China News Brief
    March 18, 2024

    BMW ‘sorry’ for noise of BMW 530Li; Prada foundation to debut Michaël Borremans’ work in China; Dior premieres documentary in Shanghai.
    The BMW 530Li model was named on a national TV show that centers on infringements of consumer rights. Photo: BMW

    BMW ‘sorry’ for noise of BMW 530Li#

    BMW has apologized  to Chinese consumers following complaints aired on China Central Television’s annual consumer day gala, which took place March 15, that the transmission shaft of its BMW 530Li model emits disturbing noises. The state broadcaster’s show, known for highlighting consumer rights infringements, featured BMW as the only major international brand this year, while previously targeting companies like Apple and Nike. BMW assured it would cover repair costs and conduct further technical assessments to address the issue, emphasizing that it didn’t compromise driving safety.

    Prada foundation to debut Michaël Borremans’ work in China#

    With the support of its eponymous foundation, Prada will present  the first solo exhibition in mainland China of Belgian artist Michaël Borremans, to be held at the Rong Zhai in Shanghai from April 9 to June 9. The artist’s works create an ambiguous tension, portraying the human condition in a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere. The exhibition, titled “Promise,” will showcase 23 paintings and a video piece, displayed on two main floors of the building.

    Dior premieres documentary in Shanghai#

    Dior last week held  the Chinese premiere of the documentary Inside the Dream at Shanghai Film City, unveiling the creation story behind Dior’s iconic fragrance, the first perfume launched by the brand’s Chief Perfumer, François Demachy. The film, from the perspective of the perfumer, takes viewers from Paris to Los Angeles, exploring the history of Dior fragrances. Demachy appeared at the premiere event alongside the director of the film Matthieu Menu, producer Claude Lacaze, Dior China brand ambassador Liu Yuxin, Dior China brand ambassador Sun Yihan, and Dior China brand ambassador Zhang Yifan. The film is available on Tencent Video.

    UK cycling brand Rapha to launch in China#

    British cycling lifestyle apparel brand Rapha announced  its official entry into the mainland Chinese market this Thursday, introducing series such as Racing, Long Distance, Classic, Core, and Lifestyle. Consumers can purchase these products through partnered retailers and the upcoming flagship store on Tmall next month. The brand stated that this move showcases Rapha’s global appeal and commitment to expanding in key markets, aiming to become the preferred brand for cycling enthusiasts in China.

    Tiffany unveils Schlumberger jewelry collection in Shanghai#

    Tiffany & Co. unveiled  the Jean Schlumberger by Tiffany high jewelry collection “Bird on a Pearl” in Shanghai on March 14. As a classic design by the brand’s legendary designer Jean Schlumberger, the dynamic bird, once adorned with rare gemstones, now stands atop natural wild pearls, extending a series of extraordinary artistic masterpieces.

    Alibaba eyes South Korea expansion#

    Alibaba Group intends  to invest $1.1 billion in South Korea over the next three years, as reported by South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing a business strategy document from the company. The investment aims to establish a logistics center and expand business operations, with $200 million earmarked for the logistics center this year and an additional $100 million allocated to support small and mid-sized South Korean firms in selling their products internationally. However, Alibaba has yet to respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the matter.

    New home prices dip#

    China’s new home prices fell  for the eighth consecutive month in February, dropping 0.3% month on month and 1.4% YoY, highlighting ongoing challenges in the property market despite government intervention efforts. While some cities have eased purchase restrictions and lending policies, declining property prices pose risks to consumption. Premier Li Qiang recently pledged targeted measures to stabilize the property sector.

    Hong Kong visitor numbers on track#

    On March 16, Wong Wai-lun, Deputy Secretary-General of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, stated  during an interview that the number of visitors to Hong Kong last month exceeded 4 million. If this rate continues, the number of visitors to Hong Kong this year is expected to reach, or even exceed, 50 million, surpassing original expectations. He pointed out that according to the assessment of economic advisors, every 1.5 million visitors to Hong Kong can generate approximately one-thousandth of the local gross domestic product, equivalent to an economic benefit of $3.85 billion (30 billion HKD).

    Moschino posts sales decline#

    Aeffe Group, Moschino’s parent company, reported  a 9% YoY decline in sales to $350.46 million (€318.6 million) and a widened net loss to $35.31 million (€32.1 million) for FY 2023, attributed to shifts in brand strategy, including changes in distribution models in China and repositioning plans. Moschino brand sales dropped 11.3% YoY to $264.88 million (€240.8 million), accounting for 76% of total revenue.

    Brunello Cucinelli sees profit surge#

    Brunello Cucinelli released  its financial data for FY 2023: Revenue increased 23.9% YoY to $1.28 billion (€1.14 billion); and net profit surged 42% YoY to $138.26 million (€123.80 million). Brunello Cucinelli stated that the company concluded a "beautiful 2023" and expressed great satisfaction with its performance.