China News Brief
    April 05, 2024

    Geely’s Zeekr revives New York IPO plan; Divisive livestreamer to launch content management service; K-pop-related shares undervalued: Goldman Sachs.
    A Zeekr 007 parked on a car display ramp. The Geely-owned business is eyeing a listing in New York. Photo: Shutterstock

    Geely’s Zeekr revives New York IPO plan#

    Zeekr, the premium electric vehicle brand owned by Geely, has resumed  plans to raise up to $500 million in a New York IPO after previously putting the listing on hold in November due to valuation disagreements with investors and volatile financial markets. Currently conducting a non-deal roadshow with potential investors, Zeekr has filed a prospectus with the SEC and is proceeding with preparatory work. Amid a quiet Q1 for Chinese IPOs in the US, with only six companies raising a total of $46.9 million compared to $428 million during the same period last year, Zeekr’s revival of its IPO plans reflects ongoing efforts to enter the market despite challenging conditions.

    Divisive livestreamer to launch content management service#

    Controversial Chinese livestreamer Xin Youzhi, known as Xinba, is launching  a new content management service through his company Xinxuan Group, aiding businesses in producing and managing short video content, a pivotal sales channel in China’s e-commerce. The service will handle clip authorizations for livestream hosts, potentially contributing to Xinxuan Group’s goal of reaching an annual GMV of 100 billion RMB ($13.8 billion).

    K-pop-related shares undervalued: Goldman Sachs#

    The stock market undervalues  K-pop, according to Goldman Sachs. Korean pop music is ubiquitous: Six of the world’s top 20 best-selling artists in 2023, and all three of the best-selling albums, were South Korean, an industry survey said. Its power stretches beyond music: Hyundai pulled out of an aluminum supply deal after K-pop fans campaigned against the plan. But the market thinks it has peaked, the Financial Times’ Asia business editor wrote. Shares in the four biggest K-pop management companies have fallen over the last nine months. Goldman Sachs researchers said this was a mistake; they suggested the shares should be 85% to 137% higher than where they were in mid-March, and predicted that the fanbase will grow rapidly for at least the next three years.

    South Korean cosmetics exports on a tear#

    Data released by the South Korean Customs Service on Wednesday revealed  that in the first quarter of this year, South Korea's cosmetics exports increased by 21.7% YoY, reaching $2.3 billion, marking a historical high for the same period. Overseas sales of South Korean cosmetics reached an annual peak of $9.22 billion in 2021, but dropped to $7.98 billion in 2022, rebounding to $8.49 billion last year. China emerged as the top destination for South Korean cosmetics exports in the first quarter of this year, with exports reaching $610 million, accounting for approximately 26.5 percent of the total. The US followed closely with exports worth $380 million, Japan with $240 million, and Vietnam with $150 million.

    Susan Fang, & Other Stories launch collection#

    & Other Stories earlier this month collaborated  with fashion designer Susan Fang for the “Dream Blossoms” collection, drawing inspiration from Fang’s mother’s paintings. The collection features organza dresses, 3D floral accessories, and aims to explore imagination through fashion. Fang’s multicultural background influences her designs, which intricately blend artistry and nature. The collection, available from April 18, includes 11 pieces, combining innovative techniques like laser-cutting and embroidery, and is set to captivate fashion enthusiasts worldwide.

    Calvin Luo shutters Chengdu IFS store#

    Chinese designer brand Calvin Luo’s southwest flagship store, opened at Chengdu IFS in June last year, recently announced its closure , less than a year after its launch. Many netizens attribute the lack of foot traffic to the store’s inadequate location selection and promotion. Founded by designer Luo Yucheng in 2014, Calvin Luo was included in the official schedule of Paris Fashion Week in 2020 and collaborated with Zara on a joint collection last year. Currently, the brand has four stores in Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen, with its Tmall flagship store boasting 200,000 followers.

    Skechers names new brand envoy#

    Skechers has named  Cheng Yi, actor from the popular drama Mysterious Lotus Casebook, as its brand ambassador. Cheng, with over 26 million Weibo followers, joins Skechers’ roster of celebrity endorsers, including Zhao Lusi. This move reflects Skechers’ strategy of targeting young consumers, exemplified by its collaborations with Yu Cheng'en and Jenny Zeng, both popular among young audiences.

    Bulgari creates new senior role#

    Bulgari announced  on Wednesday the appointment of Greek designer Mary Katrantzou as the brand’s first Creative Director of Leather Goods and Accessories. In her new role, she will oversee the creative direction of Bulgari’s leather goods and accessories, including the brand’s high-end jewelry collection of bags and clutches, aiming to interpret the brand’s iconic aesthetic style. Her inaugural designs for Bulgari are set to debut and be released for sale in August this year.