restaurants, clothes, cinema, festival products (Mah-jong table!...)


And how do I spend my Chinese holidays?
I don't travel! It is hell out their: traffic jams, packed up buses, trains, planes... And of course you must pay more.
I enjoy the blue sky, the pure air! During one whole week China doesn't work: no factory, no construction, few cars, no burning of any culture! No tiny particles pm2.5 pollution is down!



A few children carry Chinese flags as well as buses and taxis.
A few commerces display Chinese flags. But it is rather a way to attract customers...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Why there are so many empty buildings in China?



The Chinese economy is growing thanks to two main engines:

  • Export
  • Real estate

Unfortunately with the global crisis and as Chinese salaries got higher, export went down...
China found a parade: made in China in Africa... This could somehow keep up part of the economic growth and create some job.


Only real estate leftBut most China was left with one engine: real estate!
Without the real estate the economy would crush. It means: no more growth, no more jobs, no more money.
Therefore the government must continue building appartments buildings.


Too many buildings= empty appartments
There are too many buildings. The offer far exceeds the demand!
As a consequence real estate price started to go down. Though the government is afraid to lower the real estate price too much, as it could trigger some panick! Chinese newspaper even talk about the real estate price going down as some kind of opportunity to buy now!
A strict control over civil servant who used their position to acquire appartments doesn't help as they try to sell their second, third appartments before any control occurs. Thus increasing the offer of available appartments on the market.


Trying to have farmers move to citiesThe Chinese government tries to move farmers from the countryside to big cities. Still 50% of Chinese people are farmer. The main idea is to move them to big cities.
On one side they would buy new appartment and fuel the real estate engine.
On the other side the government can take their land! They can assemble small farms into huge farmland under the control of some multinational company...


In fact this must be one of the biggest scam ever. We have lived this before in western countries. In the countryside, a few multinational took over the land and grow GMO using pesticide and machine!
In big cities, a few real estate multinational companies build modern appartment and control the real estate, with the complicity of bankers and loans to enslave man.


Transition from industry to service failed!
We have all heard that the economic development follows a path: first agriculture, then industry and then service...

Now what if this was a whole lie? What if once it was a dream, but it became a broken dream?
The truth is China failed its transition from industry to service.
But there is more to it. It is not only about China. In fact there is no such thing as development. Growth destroys jobs! There are less and less jobs as multinational companies move where labour is cheaper and as machine progressively replace all human labour! The service industry might create some growth but it can never supply jobs for all!
And there is worst: in a finite world, there is no such thing as growth!
Now one question remains for China and for the world: when will this crash down for good?
How many years do we have left before leaders accept to take action or before the global chaos?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Chinese employees, the biggest threat for their companies


Chinese people always want money...
Therefore Chinese employees are very volatil. They will quit their job if they are offered more elsewhere.

But there is worst, I have seen it quite often in China, Chinese employees will bypass their company. They will take the company customers for themselves.
For instance if you buy a washing machine, the salesman might offer you a 30% bargain if you buy from him...

This is also what happens when you change currency. Some Chinese people work on the street together with a bank employee. They offer you a better exchange rate than the bank!
Now most companies take advantage of their employees... I won't cry for them.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sending mooncake at the Chinese post office

Last week it was the moon festival.
It is one of the main Chinese festival.

At the Chinese post office, you can send mooncakes.
You have prices for all budget.


Festival to build your network, your "guanxi".I think that is interesting to tell you about this. In China it is important to build up and maintain your guanxi with family, friends, employees, colleague... 
It is important to offer present, to invite. And to do so you should use festival, special occasion: birthday, wedding, new year festival, lunar festival...


Opportunity to sell
These festival are a good opportunity to sell, as Chinese people spend a lot.
Each one of these traditionnal festival has symbols: mooncake, rice ball...
However these products innovate. They transform. More and more Chinese people offer something else, buy something else.
Therefore companies have the opportunity to fill in these product category or they can associate these traditionnal products to some other products, lead advertising campain...
There is still a lot to be done. All you need to do is check how things work abroad.
Why not: gift set?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Disposing wastes in China






Recycling wastes
In China some wastes are sorted out by the population.
Chinese people can sell some of their wastes: plastic bottle, glass bottle, wood, paper...
Most Chinese people sort out their waste since they can get money out of it.
There are also many people who search garbages looking for wastes that they could sell.

Burning or burying wastes
The other wastes are often burnt or buried. Garbage trucks pick them up to burn outside of the city. Unfortunately, they are burnt outside in the air.

Improving the system
On main issue is using plastic bags. This could be avoided providing garbage tray to households. These garbage tray would be used to carry garbage outside. This would allow more recycling and composting!
Building some facilities outside of the city would also help avoid  burning wastes in the open.