What China’s big earnings say about the consumer

on Aug20
by | Comments Off on What China’s big earnings say about the consumer |

Tencent sign is seen at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China July 6, 2023. 

Aly Song | Reuters

BEIJING — Corporate earnings releases are picking up on a few bright spots for China’s consumer in a competitive market where people are less willing to open their wallets.

JD.com, Tencent and Alibaba this month reported results for the three months ended June that pointed to a steady pick-up in consumer spending that quarter, but with less clarity on whether that growth has continued.

Here’s where companies said they saw consumer-related growth, according to public disclosures and FactSet transcripts of earnings calls:


Electronics and home appliance revenues rose by 11.3% to 152.13 billion yuan ($20.98 billion) in the three months ended June.

But general merchandise revenue fell by 8.6% from a year ago to 81.72 billion yuan.

Marketing revenue rose by 8.5% to 22.51 billion yuan.



China consumption amid sluggish growth

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Universal Studios Beijing “enjoyed its most profitable quarter,” Comcast said. The park opened in September 2021, during the pandemic.

Listed companies don’t capture all major channels for online spending in China. ByteDance, which is not publicly listed, has become another e-commerce platform through its Douyin app, the local version of TikTok.

Consumers in China spent 1.41 trillion yuan in purchases from merchants on Douyin, up 76% from the previous year, according to The Information. ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ByteDance’s smaller rival Kuaishou is set to release earnings Tuesday, as are Chinese tech giant Baidu and video content platform iQiyi. E-commerce giant Pinduoduo has yet to announce when it’s scheduled to release earnings.

Other companies in China, or those with exposure to China, have showed some pockets of growth, albeit compared to a low base in 2022 when the metropolis of Shanghai was locked down for two of the three months in the second quarter.

Here’s what some have said so far:


Revenues in Greater China grew 16% in the second quarter, reflecting double-digit sell-out growth in both wholesale and its own retail outlets.



Li Ning


China comparable store sales increased 46%, but the average ticket size was slightly smaller, down 1%.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.

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