Wei Jianguo: The Best Time for A “New Consumption Revolution”
During the investigation of the prevention and control of the new coronavirus in Beijing on February 10, General Secretary Xi Jinping said that we must ensure the smooth operation of economic and social development tasks while fighting against the coronavirus, especially to stabilize household consumption, develop online consumption and expand health consumption. This gives a clear direction for stimulating domestic demand and developing consumption.
The pandemic has had a greater impact on various domestic industries, especially the catering, tourism and transportation. However, I think that the difficulties facing China’s consumption environment are temporary. The consumption need still exists and what we need is waiting for the time to come. I believe that the consumer market will be restored when the crisis is over.
History has proven that a great invention will not only lead to the development of new industries, but also the restructuring and transformation of the market structure. Although we are facing the new coronavirus pandemic, further expansion of consumption has become a pressing issue for China’s economic development.
We need to promote a new concept of consumption to push forward the “new consumption revolution.” In the past, people often believe that e-retainer with a large number of sellers and buyers is the market leader, but this is no longer true. People should become the medium, not products and this is the fundamental change in consumption.
In the first five months of 2018, China’s total retail sales declined significantly, while online retail consumption increased by 30%. Some people say that this is because of the larger number of buyer and seller e-commerce platforms have, but I think the underlying reason is that e-commerce platforms have changed themselves from “commodity-based” to “people-based”. At the same time, the development of e-commerce has reduced intermediate links, lowered the cost of logistics, expanded market coverage to non-central cities.
We have not been able to completely change the business model with commodities as its core after thousands of years, but we have developed the consumption economy, improved customer service and truly established a new concept of social consumption.
The following five points are very important when promoting the new consumption revolution.
First, we must raise customer service to an unprecedented level
Consumption is the communication between people and the competition of service quality. China has become the world’s second-largest consumer market and is moving towards the largest one. In 2019, China’s consumer market reached 1.6 trillion US dollars and the United States reached 1.9 trillion. China’s consumer market still has huge potential but we will not be able to realize any of the development goals if we cannot improve the quality of customer service.
The service quality must be small-scale, diversified and personalized, so that more small and medium-sized enterprises can be integrated themselves with the quality-improvement process.
Second, improving the market consumption system is a top priority.
China has done a lot of work to establish a large market and remarkable results have been achieved. The difficulties caused by the current pandemic in the construction of a big consumption market is only temporary. In the future, the large circulation and services brought by the big market will be the key to the future development of the consumer market. Therefore, cities must not adopt measures to develop a non-transparent consumer market.
Third, more consumer channels should be offered to smaller communities and home delivery service should be more universal.
Regardless of resident consumption or online consumption, they should be offered to all the communities, no matter how small they are. For example, more 24-hour convenience stores should be established, more middle-aged and elderly people should be encouraged to use online consumption, and health consumption should be offered to more blue-collar workers.
Many people often claim that e-commerce is a challenge and a al moment of implemthreat to the real economy. However, I think that the development of e-commerce promotes the development of the real economy. Normally, E-commerce develops together with entities, logistics and services and this has become the trend of the consumer market. Improving service quality is very important but more importantly, we should deliver services to all communities.
Fourth, the new consumption revolution will be combined with blockchain, cloud computing, big data, intelligence, logistics, distribution and financial services.
Consumption will directly affect the procurement and the sales of means of production, and promote the development of production sectors, the real economy, small and medium-sized enterprises and China’s central and western markets.
Fifth, importance should be given to green consumption, low-carbon consumption, and healthy consumption.
China is at a critical moment in implementing supply-side reform and consumption is an important entry point. The fight against the new coronavirus pandemic will help us to promote a new consumption revolution, which will not only increase daily consumption, but also increase industrial and production consumption. If we can come up with a new consumption revolution, China will be able to solve the difficulties and challenges brought by the new coronavirus pandemic, enhance its consumption and ultimately lead to a revolution in the global consumer market.