Some Really Interesting Facts on Asia and Europe


Some interesting, perhaps little-known facts provide a useful contrast between Asia and Europe and demonstrate both the present-day reality and the scope of the future opportunity:

  • GDP per capita in Asia (approximately US$15,000) is less than half the EU average, and there is a much wider standard distribution. A large population lives in poverty throughout the continent.
  • While India and China are among the fastest-growing economies in the world, the latest figures on GDP per capita are $2,800 for India and $6,000 for China. They should both still be considered developing economies.
  • The top GDP per capita countries (2008) in Asia: Singapore ($52K), Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea ($23K), Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Thailand ($8.5K).
  • India has 22 official languages that are as distinct and different as the 23 EU languages; half a dozen different scripts are used. English is spoken by a mere 7 percent of the people in India. However, it is possible to get deep penetration into the Indian market with five key languages.
  • There is very little content in local Asian languages on the Web, in general. Based on a survey done by Asia Online in 2007, less than 15 percent of the total content on the Web is in Asian languages. Almost 90 percent of the Asian language content is in Chinese and Japanese. There is a huge need for more local language content in Southeast Asia.
  • China now has the fastest-growing patent office in the world. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) states that China is clearly an emerging scientific and technological power.The share of Asian country-based patent filings is now in excess of 50 percent of all patents filed across the world.
  • India has more gifted and talented students in high school than the total school student population in the U.S. China has more students in science and technology college degree programs than India and the U.S. combined.
  • McKinsey & Company has identified a “Rising Asia” as a stable long-term trend that will fundamentally change consumption patterns.
  • Gartner (NYSE: IT) suggests using IT to reach the market. The research firm suggests that global companies use IT to “lighten” their Asian business model in order to address specific cultural, geographic reach, and supply chain considerations.
  • Wealthy Asians are concentrated in major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Delhi, Seoul, Manila and Bangkok.
  • China is now the fastest-growing market for Bentley and BMW.
  • Even countries like Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Cambodia — which have very low GDP/capita — are interesting markets for cellphones and basic commodities.
  • An understanding of the critical perspectives of Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism can dramatically enhance communications strategies targeting most parts of Asia.
  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is not dominant in key Asian markets. In Korea, it has less than 2 percent search market share; in China, about 17 percent; and in Japan, about 20 percent. Local companies dominate because of their better understanding of local content, language and customer Increase Customer Sales with Email Marketing -- Free Trial from VerticalResponse preferences. This suggests that standard U.S. approaches may not work well in many Asian markets.
  • Chinese social networking startups have produced many innovations that have led to their becoming profitable much faster than their U.S. equivalents, like MySpace and Facebook. Asian innovation is gradually making its way to the West.
  • Most of Asia has been relatively unscathed by the global financial and real estate market collapse. (source Commerce Times)
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1 Comment

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One response to “Some Really Interesting Facts on Asia and Europe

  1. Jeffrey,

    Useful compilation of facts regarding Asia. As I visit a few times a year, typically China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and sometimes Japan, I am struck by the dichotomy of connectedness and contrast we have in the world today. It is impossible to “de-couple” (to use a word oft bandied about this past couple of years) developments in East Asia from those in the developed economies. Nonetheless, the outlook, mindset, environment and many other factors suggest that East Asia is in a very different stage of development. Of course, this goes without saying… but the mood and contexts are SO different in our respective regions as to wonder if we are in the same world….

    I’m deeply committed to the notion that we all sink or swim together, that the world is intensely and increasingly connected and interdependent; however, it is impossible not to note the differences. All one has to do is take an observant walk in downtown Shanghai, then contrast that with a walk down Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

    Keep the insights coming. Thanks again for your ongoing commitment to the KIN and to Kellogg.

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