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Analysis of the Piano Industry in China

Analysis of the Piano Industry in China

1. Introduction

Piano market in China

The modern piano industry was originated from Europe in the late 17th century, with more than 300 years history. United States was the largest piano producer in the early 20s while Japan has replaced US to be the new center of piano manufacturing in the mid 20th, with the growing numbers of top producers such as Yamaha and Kawai. Most recently, as the increasing trend of global industrial reconstructing, large producers tend to have production center in China. Now China is consequently the largest producer for piano in the world. Yang Weihua, the head of Pearl River Piano, stated that “China’s piano market has become the biggest, the most vibrant and the most promising market in a global scale, and the volume of production and sales represents approximately 80% of the global piano market” (Lin, 2014). As the booming importance of the Chinese market for the global piano industry, this paper will analyze the China’s piano market by focusing on several features of the Chinese market. It will firstly provide a general

Overview of the piano market in China, then it will proceeds to analyze the market trends of this market by focusing on four distinctive features of Chinese Market. A general summary will be provided in the last chapter.

2. Overview of the piano market in China

Piano market in China

Currently, the global production centers for piano are mainly based in Asia and Europe, and China is the largest producer. The global piano production volume was around 450 thousands units in 2010. Europe market was mainly focusing on the high–‐end piano manufacturing, with production volume of nearly 16 thousands units; United states accounted for 7000 units; the total volume in Asia was 427 thousand units, consisting of 94% of the global production volume and China’s piano production represented 73% of the total number (see figure 1). In 2012, the total production volume of piano in China has reached 379,746 units, with 8.05% growth. Pearl River, Hangzhou Yamaha, Yichang Jinbao, Xinhai and Hailun are the five top manufacturers with total production of 292,000 units, consisting of 77.86% of piano production in China (CMIA, 2013). The production ncapacity of each manufacturer has surpassed 200,000 units per year. Pearl River piano, the largest manufacturer and supplier globally, is the first Chinese piano manufacturer whose annual output and sales volume exceed 100,000, and its domestic market share remains at over 20% (163 News, 2012). According to the data from General Administration of Customs of China (2013), the total export volume of piano in 2012 was 292,000, with a 11.57% drop compared to the last year. In contrast, the total import volume was 106831 and has increased by 15.64%, and the average price of imported piano was $808.42 (including secondhand piano). The volume of imported piano from Japan and Korean has reached 700,000 units, which accounts for nearly 17% of total market share for piano in China. As shown on the figure 2, in 2010–‐2012, the piano import volume surpassed the export volume in China, helping China be a leading piano importer in the world.

Lin, Yichen. (2013) “Zhujiang Piano: the volume of China’s piano accounts

80% of the global market.” Quanqing Wang.–‐12/4MMDA4NTJfMTA5ODA4MA.html

163 News (2013)

By Global ExamMarket research China

WeChat: Messaging in China

WeChat: Messaging in China

Mobile messaging took a new turn when messaging apps like Whatsapp or Viber came out a few years prior. Sending messages and images for free, as long as you had a device and an internet connexion, without having to pay the expensive SMS and MMS fees… That did sound promising. Growing fast in Europe and in the U.S., Whatsapp was in the lead in the messaging app market. However, it’s not as used in Asia, where local apps are preferred by users.

=WeChat, KakaoTalk, LINE, are the growing mobile messaging apps in Asia. Divided though it is, the messaging app scene in Asia is beginning its global expansion and the apps are battling for user recognition : WeChat, most used in China, is leading the way with 100 million global users in 2014,  while LINE (Japan, Thailand), and Kakaotalk are not far behind.

taobao _ wechat

WeChat has included innovative functionalities to the app, like Talkie Walkie voice messages, free calls, stickers (though LINE is the one that started the sticker craze, the other two followed soon after), localization sharing, profile views, linked games, etc. It’s also possible to link a credit card to your WeChat account, allowing companies to use WeChat as a selling and advertising platform : in China, WeChat is most popular and counts over 272 million monthly active users ; and it’s still growing ! We’ll get to witness the battle for global expansion between these three giants in the waiting, over the next few years.

To know more about Wechat analytics, see WalktheChat / CCTV / TheNextWeb

Shanghai Senlian Wood Development in China

Shanghai Senlian Wood Development in China

Market size related information

  • Total operating:More than one billion yuan
  • Industrial output values over 500 million yuan
  • 80 percent of products exported to international markets
  • Exclusive rights in the Shanghai region, making New Zealand pine logs domestic sales grew more than doubled and accounting for half ofthe total market in Shanghai
  • 90% of the products produced by the three manufacturing companies of Senlian is exported abroad
  • 3 billion RMB of total sales volume, with 66.53 million US dollar export sales, realizing 35.45 millionRMB in 2006
  • 1 billion RMB of total sales volume, industry output surpasses 0.5 billion RMB

Sub-companySenda: leading company in the industry; Shanghai export top 50

  • Plywood exportation accounts for 62% of the similar products in Shanghai
  • Manufacture 13000000 different kinds of plywood, consuming more than 100000 cubic meters of timber resources using more than 100000 cubic meters of YIyangzuorui wood, which account for 80% of the plywood manufacturing.
  • Residues processing contributes to revenue of 6,000,000 annually

Customer behavior

Competition comparison

Competitive shifts and strategies

1, Establish marketing center(with only 20 wise and experienced talents)

à good outcomes: after 2008 financial crisis gain sales growth of 38.17% and sales 额18.41%

Scientific marketing based on market analysis

  • Channel (domestic): as branches in large-scale imports of timber hub ports and cities (Zhangjiagang, Suifenhe , etc.), liaison and processing plants.

2, Creative marketing

  • Make New Zealand pine key variety and create “overall distribution and proxy mode”;

3, Improve risk prevention capability

  • Standardization;
  • Re-enact operation process and export agents operating procedures;
  • Make ERP management of operational process

4, Trade Information System

Develop monitoring tools

àAdjusted operating varieties, drastically reduced the amount of African timber business by up to 80%àWithstood market risk

5, process innovation

  • Develop timber sub-process handling , plywood surface color can be made shallow to deep, timber does not distortand other new technologies

Some possible advices

  • Close attention on change of theglobal sphere and of domestic government policy
  • Deeper understanding of domestic demand
  • Enlarge sales suitable timber type
  • Expand agent sales channel in input
  • Maintain financial strength by accumulating strong capital

Naming China: Oriflame in China

Naming China: Oriflame in China

Oriflame is a Swedish cosmetics company already implanted in 62 countries, selling beauty products, accessories and home decorations. In 2006, riding on the European cosmetics craze in China, Oriflame entered the Chinese market and adopted a marketing strategy mainly focused on relaying their Swedish heritage to the local clientele.

Indeed, Sweden is often linked with nature, elegance, purity, in China: selling beauty products that claim having all three assets seems to be a piece of cake! However, in order to accurately convey this image to the Chinese customers, the brand had to rely on an intelligent naming and marketing strategy.

Concerning the advertisement policy, Oriflame chose to lead a communication campaign based on visual advertisement and a slogan that all remind the consumer of the firm’s Swedish heritage, as well as presenting the brand the sales force with this guideline.

As for the naming, Oriflame chose a phonosemantic translation : 欧瑞莲 Ou RuiLian (Ou欧meaning Europe, Rui瑞 meaningSweden, Lian莲 meaning Lotus). The brand meant for thisname to inspire the ideas of elegant and natural cosmetic products from Sweden. Is this exactly what is perceived by the consumer?

The Uppsala settled a research on Oriflame’s naming choices, with two focus groups, several interviews and a digital survey. What they found in the end proves to be quite interesting: as opposed to the original intention of the firm’s naming, this translation didn’t sound elegant or classy but rather awkward and farfetched… Of course, the meaning of each word still remains, as most people in the survey and in the focus group still associated each word with its meaning; however, it’s the combination of these three characters that sounds off: as Chinese is a symbolic language with lots of slightly nuanced meanings for each word, what’s important in a name is the combination of words. The meaning of each word alone counts, but what’s most important is the combination of them all : here, people tended to associate each word with the next or the previous one, finding no real link between them and leading them to eventually be confused.

Thankfully, conclusions drawn by both focus groups are similar : they still associated the brand with the ideas of Europe and cosmetics (thanks to the Lian莲 that carried the idea of romance, beauty, feminity…). Of course, we can’t say Oriflame’s naming was a great success, but we can’t say it was failed either : there are no negative connotations to the name (maybe apart from the fact that Lian莲 was a name often chosen by rural old women in ancient China), and the main ideas are accurately conveyed through the brand name. It’s just that due to language differences between Chinese and English those were not taken into account during the naming, the intended messages that the brand wanted to send were distorted and caused a gap between the brand’s identity and the brand’s image in China.

See also:

By Daxue Consulting

How is the snack industry in China

How is the snack industry in China in terms of value, volume/scale, growth rate?

We found that the snack industry in China has been growing at a steady clip of roughly 15% annual growth. It was worth more than 200 billion RMB in 2011, and it’s forecast to be worth 480 billion by 2018.


Is there any visible trend? What are the reasons behind that? What drive the growth?

Although growth is still significant, it has seen a steady decline in the past decade. Since 2004, the growth rates for sweets and chocolates have declined to about 10% currently, and similarly, instant noodles are down, although they still remain at roughly 20% annual growth this year. Fruit juice and soft drinks have seen their growth rates halved in the last three years. So as you can see, though the snack industry is still strong, it is suffering from an overall downard trend. As mainland Chinese consumers especially begin to have higher income and greater awareness of health issues, they are buying fewer prepared foods and snacks. Whereas five or ten years ago, instant noodles were a cheap source of nourishment, consumers now have more income to spend on better foods, and consume snacks mostly for instant satisfaction or energy.

snack market in China

Research sugggests that in the below-40s demographic, 88.5% of interviewees feel that snacks don’t offer any nutrition, and are particularly wary of those containing saturated fats and sugars. We can expect to see two main developments; first of all, more local producers addressing the snack market, and secondly, more nutritious, low-fat and health-oriented snacks.


What kinds of snacks are more popular and who would buy more snacks?

Generally, chocolates and potato chips are the most popular “foreign” snacks, while instant noodles remain very popular as well. The greatest consumer demographic are the 22-35s, especially the females, as they can both afford to buy their own snacks, and tend to have busy and work (or study) dominated lifestyles that don’t allow for much cooking. Teenagers and young children are also a very large consumer groups.


Will imported products/multinational brands more popular in China?

Multinational brands dominate in China’s snack industry. The top 10 snack brands are Want-want, Kraft Foods, LIWAYWAY, DANONE, Wm Wrigley Jr Company, Dove, ORION, Xufuji and Jiashili. Of these brands, Wang-want and Xufuji are Taiwanese, accounting for 20% market share. Kraft Foods, LIWAYWAY, DANONE, Wm Wrigley Jr Company, Dove, ORION occupy 50% of the Chinese snack market together. Xufuji and Jiashili are domestic brands, and though they together account for 20%, they are still in the minority.


However, some domestic brands have the potential to increase their market share in the future. For example, Le Conte, Dali and Qinqin, as these brands know the needs of Chinese consumers better than foreign brands. The Chinese snacks manufactures produce some snacks that foreign brands do not produce, like pot roast foods (parts of animals not usually sold in foreign countries).


What’s the position of China in Asia in this industry?

In 2013, the growth rate of exports and imports of Chinese snacks increased significantly, with Brazil, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and America acting as the three biggest foods trade partner. However, overall, China doesn’t have the same reach as Japanese snack producers, for example. Chocolate is the most popular snack in the Pacific area, and since chocolate is one area where China does not have a significant contribution to make to the market, it’ll be in other areas that China’s exporters could grow.


By Daxue Consulting

Daxue Consulting

panelists China

Panelists in China: Daxue Research, Hurun RI, CSER

Panelists in China

Who are the panelists in China

According to the Shanghai Academics of Social Sciences (SASS) think tank industry research of 2014, the top 10-influence governmental think tank institutions in China includes: Development research center of the state council, CASDR, Fudan University, Beijing University, Tsinghua University, China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE)… The responsibilities of those institutions can be concluded into four main aspects: researching on the economic issues, carrying out economic exchanges, promoting the economic cooperation and providing consulting service.

panelists China

There are famous non-governmental think tank institutions in China, which are: Daxue Research, China Society of Economic Reform (CSER), Hurun Research Institute and Horizon Research Consultancy Group.

China Society of Economic Reform

The main responsibility of China Society of Economic Reform (CSER) is undertakes the research project of China economic system reform from government and other authorities.

Daxue Research

Daxue Research

Daxue Research Consulting group conducts quantitative and qualitative consumer researches for enterprises, government and non-governmental institution. Their projects are managed from proposal to presentation by professionals with years of market research experience in China from top corporations and universities. Daxue Research is specific from other consulting firms in China by its university connections and unique data-gathering network which allows it to cover all China in every field of business.

Hurun Research Institute


Hurun Research Institute is specialized in the rich list, founded by an independent researcher Hurun, it also produce ‘Hurun Philanthropy List’, a ranking of the most generous individuals in China, and the ‘Hurun Contemporary Art List’, a ranking of the top fifty living Chinese artists based on their sales of art at public auction.

In addition, the famous B2C Company, Tmall founded a website in 2013 to provide the Panelist activity online, which is a new form of Panelist acitivity.

Horizon Research Consultancy Group


Horizon Research Consultancy Group can provide quantitative and qualitative research subject for enterprises, government and non-governmental institution. The research areas they expert in are real estate, finance and insurance and tobacco industry.

The advantage of Panelist activity

The growth rate and development of private enterprise are faster in China in past 20 years, and that are thanks to the leadership and ability of founder. However, with the scale of enterprise’s expansion, the managerial problems are emerged at the same time. The panelist activity can be a method to solve these managerial problems and the advantage of it can be concluded in three aspects :

  1. More professional and rational way to solve the problems
  2. Best solution generating from contending discussion
  3. More resources from the panel and can bring more opportunities

Besides, according to seminar of Think Tanks of 2013, the advantages of panelist activity is, it understand the demands of target customers clearly, which are reliable basis for decision-making. Secondly, the decisions of panelist are focusing on the coordination and harmony of main problems or obstacles in the enterprise, which is good for decision-making. Thirdly, timeliness and predictability are also the advantage of Panelist activity, which is timesaving for the customers. Finally, the advantage of Panelist activity is different experts who have the international and historical experiences are good for decision-making, mistakes should be reduced, which is the important premise of successful decisions.

The focus group or the private consultant, are also other ways to provide the advice or solutions to the enterprises. The focus group can provide the different point of views for the customers, which means it is a way to collect various opinions from different people. However, the drawback of focus group is obvious, since they cannot make the final decision for the customers. Other methods like private consultant or the one-to-one interview can make decision and provide the final solutions for customers. Nevertheless, the limitation is the point of view from single person is partial, and mistakes might easily be made. Therefore, the Panelist is more suitable method than focus group and one-to-one interview for customers, because it’s not only more effective and accurate but it can be customized according to the customers’ demand.




China-USA Benchmark Group Ltd.,

Seminar of Think tanks in 2013,


Daxue Research:


Daxue Research:

Carrefour opened a lot of convenience stores in China

Carrefour opened a lot of convenience stores in China

On December 26th, China Carrefour opened its 232nd convenience store in China: Wuhan Houhu Carrefour the Store. The store has a 10.059 square meter sales area and 36 boxes, as well as a parking lot of 600 cars.

On December 26th, Shanghai QingPu Carrefour opened its doors in the province of Shanghai. With a 7.654 square meter sales area, the 233rd Carrefour convenience store in China has 32 boxes and a parking lot of 600 cars.

December 30th, 234th Carrefour hypermarket in China: Yancheng Jianhu Huiwen Carrefour, opened its doors. The convenience store has a 9.476 square meter sales area and 23 boxes, as well as a parking lot of 447 cars.

On December 30th, China Carrefour opened its 235th store in China: QinHuangDao QinHuangDaJie Carrefour. The store has a 8.683 square meter sales area and 24 boxes, as well as a parking lot of 800 cars.

Finally, on December 31st, the Shanghai PuJiang store opened its doors in the province of Shanghai. With a 9.371 square meter sales area, the 236th Carrefour hypermarket in China is endowed with 34 boxes and with a parking lot of 600 cars.