Domestic consumption

Publicity posters of Luckin and Cotti, both offering 9.90 RMB coffees. (Weibo)

Luckin challenger pushes China’s coffee price war towards boiling point

Cotti appears to be struggling to sustain its rapid expansion, having already faced operational issues with franchisees and suffering a spate of store closures, as Luckin fights back. Meanwhile, as the two Chinese coffee chains duke it out at the cheap end of the market, China’s largest international player, Starbucks Corp., is distancing itself from the competition and focusing instead on growing its foothold in the country’s smaller cities.
Mannequins stand behind a shop window with a sale sign, at a clothing store inside a shopping complex in Beijing, China, on 4 January 2024. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

Is China’s middle class slipping back into poverty?

As the group of people most sensitive to social change, the middle class is a yardstick for measuring the state of China’s current economy and a window into the future. At the moment, the signs are there that China’s middle class is not doing as well as before, leading to cutting down on spending and saving on daily expenses.
People walk along a shopping street in Beijing on 28 February 2024. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

Can China achieve its 5% growth target in 2024?

Given the current challenges to China’s economy, such as the soft property market and weak domestic demand, how achievable is China’s growth target of 5% for this year? Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.
People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on 6 March 2024 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/AFP)

US economy continues to lead the world

Not only did the US manage to stave off a decline in 2023, it even achieved an annual GDP growth of 2.5%, with its stock market soaring to an all-time high. Commentator Jin Jian Guo notes that the history of the development of the US economy proves how crucial the entrepreneurial spirit is for an economy, helping the US keep its spot as the leading economy in the world.
A crowded street during the Spring Festival in Xunpu village, Fujian province, on 21 February 2024.

[Big read] Red-hot Spring Festival spending brings boom to China's economy?

Red-hot spending data over the recent Spring Festival in China caused the stock market in Hong Kong to rise three days in a row after it resumed trading first, with the country’s A-shares following suit a few days later. How long will this recovery in spending and such positive market sentiments last? Will this allow the Chinese economy to shake off fears of deflation and get over its confidence crisis? What other stabilising measures will the authorities introduce?
Pedestrians ride escalators in Pudong's Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China, on 29 January 2024. (Raul Ariano/Bloomberg)

China’s economic transformation: Unbearably painful?

Academic Chen Gang notes that while China needs to reform its current economy to maintain growth, whatever adjustments that are made will have to be bearable for the people. Also, some measures may be painful, but necessary.
A Chinese paramilitary police officer stands guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on 3 March 2024, ahead of the country's annual legislative meetings known as the "Two Sessions". (Pedro Pardo/AFP)

What to watch for at China's Two Sessions this year

China’s annual Two Sessions or Lianghui kicks off on 4 March. With issues from GDP growth to unemployment to leadership changes, Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan takes us through the likely highlights of this year’s edition.
A customer tries on gold jewelry in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. (Screen grab from CCTV)

[Video] How are China’s youths spending their money?

Amid a challenging economic landscape, China’s youths (aged 16-24) are grappling with a 14.9% unemployment rate as of December 2023. Feeling the impact, the younger generation has made saving a top priority and are reevaluating their spending habits. This shift has seen them transition from "wild spending" to "reverse spending", from "impulsive consumption" to "rational spending", and from "revenge spending" to "experiential consumption". Here's a glimpse into how they are navigating this change.
The photo taken on 7 January 2024 shows a woman posing for photos next to a poster of Chinese television series Blossoms Shanghai. (AFP)

TV series Blossoms Shanghai fuelling city's consumption boom: Will it last?

One of Shanghai’s commercial areas has seen a boost in consumption since the New Year, partly driven by the popularity of the Blossoms Shanghai television series. Even as consumption returns to pre-pandemic levels, officials will need to do more to ensure that this recovery remains sustainable over the long term. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.