Category Archives: News

Alibaba ranks the second most valuable Chinese brand

With a value of $204.38 billion, tech giant Tencent takes the crown as the most valuable brand in China, according to the 2022 Kantar BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands ranking.

Alibaba, a tech giant based in Hangzhou, capital of East China’s Zhejiang province which was valued at $137.03 billion, came in second place, followed by alcohol brand Moutai ($108.49 billion) and short video app Douyin ($43.48 billion).

This year, the total value of the top 100 Chinese brands surpassed the monumental $1 trillion mark for a second successive year, reaching $1.24 trillion.

A total of 12 newcomers made it onto the Chinese brand rankings this year, led by lifestyle-focused social platform Xiaohongshu and intelligent speech and AI technology company iFLYTEK.

Natural spectacle Qiantang Tidal Bore to wow Hangzhou spectators

The spectacle ushers in the best time of the year for sightseeing with the advent of the Mid-Autumn Festival on Oct 1, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Though East China’s Hangzhou has gone through an unprecedented hot summer this year with less rainfall, the water flow of the Qiantang River, the city’s mother river, was only slightly affected and will continue to present the annual natural spectacle known as the Qiantang Tidal Bore.

As the period around the 18th day of the eighth lunar month, which falls on Sept 13 this year, is the best time to watch Qiantang River’s tidal bores, the Hangzhou Hydrology and Water Resources Monitoring Center has estimated the maximum tide height this year to be around 1.4 meters and recommends people come to witness it.

Xiaoshan Tide Watching City and Qibao village are the best sites to watch back-flow bores, which are created by bores strongly crashing against the levee and producing waves which are even higher than the levee.

Xiasha Bridge, Hangzhou City Balcony, and Nanxing Bridge are the best sites to watch one-line bores, which are most magnificent when watching from the sky with waves rolling forward at the same speed to form one long and straight line.

Qiantang River usually enters its tidal bore period in the seventh lunar month. There are more than 700 tides in the river every year, most of which are medium-sized or small. Big tides come at the beginning and end of each lunar month.

The Qiantang River, the Amazon River in South America, and the Ganges River in South Asia are known as the “the world’s three strong tide rivers”.

The effect of the moon, the sun and other celestial bodies on the sea water causes the tide. The horn shape of Hangzhou Bay and the huge sandbar at the mouth of the bay make the tides of the Qiantang River especially spectacular.

Flying discs soar in popularity among all ages

Trending sport goes viral for social aspect, less physical contact, fun competition, aiming for bigger market share

When a group of college students started their flying disc business back in 2008 in China, few of them could imagine the then little-known sport would have such a big popularity spurt across the country this summer, or that their company would grow to become among the best-of-class in China.

Flying discs are known throughout most of the world by the registered trademarked name “Frisbee”.It is a recreational and competitive sport that originated in the US and is now increasingly finding favor among Chinese consumers.

“It was a very niche market and we founded it merely based on the enthusiasm towards the sport rather than the idea of making a bunch of money. Luckily, the sport developed so rapidly in the past decade and saw a popularity boom this year. We are eyeing over 100 percent in revenue growth by the year-end to reach about 100 million yuan ($14.49 million) despite uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Xu Yingfeng, founder and CEO of Yikun Discs, headquartered in Hangzhou and Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

As of mid-August, players posted over 510,000 customer reviews about playing the sport on Xiaohongshu, a major lifestyle-sharing platform in China, and the activity became a trending topic several times on social media platforms like Weibo and Douyin. The posts, using vivid descriptions, well-taken pictures and videos, as well as a large number of interactive comments, went viral and soon spread to other platforms.

Posters and followers used words like happy, trendy, interesting, competitive, free, fat-burning, exciting and cool to describe the sport.

A research institute under media agency 36kr said flying disc games now surpass skateboarding, cycling and other sports to become one of the most popular sports among young people, with about 60 percent of people surveyed saying they tend to make new friends and expand their social circles through playing the game.

According to the Chinese Flying Disc Administrative Committee, about 500,000 people in China participated in flying disc sports last year, creating a market value surpassing 80 million yuan. Data from Tianyancha, a Chinese corporate information provider, showed that over 120 companies whose businesses are related to the sport are registered in China as of June.

Beijing-based 32-year-old Cheng Jin is a fan of flying disc games. “It’s getting hard to make new friends at my age when all of my time is spent either on work or the family. Playing it is a good way to expand my social circle as my friends engaged in the game would invite their friends. The more, the merrier.”

“In addition, the sport is quite easy, so I don’t need to spend a lot of time and energy learning about the rules or the skills to enjoy it. It is also quite safe to play as the sport barely requires physical contact,” she said.

The report said about 47 percent of the post-90s generation surveyed said they are interested in the sport, which is the highest proportion among all age groups. Roughly 44 percent of the post-85 generation surveyed showed interest in the sport, and 27 percent of the post-00s generation surveyed liked to play flying disc sports.

Expanding to all age groups, a recent report by iiMedia Research showed about 81.2 percent of the 1,442 respondents surveyed have participated in flying disc games. Among them, 50.8 percent of people have played it for one and a half years, while 26.1 percent of people have played for half a year.

Involving social interactions, less physical contact and high customer stickiness are key factors that the iiMedia report attributes to the game’s increasing popularity in China.

The number of people who participated in flying disc sports twice a week accounted for the largest proportion, reaching 42.8 percent. Among them, 61 percent said they spent about 60 minutes in each round of a game, according to iiMedia Research.

With the sport gaining increasing popularity in China, the sport is demonstrating higher commercial value.

“Not only are customers willing to spend money on regular sports equipment like discs, gloves, shoes and other equipment, they are also spending money on clubs and competitions and will even pay big money to hire professional photographers to take photos for social media posts,” Xu said.

The 36kr report said that young people’s average annual spending on the trendy sport is more than 6,500 yuan, and 10 percent of young people surveyed spend an average of 10,000 yuan on the sport every year.

“I spent about 30 yuan on my first disc. Just a few weeks later I changed it to a fancier one which cost me about 150 yuan. When I first started playing the sport, my friends and I would find random grassy areas, but now we tend to rent a football pitch that costs about 2,000 yuan for two hours. Sometimes we even hire professional photographers for better photos for our social media posts,” Cheng said.

According to iiMedia Research, the growing popularity of the sport also promotes the development of related industries with a market value totaling 86.77 billion yuan. It estimates that the scale of the flying disc and related industries in China will continue to grow, and the growth rate will accelerate in the next six years.

“Although it seems like the sport gained sudden popularity this year, it’s a result of many years of efforts from those in the industry. The situation was quite different just about a decade ago, which was also the first few years when we started the business. At that time, we had no market and lacked professionals and sufficient funding. Not a lot of people even knew about the game. They thought it was for pets,” Xu said.

“Many people persuaded us not to get into the business because there was barely a market for it, and not doing it seemed to be a rational choice for me. My parents also had concerns as it was such a niche market, not to mention I had to quit a decent job at a bank to start the flying disc business,” he said.

The first step Xu and the other co-founders took to run their business was to innovate discs and send their products to professional players, teams and clubs for reviews for further improvements.

“At that time, good discs on the market were imported from Western countries like the United States. We wanted to make our own products and we succeeded in it. Now our products are even sold to the US and the United Kingdom,” Xu said.

Last year, Yikun’s export of discs surged nearly 200 percent year-on-year and came close to 50 million yuan, accounting for over 80 percent of the company’s total revenue, which stood at about 60 million yuan.

The company’s products also won the most recognition among domestic consumers. About 49.7 percent of consumers surveyed knew about Yikun’s products, followed by Decathlon which was 41.5 percent, according to the iiMedia report.

The next step was to figure out ways to promote the sport to a wider range of players. Xu and his colleagues made efforts to introduce the sport to schools, camps, tourist agencies and clubs, and made attempts to hold professional competitions.

“In the past decade, there were a growing number of clubs, camping organizers and sports teams from colleges to promote the flying disc sport to a wider range of audiences. Today, the sport is seen not only in colleges but also in parks, playgrounds and even in elderly gatherings. Discussions about the sport have also spread from blogs to different forms of social media platforms like short and long video sharing platforms,” Xu said.

Ge Yue, co-founder of the Starry Woods Camp in Chongqing, introduced the sport to the camp she managed back in 2017.

“Back then, I was a project manager at another educational camping company. Children love the sport as they can run, throw, catch, or avoid discs with many other kids. It is a highly interactive sport that involves both boys and girls but is very less likely to see confrontations or conflicts during a game. It is also easy for us to start a flying disc game as it has no specific requirements on places or judges. All you need to do is to find a playground,” she said.

The increasing popularity of the activity has drawn attention of the government. In 2019, the Asia Oceanic Ultimate and Guts Championships was held in Shanghai with government support, marking the first time that China held a global-level competition in the sport.

In July, the General Administration of Sport announced China’s first flying disc tournament starting in August, with a series of competitions being held in cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, and the final competition to be held in May next year.

“With flying disc officially becoming an option in physical education classes for elementary and middle schools, we are confident that the sport will have a bigger market going forward. We are lucky to witness the sport’s development in the past few years and to tap the growing consumer demand,” Xu said.

The First Hangzhou Community Line Dance Competition completed auditions

Availing the opportunity of the 19th Asian Games to be staged in Hangzhou, some folk dance troupes in the city organized the line dance competition and formed the dance teams of various types, with members aged 6-70, to cheer for Asian Games, contribute to national fitness and participation, and promote neighborhood harmony and human health.

Ailala Dance Team from Shangcheng District received the most votes during the auditions. The team is composed of a group of senior females who love dancing and advocate healthy life style. They always gather together to rehearse and perform dance to the accompaniment of @ Future, a song specially created for Hangzhou Asian Games. Next, all dancers of various teams will passionately devote themselves to the rehearsals for the second qualifying round.

Hangzhou touts its progress over a decade

Photo by Ding Zike, an intern of CCTV

Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, has made remarkable progress since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, authorities said at a news conference held on Thursday.

Liu Jie, secretary of the CPC Hangzhou Municipal Committee, said that the city has successfully held influential activities such as the 2016 G20 Summit and has been organizing the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 and the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games, with the city’s international popularity and influence increasing.

Hangzhou has played an active role in the high-quality development of the province. The city’s GDP increased from 797 billion yuan ($116 billion) in 2012 to 1,811 billion yuan in 2021, with an average annual growth of 7.9 percent.

In 2021, the added value of the service industry in Hangzhou exceeded 1.2 trillion yuan, accounting for 67.9 percent of its GDP. Revenue of core industries in the digital economy exceeded 1.6 trillion yuan, and its added value accounted for 27.1 percent of its GDP.

The city’s business climate has bolstered market vitality and increased its attractiveness for talented young workers. The net inflow rate of talent — overseas talent and internet talent — ranked first in the country for many consecutive years, and the city has been selected as “the most attractive Chinese city in the eyes of foreign talents” for 11 consecutive years.

Hangzhou has six national entrepreneurship and innovation demonstration bases and 116 national-level incubators. Nearly 1 million new market entities have been established, and the total number of national high-tech enterprises exceeds 10,000. The number of top 500 private enterprises ranked first in the country for 19 consecutive years.

Hangzhou has also sustained its efforts in boosting the development of history and culture. In the past 10 years, the added value of Hangzhou’s cultural industry has increased from 48.4 billion yuan to 258.6 billion yuan.

At present, Hangzhou has three UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites, including the landscapes of West Lake, the Grand Canal (named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2014) and the archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City (named a UNESCO World Heritage in 2019).

As one of the most important economic zones in Zhejiang, Hangzhou is striving to achieve common prosperity through continuous efforts. In the past decade, the city’s average annual growth in per capita disposable income for urban and rural residents reached 8.2 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.

Liu urged the city to improve its innovation capabilities, present its history and culture and build up an ecological civilization.

Asian Games Youth Talksuccessfully came to an end

Recently, under the guidance of Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee, China Mobile Asian Games Youth Talk Finals hosted by Hangzhou TV Station was held in Hangzhou Culture, Radio and Television Group. The finals generated one champion, one runner-up and one second runner-up for the primary school group and middle school group respectively, as well as potential stars, innovation stars and fashion stars.

Asian Games Youth Talk is the first nationwide large-scale youth season activity of Hangzhou TV Station with the theme of “Greeting the Asian Games”, and 96 young contestants from 131 primary and middle schools in the districts and counties (cities) of Hangzhou walked on the stage of Asian Games Youth Talk. They used the authentic, personalized and sincere performance to show the elegant demeanor of young people of Hangzhou in the new era.

Since its launch last year, the event has enabled the young participants of Hangzhou to know how to express themselves and better interpret their hard struggle when learning the knowledge of the Asian Games! Just like Hangzhou Asian Games, it would get ready to start again to become even better and more wonderful.

After the competition, 20 contestants of the primary school group and middle school group of Asian Games Youth Talk will proactively participate in various campus activities related to the Asian Games, launch the campus lecture, and give full play to their own strength, so as to promote and contribute to Hangzhou Asian Games.

Rhythmic gymnastics in their eyes is more than just a beautiful sport

On August 26, “Exciting Hangzhou” National Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship 2022 decided the champions of the team and individual events of the youth and adult groups. More than 1,000 spectators swarmed into Huanglong Sports Center Gymnasium again, enjoying the beauty of rhythmic gymnastics and the charm of the Asian Games Venue.

After the competition, Sun Dan, the coach of Chinese Team, said: “Rhythmic gymnastics is not just ‘beautiful’.” Through the large-scale events, the players can get exercise to improve their competitive level. When showing the charm of rhythmic gymnastics, she also hoped that more women of all ages would attend rhythmic gymnastics so that sports can enter the people’s hearts.

Chinese Team Coach Sun Dan (RL3)was with her team members.

Reputed as “King of Gold Medals”, Zhao Yating winning one gold medal of the individual all-around event and three gold medals of the individual events stated: “I am basically satisfied with my performance in the beautiful venue, but my personal level needs to be improved. I hope I can seize the gold medal of Hangzhou Asian Games.”

Wang Lanjing, a young player of Hangzhou, has obtained more than one gold medal.She is relatively unperturbed to the game, and takes it as part of training. She feels that the competition held in the hometown is very cordial, and her family members can witness her efforts on the grandstand. Her goal is to appear on a bigger stage to win the glory for Chinese Team, and she will go abroad to prepare for the World Championships in the near future.

Wang Lanjing (L1) was attending the competition.

Extreme heat decimates mosquito population

In the past, it was difficult to go out without getting bitten by mosquitoes, especially in southern China, where people were constantly harassed by this blood-sucking insect. Before summer in 2022 comes, many people had mosquito-repellent drugs ready as usual, only to find out that they didn’t come in handy. Why is that?

According to an expert from the Hangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquitoes are very active when the ambient temperature is between 26 C and 35 C. However, recent extreme weather in southern China often reaches more than 40 C. Such high temperatures have led to a sharp drop in mosquito populations, the reason being that they stop laying eggs and often die of heat.

Such high temperatures have led to a sharp drop in mosquito population. Some southerners have mixed feelings of hoping to cool down as soon as possible but not wanting mosquitoes to return. One of the most popular comments read: “Don’t mention mosquitoes, above 40 C it’s also hard for me to survive.”

Wulin Road goes viral and boosts Hangzhou’s night economy

Wulin Road has gone viral online overnight and become a new trendy destination to boost the night economy of Hangzhou, since it completed renovation and reopened on August 5.

As a busy street with unique features, Wulin Road has assembled a great number of original designers and presents a strong artistic atmosphere through unconstrained and imaginative decorations and displays. The road is featured by the fresh and distinctive snacks and ornaments and the night fair rife with singers and dancers and permeated with flavor of worldly life. Based on the renovation of the shops and lights, due to the regular transition of Jiaochang Road-Hai’er Lane Section from a driving road to a pedestrian street during designated hours, the consumption center is especially busy at nights, weekends and holidays.

Night economy has become a new focus of urban competition as well as a barometer of economic vitality. As people pursue the healthy and green consumption in the post-pandemic era, “Business Street + Shopping Center” model has become a new trend. Wulin Road has been highly recognized for its diversified, life-oriented and scenario-based shopping model.

Hangzhou Education Bureau requires students and teachers to stay in Hangzhou 7 days before the school starts

The COVID-19 Response Office of Hangzhou Education Bureau has recently issued a notice to ensure the smooth start of the autumn semester. The notice requires all the students and staffs of kindergartens and primary and secondary schools to remain in Hangzhou for 7 days prior to the start of school. Those who are outside Hangzhou are required to return in time.

Before returning to school, parents shall be aware of the latest requirements on students’ health reporting and pandemic control as well as the precautions for returning to school, and cooperate with schools in students’ physical condition monitoring and reporting. Schools shall arrange regular nucleic acid tests for the students and shall strictly carry out morning and noon examination system and keep proper records.

As the school is about to start, parents shall pay close attention to the notices and keep updated about the differentiated requirements for different risky areas, while students shall get prepared for the new semester.