Beijing’s Municipal Bureau of Statistics has reported that the city’s GDP reached RMB 2.49 trillion in 2016, representing growth of 6.7 from 2015, with much of this increase attributed to the new economy sector. The sector, which includes industries such as new energy vehicles and creative tech, made up 32.7 percent of the national economy, with an increase of 10.1 percent compared to last year. With the rise of high tech zones and internet business models, tech industries are increasingly becoming a driving force for the growth of the economy. This shift has partially come about because of the increase in per capita disposable income, which in Beijing has reached RMB 52,530, a 6.9 percent increase, with more being spent on tech and gadgets.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has released a plan to triple the size of its big data industry by 2020 and reach annual sales of over RMB 1 trillion, up from RMB 280 billion in 2015, with a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent. The plan also set out targets to create 10 world-leading big data companies and 10-15 experimental zones by 2020, with hopes to modernize traditional industries, and give impetus to the country’s economic transformation and development. China is among the world’s largest data producers, boasting 700 million internet users and 1.3 billion mobile phone users, and has been facilitating the rapid development of its information and technology industries over the last few years. The information industry doubled sales figures from 2010 to 2015, reaching RMB 17.1 trillion.
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Intense smog and pollution in the north of China has triggered a boom in sales of PM2.5 detectors. According to figures from the popular e-commerce platform JD.com, during the time in which Beijing issued an air pollution red alert (December 16-20, 2016), sales increased by 105 percent compared to 2015. The largest concentration was purchased by consumers in Beijing, followed by Sichuan and Hebei provinces. Beijing’s Hanvon Blue Sky Technology Co Ltd produces one of the most popular detectors, and has reported that sales are rapidly increasing, selling over 50,000 units in December – equivalent to the first three months of 2015. Most detectors are sold in the winter months, when air pollution is worse. China’s air pollution problems will take years to alleviate, and it is expected that sales of detectors will continue to rise.
Despite turbulence in the economy, China’s cosmetics industry has maintained substantial growth. According to Euromonitor International, the industry has kept a compound average growth rate of 8.2 percent between 2011 and 2015. This figure is expected to be 6.7 percent between 2016 and 2020, with the overall market value reaching RMB 435.2 billion by 2020. The Ministry of Finance introduced a new policy in September 2016, which cancelled consumption tax for ordinary cosmetic products, while tax for high end cosmetics was reduced from 30 percent to 15 percent. However, global cosmetic brands still compose the majority of sales in China, particularly with the rise of e-commerce. Consumers are increasingly looking to buy more expensive and luxurious products, and domestic brands are now catering to this trend.
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