China Marketing Weekly

Half of China’s Population Is Overweight

December 31, 2020 Tait Lawton
China Marketing Weekly
Half of China’s Population Is Overweight
Show Notes

Half of China’s population is overweight.

At Chinese dinner tables, it’s common to hear “eat up”, “eat that” and “eat this” as Chinese parents and grandparents urge their children to consume more. While the older generation may have grown up in a time when food was sometimes scarce, that’s not usually the problem nowadays. 

According to government standards, over 50% of China’s population is now considered overweight by government standards (an increase from just 30% in 2002). The cause is increased consumption and not enough exercise. - Read more (English)

Citizens urged to be less wasteful with food.

This food trend somewhat contradicts the point above.

The Chinese government has been asking citizens to eat what they need and avoid wasting food.

However, when eating out with friends or professional contacts in China, it’s common to order too much food, then leave several plates worth of food mostly untouched. - Source (Chinese)

Gaokao college entrance exams made more flexible in eight provinces.

Students in Jiangsu, Canton and six other provinces will have the option of choosing the topics in their Gaokao exam. They need to take a total of six topics, including:

  • Three compulsory topics - Chinese, math, and English.
  • One of either history or physics.
  • Two from chemistry, geography, politics, and biology.

Before these new rules come in place, students only can choose from either of one of two streams: liberal arts (文科) or sciences (理科). - Source (Chinese)

New standards for punishment in education.

On the subject of school discipline, students may be punished in various ways. Sometimes there can be very little punishment at all, and other at times, the punishments are too harsh. To standardize procedures,  the government recently released punishment guidelines for students in grades 1–12. . - Source (Chinese)

Christmas imagery blurred.

A TV show featured a scene with plenty of Christmas imagery in the background, including a great big Christmas tree. However, the show’s production team (or perhaps the government officials behind them) felt that it promoted foreign culture too much.

So, what did they do? They blurred out the trees and other Christmas-related items in the background; but of course, it was all still completely recognizable. Viewers think this kind of thing is silly and useless. After all, Christmas in China is popular, but it’s not that big of a deal for the average person. - Read more (English)

Meituan probed for banning Alipay.

Meituan might end up being forced to offer Alipay as a payment option on their Meituan and Dianping apps. 

This is just another example of the government forcing major Chinese digital companies to be more competitive. 

If it goes through, it’s a good thing for marketers. We’d like to see it become easier for consumers to move between one “walled-garden” mega-app to another. - Read more (English)