How adidas is tackling the China challenge

Andrea Sophocleous

It is home to one-fifth of the global population and is the second-largest economy in the world. But 650 million people live on less than US$2 a day.

China is a country of contradictions and complexity – and one most marketers don't truly understand, according to Colin Currie, managing director/Greater China for sportswear brand adidas. Speaking at the World Federation of Advertisers' (WFA) Global Marketer Conference – held in Sydney in March 2014 – he claimed that the Asian nation is redefining almost every aspect of commerce, business and politics.

"We have scarcely begun to contemplate the full implications of China's rise – culturally, environmentally, linguistically, ethically and above all, militarily. Our whole world will change in a generation," he said. "Turbocharged by global economic forces and by sheer weight of numbers, China is ripping up our rulebook."