As Beijing and Washington veer towards a full-blown trade war, American brands in China face what may be an even bigger threat: local rivals armed with innovative products and the Chinese government’s blessing. American household names like Apple Inc, Starbucks Corp and Procter & Gamble Co’s Pampers are seeing their dominance challenged, a potential threat to the hundreds of billions of dollars US firms make in China.
According to an analysis of data from Bain and Kantar, local brands snatched almost three-quarters of China’s 639 billion yuan (US$97 billion) market for fast-moving consumer goods — a category that includes items like soft drinks and shampoo — last year, up from two-thirds in 2013. The data, shared with Reuters, shows that US products like Pampers, Colgate toothpaste and Mead Johnson infant formula saw their market share drop around 10 percentage points in the past five years. The data was based on a survey of 40,000 urban households.
At the same time, savvy Chinese brands like SeeYoung, offering a popular silicon-free shampoo, and Pechoin, a maker of skincare products that uses local ingredients, gained rapidly. “Local competition is now extremely high on the agenda of foreign firms in China,” said Bruno Lannes, Shanghai-based partner with Bain & Co, the consultancy firm that co-authored the report. “In order to win in China now they need to beat not just traditional competitors,” he said. “But they need to win against local companies that are faster and more innovative than they had realized.”
American brands have long enjoyed a vaunted status in China. US fast food, beverages and coffee chains are ubiquitous in China’s cities, while consumers lap up US-branded infant formula, designer jeans, cars and smartphones. That dominance, however, is threatened by China’s push to bolster domestic brands by creating champions in certain categories and weeding out weaker players to improve quality.
Apple Inc’s iconic iPhone has seen its share of the country’s smartphone market stall at around 10 percent since 2012, according to data from the analytics firm Canalys, and has been overtaken by upstart domestic phone makers like Oppo, Vivo and the more established Huawei.
Starbucks, which boomed in China on the back of a budding coffee culture, said its same store sales growth in the country slowed to zero in the second quarter of 2018. The firm cited delivery issues, but it has also been facing a rising tide of small, fast-growing domestic rivals in China’s big cities.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
English soap and candle maker William Colgate established the William Colgate & Company in 1906 in New York after emigrating to the US. The company initially produced cakes of soap. On Colgate’s death in 1857, the company was reorganized and renamed Colgate & Company under the management of Colgate’s son, Samuel Colgate. Colgate Toothpaste, intially sold in glass jars, was released in 1873. In 1896 the company released the world’s first toothpaste in a tube, called Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream.
Another American company, the B.J. Johnson Company, began producing a soap made entirely of palm oil and olive oil in 1898. The soap was a runaway success, so much so that the company renamed itself Palmolive after its star product. Palmolive merged with another soap company, the Peet Brothers, and then purchased the Colgate Company in 1928 to become Colgate-Palmolive.
Did you know?
The world’s oldest-known formula for toothpaste was invented by the ancient Egyptians in 4 AD over 1,500 years before Colgate began marketing its toothpaste. Egyptian toothpaste was comprised of crushed rock salt, mint, dried iris flower and pepper, which were combined to create a cleaning powder surprisingly similar to today’s modern toothpastes. When the powder is mixed with saliva in the mouth it turns into a paste, and this is how ancient Egyptians used to clean their gnashers.
“You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube” is a popular English saying. It means a situation has already happened and cannot be reversed.
(Edward Jones, Taipei Times)
1. innovative product phr.
(chuang4 xin1 shang1 pin3)
2. household name phr.家喻戶曉
(jia1 yu4 hu4 xiao3)
3. fast-moving consumer good phr.
(kuai4 su4 xiao1 fei4 pin3)
4. domestic brand phr.
(guo2 nei4 pin3 pai2)
5. upstart adj.
(xin1 cuan3 hong2 de5)
6. established adj.
(yi3 ju4 gui1 mo2 de5)
7. domestic rival phr.
(guo2 nei4 jing4 zheng1 zhe3)
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
Literary circles have been celebrating the legacy of late writer Eileen Chang, who would have turned 100 on Wednesday next week. Born in Shanghai, the legendary writer shot to fame in her 20s, and continued to write after moving to Hong Kong, and then the US, in the 1950s. Chang is one of the greatest female Chinese writers, and her classic works include Love in a Fallen City, The Golden Cangue, and The Red Rose and the White Rose. Many of her novels, such as Lust, Caution, were adapted into films and TV drama series. Based on Chang’s novel Aloeswood Incense
Let’s dine out tonight (3/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（三） A: Hmm. . . I can’t decide what to order. I’m hesitating between a lamb rogan josh or a beef vindaloo. B: Well, let’s order both and share the dishes. We can also order the tandoori king prawns that I was just eyeing up. A: The prawn dish will perfectly complement the bottle of Australian Chardonnay that I’ve brought along. It’s a great wine, with notes of peaches and lemongrass. B: Cool! Let’s also order some butter naan bread and pilau rice for two. A: 嗯……我無法決定要點哪一道菜。我正在猶豫要點喀什米爾羊肉咖哩，還是辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。 B: 啊，那我們兩個都點，然後分著吃吧。我們還可以點一份坦都里香料烤明蝦，我剛剛一直在看這道菜。 A: 這道明蝦應該能完美搭配我帶來的這瓶澳洲夏多內白葡萄酒。這瓶酒真的很棒哦，帶有桃子和檸檬草的香氣。 B: 酷！那我們也點一些奶油烤餅，和兩人份的香料米飯吧。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） WARNING: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage
Let’s dine out tonight (5/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（五） A: I can’t believe we ordered the hottest curry on the menu by mistake. I’m such a dunderhead: I should have checked with the waiter first. B: Never mind, the mango lassi the waiter gave us on the house really did the trick: my mouth has cooled down now. A: Why don’t you finish off the remainder of the lamb rogan josh — it’s the mildest of all the curries we ordered. I’ll polish off the beef vindaloo. Waste not, want not. B: Are you sure that’s wise? I might have to take you home in an ambulance. A: 真不敢相信我們竟然不小心點到菜單上最辣的一道咖哩。我真是個笨蛋：我應該先跟服務生確認的。 B: 沒關係，服務生送我們餐廳招待的芒果優格真的發揮魔力了：我的嘴巴現在冷卻下來囉。 A: 你要不要把剩下的喀什米爾羊肉咖哩吃完──這道是我們點的咖哩菜肴裡最溫和的。我會快速掃完辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。不浪費才能不虞匱乏。 B: 你確定這樣是明智之舉嗎？我搞不好要叫救護車載你回家哦。 （Edward