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Shanghai Pathways Blog

Understand ​China​ ​From the Local ​Perspect​ive

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Business

KFC Pro – Fast Food Revolution

I have to admit that as a Chinese born in the 80s, I do have a complicated “love and hate” relation ship with KFC. It is the very first Western fast food company in China since 1987.  Now has 5,138 outlets in China as of 2017.

Basicly, a good treat in my childhood means going to KFC and order a set of fried chicken… KFC also have tried very hard to approach the Chinese market including offerings such as congee and ‘fungus salad’ and local creations such as the ‘Chizza’ (chicken pizza). Continue reading “KFC Pro – Fast Food Revolution”

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The Changing Generation

Yesterday I visited a friend and bought her 6 years old daughter an expensive Mickey Mouse toy from Disney Land.

She just looked at it for one second and then walked a way.

Branding

Why this kid doesn’t like Mickey Mouse?  When I was a kid, having a Mickey Mouse would make me feel happy for weeks. Then I realized that she probably has never watched any episodes about the mickey mouse on TV.

Her favourite Chinese cartoon episode is called Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf

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Her favourite western episode is My Little Pony

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Brand can get old

I made a mistake by assumming kids will always like Mickey Mouse, but it is actually not the case, people in my generation used to watch 2 episodes of Mickey Mouse everyday after school for many years.

Now Disney Land spents billions of dollars in building parks but they forgot to ccoupy the screens.

The real value is not Mickey Mouse, it is the screens and the limited attention of young childern.

Continue reading “The Changing Generation”

Story of Chinese Freshwater Pearls

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A long time ago, I got a pearl necklace from my mother. The pearl looks like tiny rices and now it is as old as me…..well, it is at least 20 years old 😉

Since I have been taking quite a few groups to see the pearl harvesting and the pearl factory, my interests towards the freshwater pearl started to grow more and more.And the more I understand it, the more I felt that the change of pearls is almost like the change of China. From low-end products and copy foreign ideas to innovation and become a leader in the industry. Continue reading “Story of Chinese Freshwater Pearls”

The Wechat Era

The New York Times is right about wechat is a “monster” app. As a Chinese person, I am just so addicted to wechat, it is helpful and amazing as it gets more and more interesting every day to watch this app grow and change. Continue reading “The Wechat Era”

From Steelmaker to Pig Farm

Pigs are HOT in China, and they are in demend…so one thing I could assure you is that Shanghai do have a lot of left over singles but we really don’t have any left over pigs, when they are ready to go, we want them. 

This week in China, one of the world’s leading steelmakers, Wuhan Iron and Steel Corporation (WISCO) or (武钢集团), recently announced plans to build a 10,000-head pig farm as part of a strategy of company diversification. WISCO was China’s first supergiant iron and steel complex. Annually, the company produces ten million tons of iron and steel each. According to the plan, they will invest 39 billion yuan in pigs/chicken/veg farms in 2012. 

Is this a JOKE?

Steel is cheaper than pork. The price of steel is said to be average 4.7 yuan per kg, far less than the 26 yuan price of pork.

A common saying in the company lately is, “Making steel is not as good as selling pork.” Energy and raw materials are rising and steel prices are down. Due to the lack of iron ore resources and the increase in the costs of distribution, the company saw annual sales fall to 230 billion yuan and profits to 3 billion yuan in 2011. 

The days of relying on massive scale and waste of resources is over

The company’s chairman, Deng Qilin, says the decision to build a pig farm is part of a broader restructuring plan to diversify the company away from its focus on steel. Deng says the cost of steel production is going up while the demand for downstream products like cars is down.

The company plans to set up a modern household service company that will provide all sorts of services, from buying houses to renting cars to children’s education to changing light bulbs. They also have plans for real estate and other manufacturing. Last month they signed a joint venture agreement with Hong Kong’s China Resources Group to produce natural gas. 

Deng says Wuhan Steel’s next step is to buy several thousand mu of land to begin “ecological” production of chickens, hogs, and vegetables. They plan to sell “Wuhan Steel” brand vegetables.

Thoughts and Ideas

Nice try! Maybe it is time for me to stop guiding and go farming! But what if all of the Chinese steel companies started to build pig farms? People need to be more creative in business ideas.

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