China News Brief
    February 07, 2024

    Nike begins livestreaming, Bulgari unveils brand ambassador, and Huawei reclaims top spot.
    Nike today started livestreaming on Douyin. Photo: Shutterstock

    Nike launches on Douyin#

    Nike today started  livestreaming on Douyin, with its two official flagship stores, Nike Huaihai Trend Flagship Store and Nike Guangzhou Brand Flagship Store, being the first to go online. Nike plans to establish a global concept store livestreaming matrix on Douyin and create a system that centers around members to provide omni-channel services to its members. Consumers on Douyin will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports community activities organized by offline stores. The Nike Huaihai Trend Flagship Store will focus on trendy outfits, while the Nike Guangzhou Brand Flagship Store will offer professional sports guidance and product equipment for consumers who enjoy sports.

    Bulgari names new brand envoy#

    On February 1, Bulgari fragrance announced  young actor Zhou Yiran as a brand ambassador and released a new advertisement for Pour Homme Darjeeling Tea fragrance, which combines the essence of Darjeeling tea fragrance with Ceylon tea fragrance.

    Marcolin sets up shop on Tmall#

    Marcolin, Tom Ford's eyewear licensee, has opened  a flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, offering sunglasses, optical frames, and ski goggles. This move underscores the brand's focus on the Chinese luxury market. Marcolin's recent initiatives include securing a perpetual license agreement with The Estée Lauder Companies for Tom Ford and engaging in discussions with potential buyers. Renewed licensing deals with brands like Max&Co, Zegna, GCDS, Pucci, and a new agreement with Christian Louboutin are part of its efforts to strengthen its market position.

    Valentino releases red envelopes#

    Valentino has once again collaborated  with Pop Mart to present a limited edition red envelope cover for the Year of the Dragon. Bringing together 12 beloved IPs from the Pop Mart family, including Molly, Dimoo, Zimomo, and Skullpanda, they offer creatively designed blessings for the new year. The red envelope cover combines Valentino's iconic Rosso red with the "V" logo, surrounded by auspicious dragon motifs, symbolizing "prosperity with the presence of dragons."

    Gucci picks London for cruise collection debut#

    Gucci's decision  to showcase its upcoming cruise collection in London on May 13 marks a return to the European stage after last year's show in Seoul. The choice of London as the venue reflects Gucci's deep-rooted connection to the city, where founder Guccio Gucci drew inspiration for his future maison while working at the Savoy Hotel in 1897. This upcoming show, to be held at an undisclosed location, will unveil Creative Director Sabato De Sarno's first cruise collection for Gucci.

    Huawei reclaims top spot#

    Huawei has reclaimed  its top position in China's smartphone market for the first two weeks of 2024. This is the first time Huawei reclaim top spot in China since being blacklisted by the US in 2019, as reported by Counterpoint. This resurgence follows Huawei's intensified efforts in chip production, culminating in the release of the Mate 60 handset equipped with a China-made advanced semiconductor chip, a feature previously reliant on US chipmakers. The Mate 60's popularity, coupled with Huawei's pivot towards AI, has led to its out-of-stock status, highlighting the company's shifting priorities. Conversely, Apple has faced challenges in China, with declining iPhone sales attributed to the resurgence of Huawei and the growing preference for foldable phones among high-end users.

    Patek Philippe hikes prices#

    Despite a reported slowdown in the Swiss watch market since last April, Patek Philippe has recently implemented  price increases across its global model lines, with an average hike of about 7 percent. This move is seen as a strategic response to offset rising input costs and maintain pricing power without dampening demand. The decision follows a similar price hike by Rolex in the UK earlier this year. Analysts attribute the market's cooling to factors like rising interest rates and a general slowdown in consumer spending.

    Ugg reports strong sales in China#

    During the three months ending December 31 of last year, Deckers Group, the parent company of Ugg, saw  a significant year-on-year increase in sales, surging by 16 percent to $1.56 billion, reaching a historic high. Breaking down by brand, Ugg's sales soared by 15.2 percent to $1.072 billion, Hoka One One surged by 21.9 percent to $429 million, Koolaburra's sales grew by 10 percent to $29.6 million, while Teva and Sanuk experienced respective declines of 16.2 percent and 28.9 percent. The group's president and CEO, Dave Powers, highlighted the strong performance of Hoka's DTC business in every region, particularly in Europe and China. Moreover, in Shanghai, Ugg stores' average transaction value was approximately 20 percent higher than the average level in China, with a conversion rate of more than double the average.

    L'Occitane share price soars on potential sale#

    Luxembourg-based skincare company L'Occitane en Provence is potentially facing acquisition  by alternative investment firm Blackstone, as reported by Bloomberg from insider sources. Following this news, L'Occitane's shares surged by 15.4 percent to HK$30 ($3.9), reaching their highest level since February 2022. The company, initially listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2010 due to its extensive presence in the city and strong brand recognition, currently boasts a market value of HK$42.7 billion ($5.4 billion). Last year, Chairman Reinold Geiger abandoned plans to privatize L'Occitane, causing a decline in stock prices; Geiger, who controls around 70 percent of the company through an investment vehicle, has since expressed openness to a potential joint acquisition with Blackstone.