China News Brief
    April 04, 2024

    Haitang Bay Duty Free Shopping Complex, owned by China Duty Free Group Co. The group is exporting its model to Vietnam. Photo: Shutterstock

    China Duty-Free to open 3 stores in Vietnam#

    Vietnamese fashion distributor IPPG (Imex Pan Pacific Group) has inked  a deal with China Duty-Free to launch three duty-free stores in Vietnam catering to Chinese tourists. The initial store is set to debut this year in Mong Cai City, Quang Ninh province, near the Chinese border, followed by a second store in Nha Trang next year and a third in Ho Chi Minh City. Jonathan Hanh Nguyen, IPPG’s chairman, views this venture as an opportunity to bolster commercial ties between Vietnam and China. IPPG is pioneering Vietnam’s duty-free business, investing in various border gates, airports, and duty-free store projects to attract tourists and boost the tourism sector.

    Tomb-Sweeping Day travel demand set to break records#

    On the first day of the Qingming (Tomb-Sweeping Day) holiday, travel demand  in China soared, with rail journeys and road traffic expected to hit record highs. Among the top destinations for driving trips, southern cities dominate the list, with Chengdu topping the chart, followed by Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Chongqing. Domestic flight demand increased 30% YoY, with emerging destinations like Tai’an and Tianshui growing in popularity. This trend reflects a growing interest in exploring new travel experiences during the holiday period, signaling a shift towards diversified travel experiences during holidays.

    Retail sales in Hong Kong climb 1.9% YoY#

    Hong Kong’s retail sales continued  their upward trend in February, rising 1.9% YoY to HK$33.8 billion ($4.32 billion), supported by ongoing tourism and consumption growth. The government expects a further revival in inbound tourism with increased handling capacity and additional mega events. Despite challenges, the economy is forecasted to grow between 2.5% to 3.5% this year. Initiatives to boost consumption sentiment and support measures for the tourism industry are underway, including staging over 80 large events and expanding the individual travel scheme to more Chinese cities. Visitor arrivals in February reached 4 million, with a notable increase in mainland Chinese visitors.

    China’s services sector firing up#

    China’s services sector saw accelerated  growth last month, with new business expanding at the fastest pace in three months, reflecting a tentative recovery in sentiment. The Caixin/S&P Global services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose slightly to 52.7, marking expansion for the 15th consecutive month. Despite improved business confidence driven by rising new orders, employment levels continued to decline for the second month in a row. However, the composite PMI, which combines manufacturing and services, also rose to 52.7, its highest level since May 2023, indicating overall economic resilience amid persistently sluggish demand.

    Haus Nowhere lands in Shenzhen#

    Multi-brand collective space Haus Nowhere, crafted by Gentle Monster, is opening  a location at MixC World, Shenzhen. Construction is underway. The store will join two existing outlets, one in Seoul, the other in Shanghai. The Shanghai branch recommenced operations on March 7 after a revamp.

    Montbell expands to Shanghai#

    Japanese outdoor brand Montbell announced  on its Weibo account that it will be opening a flagship store in Shanghai later this month. Currently, the new store in Shanghai Pudong Kerry Center has been fenced off, while another flagship store will be located in Shanghai Ganghui Henglong Plaza. Until now, Montbell’s stores in China have mainly been in Beijing, with the brand’s first store in China opening in Beijing Jingxi Joy City in June 2023, followed by stores in Haidian District and Chaoyang District.

    Tmall lays out management objectives#

    Tmall kicked off  the 2024 Top Talk Tmall Super Brand Exclusive Meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday, where it unveiled the brand’s upgraded management system objectives and plans for the new year. The aim is to assist brand merchants in business growth through new product development, marketing strategies and content commerce, while providing frontline industry players with more flexible decision-making power and assured resources. Additionally, the event honored 20 top Tmall Super Brands including L’Oréal Paris with five major awards such as Growth Breakthrough Award and Outstanding Influence.

    Burberry seen performing weakly#

    According to a report by Deutsche Bank, Burberry is set to announce  its fourth-quarter performance, with expectations of weak results, a trend likely to continue into the next quarter. Burberry has already revised its adjusted pre-tax profit target for the 2024 fiscal year twice to between £410 million ($557.6 million) and £460 million ($625.6 million), while Deutsche Bank has lowered its forecast by 8% to £395 million ($536.2 million) and believes the company’s outlook for the 2025 fiscal year remains largely unchanged. As of the time of writing, Burberry’s stock price has dropped by 1% to £11.90 ($16.18) and has fallen by 53% over the past 12 months, currently valuing the company at approximately £4.4 billion ($5.98 billion).

    Tesla posts 1st delivery decline#

    Tesla saw  its first delivery decline in nearly four years, missing Wall Street estimates, signaling waning effects of price cuts amid increased competition and softer demand. The car maker’s shares dropped nearly 30% this year, with deliveries down 20.2% from the previous quarter, attributed partly to production adjustments and disruptions in Berlin. Despite facing stiff competition in China, Tesla surpassed BYD’s sales, delivering 369,783 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Tesla had previously cautioned of reduced sales growth as it focuses on next-gen electric vehicle production.