Chinese Manufacturer Could “Shut Anytime” as Fossil Halts Production & More

In “Headlines from China,” we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that have yet to make it into the English language. In this week’s edition, we discuss:

  • Chinese Manufacturer Could “Shut Anytime” as Fossil Halts Production
  • China’s Top Livestreamer Viya to Enter Real Estate
  • WeChat Third-Party Service Providers Boost Connected E-Commerce

Chinese Manufacturer Could “Shut Anytime” as Fossil Halts Production —  Jiemian  

American watch brand Fossil has halted production in China, which could lead the Chinese manufacturer to close. In a recent statement to its employees, Goodwill Watch Case in Dongguan, Guangzhou Province, announced that it could “shut anytime” now that Fossil has canceled its current and future orders. “Our most important client, American brand Fossil, has stopped all of its orders and requested to cancel or pause previous orders. Our operation is in crisis,” the company said in the statement.

Fossil temporarily closed all of its North American stores and the majority of its European stores due to the pandemic. The brand belongs to Fossil Group, which also owns BMW and Skagen Denmark, among other brands, and it also makes licensed accessories for brands such as Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, and DKNY. The group was struggling with its sales performance even before the pandemic took place, Jiemian added.


Top livestreamer Viya (left) has announced that she will start livestreaming apartments in early April. Photo: Viya’s Weibo

China’s Top Livestreamer Viya to Enter Real Estate Xincainet 

In a surprising but sensible move, China’s top livestreamer Viya announced plans to enter the real estate business as soon as next month. To make this monumental leap from being an influencer, Viya partnered with the Fosun group’s real estate arm to sell apartments that cost one to two million yuan (around $140,000 to $280,000) in Hangzhou’s city center, which she will feature on her livestream. 

As China recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are now leveraging e-commerce and livestreaming to help drive sales. The fashion investment group Fosun, which owns French luxury brand Lanvin, also plans to have Viya introduce its electronics and furniture brands to her viewers. Viewers cannot put in their orders directly during the livestream, but they could reserve purchase slots, which guarantees availability if they decided to buy later, Viya said.

Proya has benefitted from Weimob’s feature to take consumers from WeChat friends’ circle ads to its livestreaming channel, Weimob says. Photo: Screenshot of Proya Video Campaign

WeChat Third-Party Service Providers Boost Connected E-Commerce — 36Kr

In addition to being a top app for Chinese consumers, WeChat is now a platform where third-party service providers can promote their features to brands. One of the first brands to use the WeChat service provider Weimob’s built-in feature, the Chinese beauty brand Proya, got great engagement results from its recent livestream event this past Saturday. With a single click on ads in WeChat friends circle (similar to Facebook’s news feeds), WeChat users can now go directly to a brand’s livestreaming channel. Proya’s two-hour livestream event attracted over one million views and more than 550,000 comments — partially thanks to the new feature’s easy access, Weimob says.