Regular trips to Asia, retail customer meetings, APAC industry keynotes, and recent business articles confirm that economically China is going "Back to the Future".
Before USA surpassed it in 1890, China was the world's largest economy. By the end of 2014 China is on track to become the world's number one economy once again. This crowning achievement is arriving 5 years earlier than originally projected by the IMF.
It took 155 years for the UK to double its GDP with about 9 million people in 1870. The USA and Germany took 30 to 60 years with tens of millions of people. China and India, with 100 times the number of people than the UK doubled their GDP in one tenth of the time.
By 2030, the majority of the world’s population will be considered middle class. China and India will have the largest middle class consumption as a share of the world's total population.
By 2022, China will account for around a quarter of the total global retail sales generated by the largest 60 markets and its retail market will be twice the size as USA.
Over the past decade, the share of people living in China's urban cities increased from 36% to nearly 50%. If trends hold, China's urban population will expand from 570 million to 925 million in 2025, an increase larger than the entire current population of the United States.
Emerging markets are the major engines for mobile connections and subscriber growth. Asia Pacific generated 57% of all new mobile connections between 2008 and 2012, reaching 3.3 billion. Between 2012 and 2017, APAC’s growth will be 7% per year, adding 1.4 billion new mobile connections.
42% of the world's internet users live in Asia. This year 36.5% of worldwide B2C e-commerce sales will come from Asia-Pacific. APAC B2C e-commerce will reach 39.7% by 2016. Six out of every ten dollars spent online comes from China. 74% of consumers use smartphones for price comparison or to search product reviews.
Asia and particularly China are undergoing substantial change. Five key megatrends will shape the region's future:
Asia and particularly China are key engines for global GDP and retail growth. It is "Back to the Future" from a total economy size point of view, but it will not be business as usual.
Capitalizing on Asia’s growth will require managing through the emerging megatrends, adopting new business models, greater innovation, localized market approaches, and faster response to competitive pressures.