China Market Watch: Alibaba Breaks Singles’ Day Record and China to Become Asia Pacific’s Largest Cruise Market
Alibaba breaks Singles’ Day sales record
Alibaba broke last year’s Singles’ Day record last Friday, with a recorded total of RMB 121 billion total sales volume, growth of more than 32 percent. In 2013, RMB 35 billion was the aim for one day’s total sales volume, which was recorded within the first hour of this year’s event, which had an average of 175,000 orders placed per second. Many international brands have joined the e-commerce event, with 14,000 taking part this year, accounting for 30 percent of total sales within the first half of the. Alibaba has pushed to make the e-commerce event increasingly more international, by inviting many foreign celebrities to the televised countdown gala which kicked off the e-commerce event.
Import tariff and VAT exemption for coalbed gas extraction equipment
Certain equipment and parts for use in coalbed gas exploration and development will be exempt from import tariffs and VAT during period from 2016 to 2020, in a bid to support China’s coalbed gas development and gas management in coal mines. The exemption has been awarded to the country’s top coalbed gas developer China United Coalbed Methane Corp, but can also be applied for by other companies. Application will be overseen by the customs and taxation authorities. China extracted over 18 billion cubic meters of coalbed gas in 2015, a 5.5 percent rise from the previous year, using 8.6 billion cubic meters worth, up 11 percent. Plans to increase extraction and gas use this year come in reaction to a significant rise in coal mine gas explosion accidents.
State Council introduces retail innovation guideline for offline shopping
The State Council has released a guideline for driving innovation and transformation of brick and mortar stores in order to strengthen online and offline integration of the retail business. Many changes and incentives will be provided so that physical stores can compete with online sales, including improvement of shop floor layouts, reduction of rent and lifting restrictions regarding decoration and outdoor marketing campaigns. Local governments will also be urged to establish investment funds to support new technologies and business models. Integrating online and offline retail is the key to realizing the full potential of the consumer market.
China to become Asia Pacific’s largest cruise tourism market
China has recorded a 35 percent increase in cruise liner trips in 2015, with a 44 percent increase in cross border trips, totaling 629 liners leaving port. This trend in increase, in addition to the entry of five of the world’s largest cruise liner companies entering the market, is set to make China the Asia Pacific Region’s largest cruise tourism market. Shenzhen’s Prince Bay, South China’s largest cruise liner port was opened November 12, 2016, and can host cruise liners with up to 220,000 tons of displacement. By 2020, China will need crews of up to 300,000 to support its cruise industry, but may struggle to meet these requirements due to inadequate specialist training facilities in the country.
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