The food and beverage industry was the most impacted and devastated business during the COVID pandemic, costing hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue loss and millions of jobs shuttered across the globe. Haidilao (6862.HK), the most dominant hot pot chain in China with 1,298 stores globally and employing a workforce upwards of 15,000, was not spared from this devastation. But the famous hot pot chain’s losses due to the pandemic was short-lived and was largely confined to the first half of 2020. During the latter part of 2020, Haidilao saw a full recovery of its overall performance. Sandalwood data indicates a bounce back for the company’s overall daily sales value in late December 2020 to the same period a year ago.
2020 was a great year for Xiaomi. As a starter, its solid online channels helped absorb the negative impact from Covid-19. Its new models (many featuring 5G at a steep discount vs. T1 players) outperformed the old ones which speaks volumes about the company’s strength in innovation. Furthermore, Xiaomi benefited from consumers shifting away from Huawei. Looking ahead, will Xiaomi continue its strength in 2021? How popular will the new models like Redmi K40 and Mi 11 Pro be?
Kuaishou’s meteoric rise to the top culminated during its February 5, 2021 Hong Kong debut that raised $5.4 billion from its initial public offering, raising its shares nearly 200%. The blockbuster deal placed Kuaishou at the top as the world’s biggest internet IPO since Uber Technologies Inc.’s $8.1 billion share sale in the US in May 2019.
Community group buying, an e-commerce model of group purchases by residents within the same neighborhood, is becoming increasingly popular since the second half of 2020. This industry sprang out in 2018, but got suppressed in 2019 due to poor regulations. However, after its re-entry into 2020 and the impact of COVID, on-demand grocery markets became the hottest topic again.