Surely things can’t be so bad if advertisers are still willing to shell out for slots on CCTV, China’s top television network? (Research shows that daily exposure to CCTV is guaranteed to deliver at least a 43% increase in Communist Party loyalty and cure most major sleeping disorders.) Ad spending was up 15% from last year, with multinational customers featuring strongly. CCTV would like to think of itself as a byword for quality entertainment. Given the network’s dominance of the airwaves, it is also more or less the final word – if you want television exposure, you have to go there.
No captive markets in the auto or retail industries. With sales flagging, Chinese auto makers have joined the global trend of asking for government assistance. Consumer-focused conglomerate China Resources is also feeling the pinch, with third-quarter profit falling 12.3% on the back of lower takings at its Hong Kong supermarkets. However, one unlikely winner in the economic crisis might be TD-SCDMA, China’s much-maligned homegrown 3G mobile technology. According to an executive at telecom equipment vendor ZTE, international mobile operators are interested in the 3G standard. Rest assured that TD-SCDMA has not suddenly become good. It is just cheap.
Real estate in China has apparently also become cheap – or at least cheap enough to draw the interest of two foreign funds. Gaw Capital Partners Hong Kong and ING Real Estate Management are looking to raise a combined US$1.7 billion. Are Beijing’s efforts at stimulation already having an effect?