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NBH gives you their surveys for 2022: We list five trends to keep an eye on!
Insights | Jan 2022

NBH has in 2021 followed and analyzed China’s digital trends, now it’s time to look ahead and see what is expected to hit the year 2022?

Which trends will continue to grow and which is here to stay, and what new trends will boom?

NBH has chosen to list 5 trends, we will dive into the tech world, green sustainability, the impact of Ai, digital currency, and the rising lower ties cities.

1.     Metaverse demands rethinking

In 2022, the concept of metaverse will rise all over the world and perhaps especially in China. Metaverse, which is sometimes also called “the third generation of the internet”, is expected to have a huge impact over the next 10-15 years and fundamentally change our view of the internet.

In China, the metaverse is already a common Internet term. The country’s distinctive digital e-landscape is expected to give China an advantage in the development of this new reality. Companies like Tencent and Alibaba are already developing and offering super-apps that give opportunities for gaming, social media networking, shopping, etc, within the same ecosystem.

China’s digital landscape is so different from the west, this means that companies who want to operate in the Chinese market also need to prepare for a truly unique metaverse.

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2.     The Green Wave creates green opportunities, both for B2B and B2C

China aims to reach its carbon dioxide emissions peak by 2030. After 2030, the country’s emissions will gradually be reduced to completely carbon neutrality by 2060. These ambitious goals have stimulated a wave of new tech companies and companies that develops products and solutions for a green transition. As an example, China accounts for 61% of the world’s electric car market. This market together with batteries and sustainable materials is expected to continue to grow in 2022. We probably only see the beginning of this gigantic transformation.

The green trend can also be seen in B2C, where the new generation of customers “GenZ” is driving new shopping patterns. In 2022, the market for sustainable products and clothing is expected to grow. Customers will choose their goods with greater care and KOLs will continue to be replaced by COLs.

3.     The impact of Ai

In the last two years, in particular, China has shown enormous strides in the development of artificial intelligence. China is described as the leader in global Ai research, both qualitatively and from the great numbers of research carried out.

A good example of how companies can use Ai in the retail market is the Chinese fast-fashion brand Shein. Shein uses an Ai-engine to enable quickly pick up new trends among the customers. In this way, they can adapt their collection releases, production, storage, and delivery simultaneously to the market’s demand. Previously, the company Zara has been the world leader in the production stage and holds a record lead time of three weeks. With the help of Ai, Shein has been able to reduce this to the incredible result of only three days. Another good example is the development of Ai influencers. China launched its first “meta-human” in 2021, named Ayayi. In May 2021, Ranmai Technology debuted with the launch of Ayayi’s own Little red book, Xiaohongshu, account named Ayayiii. Her first post generated nearly 3 million views and 40,000 followers over one night.

“Ai Influencers” or “meta-human” is something we expect to see more of in 2022.

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Ayayi, is she real?

4.     The new digital currency: eCNY

China is taking the lead in the global race to launch a digital currency. In 2021, China tested its digital currency “eCNY” in major cities such as Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai, but it was still unclear when the digital currency would actually be launched. It is now clear that in the year 2022, the People’s Bank of China will make a soft launch during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

This launch will be a guideline for the digital infrastructure and will influence other countries that are currently developing their own central bank’s digital currency. Will the eCNY hold as a “product” in the infrastructure of financial technology? And how will it affect the digital market?

This surely will be interesting to follow. But above all, China is once again showing its global impact and digital progress.

5.     The rising market of Lower-tier city

The Demand for lifestyle- and luxury products in China’s major cities is expected to have peaked. The standard of living is generally high and the sharply increased consumption in these cities has in recent years begun to slow down. This means that many companies and brands instead are targeting China’s lower-tier cities. Chinas smaller towns have previously been considered as a market for mainly domestic products. But with rising standards and higher wages combined with low living costs, the population of smaller cities has become the major driver of China’s consumer market growth. As an example, as many as 70% of Alibaba’s newly registered customers are from smaller cities.

In 2022, this trend is expected to continue and the lower-tier cities in China will be the new focus for many companies and brands.

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Skyscraper Suzhou, China 2nd tier city

China is clearly a country with globally influential tech trends.

Some other examples of trends that NBH believes will continue in 2022 is:

  • livestream shopping
  • Green shopping
  • The major shopping festivals will still be 618 and 11.11.

In recent years, many brands have also developed their adaption to the language and culture barrier in order to reach the world’s second-largest economy. This is something we hope to see more of.

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