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:
- Chinese daigou arrested for money laundering,
- Prada’s Lunar New Year campaign stirs criticism, and
- The closure of Topshop’s Shanghai and Hong Kong offices.
1. Parisian police arrested six daigou agents from China, accusing them of money laundering – Sina Fashion
At least six Chinese daigou agents were recently arrested by French authorities for a series of wrongdoings including money laundering, drug trafficking, and tax evasion that allegedly earned them up to $5.6 million (RMB 38 million) of illegal income, according to Chinese media outlet Sina Fashion.
French police alleged that the criminal group used the daigou practice — purchasing luxury goods in the local currency and reselling them at a higher price in China — as a way to launder money. The group was found in possession of a great number of luxury goods from Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci as well as five fake passports.
2. High-end clothing alteration company in China raised RMB 50 million in financing – Gelonghui
As the luxury goods market in China grows, customer demand for clothing alteration services also rises. Last week, etailor (易改衣), a Chinese company that specializes in clothing tailoring services of luxury goods, completed a Series A funding round totaling $7.38 million (RMB 50 million) from investors such as Vipshop, Dingxin Capital, and others.
3. British fashion brand Topshop closed its Shanghai and Hong Kong offices – Winsang
Arcadia Group, the parent company of Topshop, announced the closure of both the Shanghai and Hong Kong offices of the British fast fashion brand. Winsang, the Chinese business publication, wrote that the move signaled Topshop has accelerated its exit from the Chinese market, following the shutdown of their Tmall store last year.