The Chinese believe that what happens at New Year influences your fortunes in the year ahead.
Indeed, understanding China offers an insight into what is going to happen globally within technology and travel in 2017 and beyond.
Let’s examine six important trends as we seek to learn from China…
The future of mobile
China, like many other developing markets, did not follow the pattern in the West of going from travel agent to PC to laptop to smartphone as their channel to book travel.
Many consumers just went straight to the smartphone and have never engaged directly with a website.
The Chinese technology industry — particularly mobile — has pulled ahead of what we see in the West. Handsets such as Xiaomi and Huawei have fantastic build quality, amazing performance, great storage, long battery life and look great.
And this is before we start talking about the Apps that are available. Any visitor to China will immediately be struck with the ubiquity of the smartphone to the Chinese consumer.
If you thought Westerners are addicted to their phones, wait till you visit Shanghai or Beijing: Chinese people live life through their mobile phone.
Chinese consumers are on smartphones at least two hours a day, Internet users in China reached 668 million in June 2015 and 549 million of those users, almost 90 percent, accessed the Internet on a mobile device.
In other words, the number of Internet users in China is more than twice the population of the US and almost the population of Europe, and most of those individuals are walking around with a smartphone.
But, this has barely started: the total number of Internet users represents less than half of China’s population of over 1.3 billion.
The question asked in the West is – what is our strategy for mobile?
In China – mobile is the strategy.