Apple brand soars to top in China

“While many Western retail giants have failed to translate their American success in China’s booming economy, Apple is winning simply by being Apple,” John Boudreau reports for The San Jose Mercury News.

“The Cupertino, Calif.-based company, which plans to have 25 retail stores open in China in coming months, has imported its retail philosophy to four stores in China so far — two in Beijing, two in Shanghai — and has created an instant following among consumers who can be as fussy and demanding as any in the world,” Boudreau reports. “Its first China store, a split-level space in a pricey shopping and nightclub area of Beijing called Sanlitun, is itself packed like a hot nightclub most evenings. The new 16,000-square-foot Shanghai outlet — located in the shadow of the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower — has the minimalist aura of an art gallery. Customers studiously examine iPhones, iPads and MacBooks with the focus of graduate students prepping for oral exams.”

“Much like in the U.S., Apple in China has attained a certain corporate celebrity status — though here the affection comes with a particular Chinese intensity,” Boudreau reports. “Shoppers pose for pictures in front of Apple’s products and logo. Last fall, the launch of the iPhone 4 created such a frenzy that fighting broke out at the Sanlitun store, which was temporarily shut down before reopening with a squad of security guards posted inside. The popular iPhone 4 is still in short supply while Apple’s iPad 2, which has yet to officially go on sale in China, is going for at least $1,000 on the black market, hundreds of dollars more than its retail price.”

Boudreau reports, “Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who regularly visits Asia, believes mainland China alone — excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan — will represent 10 percent of Apple’s revenue within five years, up from about 2 percent today.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]

18 Comments

        1. exactly my sentiments. if you are trying to make a joke, at least get the basis of your comedic gesture right. otherwise you look like a fool. in this case, the majority of the people reading the joke actually thought it was funny!

    1. China has more honor students than America has students. Same goes for consumers, especially since we’re creating the industrial middle class in China by gutting our own.

  1. If China would let the Yuan float to it’s natural value instead of keeping it supernaturally low, maybe the rest of the world could do some business with them.

  2. What’s interesting is that many foreign companies are advised to adapt to Chinese consumer tastes when opening retail stores. Best Buy’s failure in China has been blamed on them not adapting to the Chinese consumer.

    I think the opposite. The Chinese consumer doesn’t want foreign stores to be like Chinese stores. They want foreign stores to be different. It’s that very difference that they are looking for.

    Apple is supposedly building the largest Apple Store on Nanjing Road in Shanghai. That’s the traditional big shopping street in Shanghai. It’s pedestrian only on the eastern end, and just mobbed constantly. I’m not sure Apple will be there. It could be toward the western end where all the high-end luxury foreign stores are. Either way, Apple will have the three main shopping areas in Shanghai covered. Huaihai Road, Nanjing Road, and the Pudong area. I don’t think you can find a more expensive and more exclusive retail spot in Pudong than the one Apple has. It’s just as iconic a spot as Apple’s 5th Ave. location. This kind of attention to detail does not pass by the Chinese consumer. It sends a clear signal that Apple is the best. Location, location, location. Apple gets it and so does the Chinese consumer.

  3. I was in China early this month. There was a holiday described as the Chinese Memorial Day, during which families are expected to return home to tend the graves of ancestors. They burn paper representations of things they’d like to give the ancestors to make their afterlife easier. Typically images of money, food, or cars, we were told by our–quite knowledgeable–guide / translator that the number one item being sought (in the form of an image printed on the paper to be burned as the offering) was an iPhone 4. He spoke wistfully of owning one, himself, but couldn’t afford the high price of an imported “foreign” phone. He seemed to have no idea where they are actually made.

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