China News Brief
    February 23, 2024

    Estée Lauder hikes prices in China; Omega exhibits rare watches in Beijing, Hong Kong; Shanghai department store to be redeveloped.
    Several brands under the Estée Lauder Group, including La Mer and MAC, are rolling out a new round of price hikes in China. Photo: Shutterstock

    Estée Lauder hikes prices in China#

    Several beauty brands under the Estée Lauder Group, including La Mer and Mac, have recently initiated  a new round of price increases ranging from 10 percent to 30 percent, reports Beijing Business Today. Rising raw material costs were cited as the reason for the hikes. L’Oréal also adjusted the prices of its beauty products from January 1, while Shiseido announced on its official website that it would increase prices for some products starting from April 16.

    Omega exhibits rare watches in Beijing, Hong Kong#

    Omega is exhibiting  11 sets of its MoonSwatch “Mission to Moonshine Gold” watch at 11 flagship stores globally, including Beijing SKP and K11 Musea in Hong Kong, from February 12 to tomorrow. Each set contains 11 “Mission to Moonshine Gold” watches jointly launched by Omega and Swatch. This is the first time that these 11 rare watches are being presented as a set, and also the first time the custom-made carrying cases are available for sale. The proceeds from this auction will be fully donated to Omega’s partner, Orbis International, a non-profit medical education organization dedicated to addressing global blindness.

    Shanghai department store to be redeveloped#

    The Shanghai Six Hundred department store closed  for business on February 18. It will be redeveloped into a modern shopping center at an estimated investment of around 798 million RMB ($125.67 million). Despite the closure announcement, visitors continue to bid farewell to the historic store, which has been a part of Shanghai's landscape for over 70 years.

    Chinese brands ready for Paris Fashion Week#

    2024 Fall/Winter Paris Fashion Week is set  to take place February 26 to March 5. According to the official schedule released by France’s Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, this season’s fashion week comprises 109 fashion events. Chinese brands featured in the official schedule for this season's fashion week include Uma Wang, Dawei, Reverie by Caroline Hu, Ruibuilt, Chen Peng, Didu, Ruohan, and Shiatzy Chen. Renowned brands participating in this fashion week include Christian Dior, Saint Laurent, Balmain, Chloé, Givenchy, Loewe, Hermès, Balenciaga, Valentino, Chanel, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, and Schiaparelli.

    Taobao launches livestreamer incubator#

    Taobao has launched  a company designed to nurture livestreamers, as the Alibaba Group’s shopping unit makes a renewed push in China’s highly competitive livestream e-commerce market. Zhejiang Taobao Livestream E-commerce Co. will provide individuals, such as celebrities and influencers, and institutions looking to stream with a host of services including account opening, business planning, inventory check, financial management, negotiation assistance and marketing, it said in a statement.

    On Running, IchallengeLab team up#

    On Running announced  on February 21 that it has become a strategic partner of Chinese running club IchallengeLab (挑战者俱乐部), providing sponsorship for professional running equipment, training support, and actively promoting international athlete exchanges. On Running will empower athletes’ performance on daily training and competition days with professional running products.

    LVMH enters entertainment industry#

    LVMH is venturing  into the entertainment industry. Recently, it partnered with Superconnector Studios to establish a new division named 22 Montaigne Entertainment, aimed at exploring the potential of its over 75 brands in the film and television sectors. Led by Superconnector Studios and its co-founders Jae Goodman and John Kaplan, this division is overseen by an executive committee headed by LVMH’s Communications and Image Director Antoine Arnault and North America’s Chairman and CEO Anish Melwani.

    Xpeng Motors details expansion plans#

    China’s Xpeng Motors has announced  new partnerships in UAE and Italy, alongside plans for the Middle East and North African markets. The company will launch and deliver multiple vehicle models in the Middle East and North Africa starting from the second quarter, including the G6 and G9 SUVs in the UAE. This expansion follows previous plans to enter European markets beyond Germany, Britain, and France. Xpeng also emphasizes increased hiring and AI R&D investment to remain competitive in China's auto market.

    Chinese tourists shun Japan#

    On February 21, the Japan National Tourism Organization released  its latest statistics, indicating that in January, the number of visitors to Japan reached 2.7 million, almost on par with January 2019 before the pandemic. However, due to the early-year Noto Peninsula earthquake, many Chinese tourists canceled their trips, resulting in Chinese tourist numbers only recovering to 55 percent of pre-pandemic levels. In terms of countries and regions, South Korean tourists were the highest, reaching 857,000, a 10% increase from January 2019. Next was Taiwan, with 492,300 visitors, up 27%. Mainland China ranked third, with 415,900 visitors.

    Inditex’s Lefties takes on Shein#

    Inditex, owner of Zara, is expanding  its budget-friendly Gen Z-focused brand, Lefties, globally to counter the rapid growth of online marketplace Shein, known for its rock-bottom prices. Lefties’ expansion into emerging markets like Spain, Portugal, and others aims to cater to price-conscious consumers, garnering significant customer growth. With Shein’s increasing influence, Inditex strategizes to compete effectively in the fast-fashion market by tapping into the budget segment.