China News Brief
    March 11, 2024

    Anta launches 1st global basketball shoes; Dior taps actress as new envoy; Hermès displays accessory line in Shanghai.
    Anta teamed up with American basketball player Kyrie Irving to launch its first basketball shoe, the Anta Kai 1. Photo: Anta

    Anta launches 1st global basketball shoes#

    Anta and American basketball player Kyrie Irving launched  their first signature basketball shoes, the Anta Kai 1, simultaneously in China and the US on March 7, signaling the start of Anta’s global strategy. Irving, serving as Anta’s basketball spokesperson and chief creative officer, participated in the shoe’s creation process. The Anta Kai 1 is available in key cities worldwide, with various colorways to follow.

    Dior taps actress as new envoy#

    Dior announced  Chinese actress Lin Yun as its new brand ambassador on March 8, and invited her to attend the launch dinner of Dior’s new high-end jewelry and watch collection. Lin exuded feminine charm by pairing a classic Dior little black dress with colorful gemstones.

    Hermès displays accessory line in Shanghai#

    Hermès is debuting  its 2024 Spring/Summer accessory line with a new themed window display in Shanghai, created by French artist Hubert Crabières. Titled Fubao Curtain Wonderland (福宝帷幕奇境), the display blends local Shanghai stories, symbolic elements, and cinematic techniques to showcase Hermès’ heritage and innovative spirit.

    Beijing unveils plan to lift birth rate#

    China has announced  plans to improve childbirth policies and address its aging population through various measures outlined in government reports released on Tuesday. Initiatives include promoting a “birth-friendly society” by reducing childcare costs and enhancing parental leave policies. Efforts also focus on expanding financial incentives for having children and implementing a private pension system. These actions reflect China's proactive approach to addressing demographic challenges and fostering sustainable population growth and aging support systems.

    EV sales growth in China dips#

    China’s pure electric vehicle sales slowed  in January and February. They expanded 18.2% YoY, reflecting intensified competition and deeper price cuts by market leader BYD. Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including plug-in hybrids, rose by 37.5%, outpacing the overall passenger car market’s growth rate of 16.3%. The slowdown is partly attributed to waning consumer interest amid adverse weather conditions affecting EV battery performance. The fluctuation in data is also due to the timing of the Chinese New Year holiday, which fell in February this year.

    Underwear brand Likeuu to open store in Beijing#

    Chinese underwear brand Ubras’ youth sub-brand Likeuu is opening  its first national store in Beijing, located at the Blue Harbor. The store is set to officially open in mid to late April, marking Likeuu’s debut as an independent store. Established in 2021, Likeuu specializes in underwear for girls aged eight to 15, with bra prices mostly around 100 RMB ($13.92). The move reflects the growing trend of vertical segmentation in the underwear industry, with Likeuu targeting specific age groups with its products.

    ‘GQ China,’ Douyin in bid to spark trend#

    Late last month, GQ China and Douyin collaborated  to introduce the “mint mambo” trend. The look combines a springy green palette with earth tones, featuring Y2K-style casual wear and outdoorsy items, symbolizing freedom and liveliness inspired by nature. Actresses Chai Biyun and Zhao Yuanyuan, along with Douyin influencers, participated in a rural and outdoorsy photoshoot to promote the trend. While the trend has gained traction on Douyin with thousands of videos and substantial likes, its overall impact on platforms like Weibo remains to be seen.

    Puig posts strong sales growth#

    Puig’s 2023 financial report reveals  a 19% YoY increase in sales to $4.82 billion (4.3 billion euros), with double-digit growth across all sectors and regions. Net profit rose 16% YoY to $520.8 million (465 million euros). Perfumes and fashion sales reached $3.5 billion (3.12 billion euros), driven by rapid growth in brands like Jean Paul Gaultier and Byredo. Charlotte Tilbury led makeup sales to $865.76 million (773 million euros), while skincare outpaced makeup, reaching $482.72 million (431 million euros). Asia-Pacific saw the highest growth, with sales rising 26% YoY to $491.68 million (439 million euros), driven by strong performance in China, which experienced a 27% YoY sales increase.

    Inflation returns to China#

    In February, China experienced  its first increase in consumer prices in six months, rising by 0.7% YoY, surpassing economists’ expectations and marking the highest growth in 11 months. This uptick was attributed to heightened spending during the Chinese New Year, particularly on food items like pork and fresh vegetables, as well as increased travel activity. However, factory-gate prices continued to decline, dropping by 2.7% YoY, reflecting ongoing weak demand and persisting deflationary pressures. China’s economic growth has been constrained by factors such as a property crisis, sluggish international trade, and high government debt, prompting policymakers to consider further measures to stimulate growth.

    Louis Vuitton readies next generation#

    Louis Vuitton executive Pierre-Emmanuel Angeloglou is transitioning  to join the LVMH fashion group, under the leadership of Michael Burke, in a move aimed at grooming the next generation of leaders for the luxury conglomerate. Angeloglou, 49, previously reported to Burke during his tenure at Louis Vuitton. Burke, 67, assumed control of the LVMH fashion group earlier this year, overseeing brands like Celine and Loewe. LVMH’s efforts to prepare future leaders align with billionaire Bernard Arnault’s strategy, as he approaches 75 and will remain CEO until he turns 80, according to LVMH statutes.