China News Brief
    February 29, 2024

    BYD enters luxury auto market; Ipsa scales back in China; Armani Beauty launches pop-up.
    BYD's Yangwang U9 can hit a top speed of 309 km/h. Photo: BYD

    BYD enters luxury auto market#

    Chinese automaker BYD, which recently overtook Tesla as the leading electric vehicle brand, has ventured  into the luxury auto market with its debut supercar, the Yangwang U9, marking a departure from its usual affordable offerings. With a staggering 1,300 horsepower, the U9 qualifies as a hypercar and boasts impressive performance metrics, including a sprint time of 0 to 100km/h in 2.36 seconds and top speeds of 309 km/h, while still being priced at around 1.68 million RMB ($233,500), making it notably cheaper than foreign competitors like Ferrari and Lamborghini.

    Ipsa scales back in China#

    Shiseido's high-end skincare brand Ipsa is undergoing a large-scale withdrawal  of its counters, with the closure of its first customized concept store in Shanghai’s Pudong Lujiazui Center, which opened just last December, on February 26. By the end of this year, there will only be two Ipsa stores remaining in Shanghai. Shiseido China stated that Ipsa is undergoing normal adjustments in its offline business to better adapt to market changes and consumer demands.

    Armani Beauty launches pop-up#

    Armani Beauty recently unveiled  its pop-up fragrance exhibition at Deshou Palace, a museum situated in a restored imperial palace from the Southern Song Dynasty in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. The exhibition, running until March 3, introduces the Armani/Privé Santal Dan Sha fragrance, blending woody and sandalwood notes resonant in Chinese culture.

    Douyin rolls out discounts targeting women#

    As International Women’s Day approaches, Douyin e-commerce has launched  the “Douyin Mall 38 Goodies Festival” promotion. Whether on the store shelves or in live broadcasts, consumers can enjoy a special activity of “instant reduction without meeting the single-item requirement,” with prices reduced by 15 percent. Specifically targeting categories favored by female consumers, such as flowers and beauty products, Douyin e-commerce has also set up exclusive venues. The event ends on March 8.

    Prada turns to Xiaohongshu for collection campaign#

    The advertisement campaign  for Prada’s 2024 Spring/Summer collection has recently graced the exterior wall of the World Guest Hall at 8 North Bund in Shanghai. The brand held a “Pudong Portrait” initiative on Xiaohongshu, urging consumers to post selfies with the advertisement between February 26 and yesterday, mentioning #PradaPudongPortrait. At noon on March 8, the publishers of the top five notes with the highest number of likes and comments under this hashtag will receive a copy of the Prada 2024 Spring/Summer collection advertising booklet.

    Harrods sanguine on consumption outlook in China#

    Harrods department store Managing Director Michael Ward recently stated in an interview that the company is optimistic  about the purchasing power of Chinese consumers. He revealed that the proportion of sales from Chinese consumers accounted for about 4 percent last year and is currently growing at a rate of around 7 percent.

    Visa waiver spurs interest in Thailand#

    According to data from Ctrip platform, domestic orders in China for travel  to Thailand on March 1, the first day of the visa exemption agreement between the two countries, surged nearly four times compared to the previous month. Data from the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports shows that since the beginning of this year, the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Thailand has reached 987,000, once again making China the largest source of tourists to Thailand.

    Prices of air tickets, hotels decline#

    Data from the online travel agency Qunar shows that in March, the prices of air tickets and hotels in popular cities have dropped  by nearly 40 percent compared to the Spring Festival period. The proportion of passengers aged 55 and above, known as the “silver-haired generation,” has significantly increased, surpassing 15 percent. The average flight distance has increased by more than 30 percent YoY, exceeding 1,200km, approximately the distance between Beijing and Shanghai.

    LVMH looks to expand media portfolio#

    LVMH is in talks  with the French media group Lagardere SA, with the intention of acquiring the society magazine Paris Match under its umbrella. Analysts suggest that if this deal goes through, it will further expand the investment of LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault in the media sector. Prior to this, he had already become the owner of the French newspapers Les Echos and Le Parisien.