China News Brief
    April 03, 2024

    Tesla overtakes BYD; Ralph Lauren Fragrance readies 1st Beijing store; L’Oréal rolls out science initiative.
    BYD is on the back foot. Photo: Shutterstock

    Tesla overtakes BYD#

    BYD posted  a significant sales decline in the first quarter of 2024, 43% QoQ, relinquishing its position as the world’s top EV seller to Tesla, which saw a 20.2% decline in sales during the same period. Despite BYD’s first-quarter sales being up 13.4% YoY, its quarterly decrease allowed Tesla to regain the sales title, showcasing Tesla’s resilience amid softer demand and a Chinese market slowdown driven by intensified competition and a price war. BYD's response included price cuts and setting a 3.6-million-unit sales target for 2024, a 20% increase from the previous year’s record-breaking sales, emphasizing the competitive dynamics within the EV market.

    Ralph Lauren Fragrance readies 1st Beijing store

    Ralph Lauren Fragrance’s first store in Beijing will open  this month at Joy City in Xidan, the brand’s fourth standalone store in the Chinese market following the opening of its first store in Shanghai last August. According to the staff at the Ralph Lauren Fragrance store, it will primarily offer products from Ralph Lauren Polo Earth series and the Club series. Previously, Ralph Lauren perfumes were available in brand offline stores and at Sephora.

    L’Oréal rolls out science initiative#

    L’Oréal, in collaboration with the Sina Yangfan Public Welfare Fund, launched  the Empowering Girls in Science Program on March 28. As part of the initiative, Professor Chen Siyu, recipient of the 19th Young Female in Science Award, visited Huimin Fourth Middle School in Guanghe County to deliver a science lecture. Since 1998, L’Oréal has partnered with Unesco to run the For Women in Science program, aiming to showcase and recognize the contributions of female researchers to scientific research. In 2004, the program was introduced in China, establishing the Chinese Young Female Scientist Award, the only national-level award in China dedicated to female scientists, which has recognized over 200 outstanding female scientists to date.

    Cartier, Palace Museum team up on exhibition#

    The Palace Museum on Monday held  the opening ceremony for the exhibition titled The Forbidden City and the Palace of Versailles: Chinese-French Exchanges in the 17th-18th Centuries. Presented jointly with the Palace of Versailles, the exhibition, supported by Cartier, marks the 60th anniversary of Sino-French diplomatic relations and showcases around 200 artifacts, illustrating centuries of political and cultural exchanges. The showcase runs to June 30. During the opening press conference, Cartier and the Palace Museum signed a cooperation agreement, intending to deepen collaborative efforts.

    Hublot names brand rep#

    Hublot yesterday announced  Chinese actor and model Yu Shi as a brand ambassador. The watchmaker said Yu epitomizes its pioneering uniqueness. The actor rose to prominence in last year’s epic fantasy film Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms.

    Salvatore Ferragamo unveils art installation#

    Salvatore Ferragamo collaborated  with interdisciplinary artist Oscar Wang to create a joint interactive art installation titled Long Time No Hug, drawing inspiration from the brand’s classic Hug handbag. The installation, characterized by vibrant red tones, vividly captures the joy of reuniting through playful hug designs. It will be on show through tomorrow at The Landmark in Hong Kong.

    Perceptions of China improving: survey#

    According to a survey  conducted by the Singapore-based think tank ISEAS, more people in Southeast Asian countries would choose China over the US if forced to align with one of the superpowers, marking the first time China has surpassed the US in this survey. Released yesterday, the survey involved approximately 2,000 participants from the 10 member states of Asean, with 50.5% opting for China compared to 49.5% for the US. This marks an 11.6 percentage point increase in respondents favoring China compared to last year, with significant rises in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos. However, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore still preferred the US, reflecting territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

    Shein awaits approval for London IPO#

    Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein is awaiting  approval for its IPO on the London Stock Exchange, with profits expected to double, surpassing $2 billion, overtaking Swedish fashion group H&M, and the UK’s Primark and Next, making it one of the most profitable fashion companies globally, while Zara’s parent company, Inditex, reported profits of $6.9 billion last year. Sources revealed that UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt held talks with Shein’s executive director Donald Tang in February this year, persuading the company to list on the London Stock Exchange. If successful, Shein would become one of the largest listed companies in London’s history, with a valuation of up to $90 billion.

    Ex-Gucci chief starts new company#

    Former CEO of Gucci, Marco Bizzarri recently established  a new company called Nessifashion. According to registration information, Nessifashion is registered in Rome with a capital of 10,000 euros ($11,030). Bizzarri has been appointed as the sole director of the company, holding 99% of the shares, while his wife Maristella Levoni holds the remaining 1%. Bizzarri took over full leadership of Gucci in 2015, where he internally selected Alessandro Michele as the creative director, contributing to Gucci’s sales growing from 3.5 billion euros ($3.86 billion) in 2014 to 10.5 billion euros ($11.58 billion) in 2022.