The Chinese A-shares market is red hot these days, with everyone from local low paid household helpers to stay at home moms to wealthy businesspeople all getting into the market and being delighted by their paper returns. Only Chinese investors may invest in A-shares, not foreigners. It is a sight to behold and this article in Foreign Policy (as posted in Sinocism) discusses the origins of this particular bull market.
Technology research firm IDC forecast that the global smartphone shipments will grow by merely 11.3% in 2015, lower than the previously forecast 12%. The global smartphone shipments growth rates in 2014 and 2013 were 28% and 40% respectively, so clearly the first wave of buying smartphones has topped off and growth has slowed significantly. China’s smartphone market has an even more serious issue though, as IDC estimated China’s smartphone shipments will only rise by 2.5% in 2015, marking the first time the country market’s growth rate will be lower than the global growth rate.
Here is a link to The Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2015 Report, a “must read” for people who are interested in global technology trends. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and consequently point you to the slides pertaining to China and why this market is so important: 6, 50, 121, and 149-164. Yes, she devotes 15 slides in a row (in a deck dealing with the entire world) to the market we have been covering since 2002.
According to an article posted on resonancechina.com, “Millward Brown has just released the 2015 edition of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, ranking the leading brands around the world based on a proprietary methodology that combines financial value with intangible brand contributions. Lead by Apple with a $246.9B value, North American brands dominated the Top 100 contributing two-thirds of total brand value. But Chinese brands made the most dramatic progress since 2006, going from one brand to 14 in the Top 100, and now contributing more total brand value than Continental Europe and the rest of APAC at $432.4B. Lead by Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu, it may not be long before disruptive ecommerce brands like Xiaomi add to the growing emergence of Chinese brands on the global stage.”
As written in the press a couple months ago, the Chinese version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection will finally come to Xbox One in China. This game (set of games) is big enough to attract gamers who have held off on buying a Chinese Xbox One, so sales of it will be a good barometer for hardware sales. The number of games released so far has been small but Xbox is working with local developers and international developers to bring more titles into the market.