A growing number of people are eating alone, whether at home or in restaurants, and overturning traditional etiquette. Zhang Yangfei reports.
In China, food has always played a major role in promoting social cohesion. Communal eating is not on
ly familybased and deeply rooted in the nation’s cultural heritage, but is also regarded as an indicator of society’s health and stability.
Given that background, it is little wonder that eating alone, publicly or privately, has long been considered taboo.
However, in recent years things have started to change as a r
esult of demographic shifts and the growing influence of modern lifestyles.
According to a report released last year by the global market researcher
Kantar, 46 percent of people interviewed said they had eaten alone in the previous 24 ho
urs, a rise of 9 percent from 2017, and about 16 percent expressed a preference for eating solo.
ed China’s digital economy had reached more than 27 trillion yuan ($4 trillio
n) in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 20.3 percent, accounting for nearly 33 percent of GDP.
Lu said the growth rate of the number of people working as new media operators in 2017 was mo
re than 10 times that of 2013. The growth comes as more consumers turn from mass media to new me
dia, which provides more information, is faster, has a more diversified presentation and cheaper cost.
Algorithm engineers, in particular, grew at exponential rates. More than fi
ve times as many people worked as algorithm engineers in 2017 than 2013, he said.
“Algorithm is the foundation for artificial intelligence. AI has started to integrate with other industr
ies and already had been successfully implemented in AI plus marketing, finance and assisted medical dia
gnosis. AI engineers will have more value as AI becomes more closely tied with more businesses,” Lu said.
Wang Yang, an analyst with Soochow Securities based in Suzhou, Jia
ngsu province, said that apart from the economic recovery underpinned by su
pportive policies, cyclical factors also imply that earnings growth will continue to recover in the rest of the year.
According to Wang, the current profit cycle of A-share companies started from 2
016 and should end with recovery this year, as the cycles usually last for 12 to 14 quarters.
This year’s gradual recovery in earnings growth could help the A-share market to withstan
d external uncertainties, said Yan Xiang, an analyst with Shenzhen-based Guosen Securities.
“It is quite different from 2018 when earnings growth of most companies deteriorated. Earn
ings growth, a determinant of the market trend, is likely to be on the recovery path,” Yan said in a note.