Chinese Whispers: Is the Daigou Business Dying, and More

In “Chinese Whispers,” we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that haven’t yet made it into the English language.

In this week’s edition, we discuss:

  • The future of Chinese daigou,
  • Social media influence of Italian luxury brands in China, and
  • Carven’s potential new owner.

1. Op-ed: Chinese personal shoppers’ businesses will soon disappear – LadyMax

The past Golden Week holiday was a tough one for China’s daigou industry, a multi-billion dollar market that has a complicated relationship with global luxury brands. The country’s customs officials started to crack down on the segment at major international airports, issuing fines to passengers who had exceeded individual import limits. The crackdown, argued by an op-ed piece published by media outlet LadyMax on October 1, was the beginning of China’s plan to completely wipe out personal daigou shoppers.

China’s new e-commerce law, which will go into effect from January 1, 2019, has indicated the government has zero tolerance for daigou business, the piece wrote. Personal shoppers have caused the country a huge amount in financial losses due to tax evasion. Aside from evading tariffs when daigou shoppers enter the Chinese border, the piece said almost all shoppers do not report their personal income to taxation bureaus.

Social media influence of Italian luxury brands like Gucci in China is still incomparable to what it has been achieved in the West. Photo: VCG

Social media influence of Italian luxury brands like Gucci in China is still a fraction of that in the West. Photo: VCG

2. Social media influence of Italian luxury brands in China is still tiny – luxe.co

Even though Italian luxury brands have placed a great emphasis on developing a social media presence in China in recent years, their results are still not comparable to what the industry has achieved in Western markets, and even more inadequate given the size of the Chinese population, a new industry report by Chinese fashion publication luxe.co shows.

For example, Gucci and Prada have over 28.4 million and 16.5 million followers on Instagram, respectively, far exceeding their number of followers on China’s public social media channel Weibo, which stands at 1.2 million for Gucci and around 450,000 for Prada.

The French luxury brand Carven is reportedly about to announce its new owner on October 12 and the identity of this new owner is very likely to be the Chinese ec0-friendly fashion group Icicle. Photo: VCG

French luxury brand Carven is reportedly about to announce its new owner on October 12, and the identity of this new owner is very likely to be Chinese ec0-friendly fashion group Icicle. Photo: VCG

3. French luxury brand Carven is likely to be acquired by a Chinese fashion group – Le Figaro

The French luxury brand Carven is reportedly about to announce its new owner on October 12 and the identity of this new owner is very likely to be the Chinese ec0-friendly fashion group Icicle, according to a report by French newspaper Le Figaro on October 5, citing one source close to the deal.

Since May this year, the bankrupt French label has been placed in receivership by the Paris Commercial Court and has been actively seeking a buyer. Le Figaro wrote that Icicle provided the best offer by far to acquire Carven compared to seven other candidates after a hearing hosted by the Commercial Court on Thursday.

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