2023 Calendar Week 32

Posted on August 7, 2023

1.Homegrown Luckin Coffee surpassing Starbucks to become the largest coffee house in China

Luckin Coffee, a homegrown budget coffee chain in China, has outperformed Starbucks to become the country’s top-grossing coffee company for the first half of 2023. This achievement comes after Luckin became the first coffee chain in China to open 10,000 stores in June.

Luckin reported a net income of CNY 6.2 billion (USD 862 million), marking an 88% increase year-on-year. The company’s operating profit for the quarter stood at CNY 1.17 billion, with an operating profit margin of 18.9%. During this period, Luckin also managed to open an average of 16 new stores daily, bringing the total store count to 10,836.

This marks the first occasion where Luckin’s quarterly revenue has exceeded that of its major competitor, Starbucks, which reported a net income of CNY 5.9 billion (USD 822 million), a 51% increase year-on-year in the Chinese market. Luckin’s remarkable progress comes just five years after its inception and slightly over a year after it emerged from bankruptcy.

Starbucks, which was the undisputed leader in the market until a few years ago, is now facing stiff competition from rapidly emerging domestic brands like Luckin and Manner.

2. Chinese cinema box office revenue boom in July reaching 1.21bn USD

The Chinese film market experienced a significant boom in July, with a total of CNY 211mn tickets sold, 11 films grossing over CNY 100mn, and daily box office revenues exceeding CNY 100mn for 42 consecutive days. According to statistics from Maoyan Pro, the total box office revenue in July reached CNY 8.716 billion (1.21bn USD), setting a new record for July in Chinese film history and potentially driving further growth in the summer and annual box office revenues.

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Box office revenue in July (in CNY 100mn)

Looking back, the highest box office revenue for the same period (July) was CNY 6.966bn in 2018. This July not only returned to pre-pandemic levels but also increased the overall market by 26%, making it the second-best performance of the year after January (CNY 10.09 bn). The high box office in July was mainly due to the joint efforts of several highly acclaimed new films. Among them, ” Lost In The Stars ” a Mystery & thriller film released on June 22nd, under the spread of socially relevant topics, has currently grossed CNY 3.5bn. The realistic film ” Never Say Never”, released on July 6th, has also grossed over CNY 2bn.

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Top 3 films in July

While in comparison, Hollywood summer blockbusters “Mission: Impossible 7” and “Barbie” were also released simultaneously, but their domestic box office revenues are currently only at CNY 330 and 190mn respectively.

3. TFBOYS’ Concert Tickets Skyrocket up to CNY 2mn for the best ticket as China’s Performance Market Flourishes

On July 24, tickets for the popular group TFBOYS’ ten-year anniversary concert in Xi’an sold out in seconds, According to the ticketing platform, the stand prices are divided into three levels: CNY 580, 806, and 980, and the infield prices are CNY 1280, 1680, and 2013. shortly after the concert was announced, the first row of tickets was marked up to CNY 200k each by scalpers. In the end the worst infield ticket was priced at CNY 40k, while the best first-row ticket priced at CNY 2mn (278,000 USD)

At the same time, Youku also sold tickets for the TFBOYS ten-year anniversary concert online live broadcast. As the exclusive platform for the online live broadcast, Youku stated that there are three packages for the paid online live broadcast tickets, namely the CNY 39 main stage package, the CNY 99 all-position package, and the CNY 60 personal position compilation package.

The “2023 First Half National Performance Market Briefing” released by the China Performance Industry Association shows that in the first half of 2023, the national performance market continued its upward trend, with strong supply and demand. In the first half of 2023, performance revenue was CNY 16.79bn, a year-on-year increase of 673%. The arrival of the summer vacation further promoted the activity of the concert market.

One thing is for sure, the younger generations demonstrate a greater propensity to spend money.

4. China’s MRI Breakthrough after 36 years that costs only one tenth of the current price

China has begun mass production of its domestically developed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines, according to a recent report by CCTV. The mass-produced MRI equipment is the world’s first 5.0T MRI device to achieve mass production, independently developed by the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

All its core components are independently developed by China, and it owns 124 advanced patents. Not only that, but it also has a lower threshold while achieving equally accurate scanning and clear imaging. It has also developed non-invasive ultrasound elasticity imaging technology, ultrasound neuromodulation instruments, and so on.

MRI equipment, known as the “jewel in the crown of cutting-edge medical equipment,” is of great significance for the imaging diagnosis of many major diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurology, and tumors. It is worth noting that the breakthrough in mass production of this domestically produced MRI machine is the result of 36 years of effort by Chinese researchers, and will compete with the western giants like GE, Siemens and Philips. In the past, foreign imported 3.0T MRI machines started at a price of CNY 30mn, while this new domestic substitute will cost less than CNY 3mn.

China, with a population of 1.4 billion, only has 8 MRIs per million people lower than the average of 17 per million people in OECD countries. This means that there is still a large gap in the domestic market alone.

5. Online book store bookschina.com Fight for survival after CNY 300mn loss during flood in Zhouzhou

From July 29 to August 1, Zhuozhou experienced significant rainfall, with an average precipitation of 355.1 mm across the city. Before the flood rushed in, bookschina.com, an online book store bought 2,000 woven sandbags and stacked them at the gate of their storage center, hoping to keep the flood out. However, the speed of the flood’s influx and rise far exceeded expectations, Nearly 80% of the books in the Bookschina.com warehouse were damaged, including many scarce, out-of-print, and old books. This flood has resulted in an estimated loss of about CNY 300mn (total book pricing) for Bookschina.com. Now, after 25 years of operation, Bookschina.com is facing a critical moment of survival. Since August 5th, in order to survive Bookschina.com are selling “Bookschina.com Fuel Packs” and “Bookschina.com Cultural Creativity Fuel Packs”, which includes random new books (non-soaked books) and souvenirs, for CNY 99 and 198 each. These packs will not be delivered until at least September and they have previously announced that 10% of the sales of cultural creativity fuel packs will be used to help peers. So far it is estimated that sales have reached CNY 20mn (2.78mn USD).

After moving to Zhuozhou in 2018, Bookschina.com’s Zhuozhou storage center has not been insured. The industry has claimed that the insurance premium quoted are too high, while the insurance industry claims that books are flammable, easy to damp, easy to damage, resulting in a high claim rate. Are certain industries in China under insured and not including insurance cost in the business case or are the premium quoted by insurers too high?


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