China News Brief
    April 11, 2024

    Alexander Wang expands in Macau; Inditex denies Zara set to exit China; China Duty Free Group posts flat profit growth.
    Designer Alexander Wang, left, and model Bella Hadid attend the Magnum VIP party during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival on May 10, 2018 in Cannes, France. Photo: Ghetty Images

    Alexander Wang expands in Macau#

    Alexander Wang’s latest flagship store has opened  in The Londoner Macao shopping center, part of the Sands China Group. Originally named Sands Cotai Central, the resort on Macau’s Cotai Strip was renamed The Londoner Macao in 2021.

    Inditex denies Zara set to exit China#

    Inditex yesterday scotched rumors  that Zara would withdraw from the Chinese market as unfounded. The number of stores closed over the past two months, reported as nine, is also inaccurate. During this period, Zara closed three stores – in Huizhou, Dongguan, and Baoshan, Shanghai. Inditex mentioned ongoing optimization and upgrades to Zara stores, aiming to provide Chinese consumers with a more integrated digital experience. This year, the flagship Zara store on Nanjing East Road in Shanghai will undergo renovation and upgrades. Additionally, the company plans to continue opening new flagship stores in select cities.

    China Duty Free Group posts flat profit growth#

    China Duty Free Group released  its performance report on Wednesday. The group’s operating income for the first quarter of 2024 was $2.99 billion (18.81 billion RMB), a year-on-year decrease of 9.45 percent; net profit reached $0.37 billion (2.31 billion RMB), a year-on-year increase of 0.33 percent. China Duty Free Group operates six offshore duty-free shops in Hainan Province, including the world’s largest and second-largest duty-free commercial complexes – Haikou International Duty-Free City and Sanya International Duty-Free City.

    F426 readies 8 new stores#

    Chinese fashion brand F426 on Tuesday announced  that on May 1 it would debut offline stores in Harbin, Shenyang, Beijing, Haikou, Wuhan, Shangqiu, Baoji, and Baotou. Trial operations will start on April 26. According to F426’s WeChat account, the brand has already opened 10 stores in six cities.

    Xpeng Motors inks Hong Kong partnership#

    Xpeng Motors yesterday announced  it is partnering with Hong Kong’s Sime Darby Motors. The collaboration aims to introduce Xpeng’s latest smart EVs to consumers in Hong Kong, providing them with branded showrooms, after-sales support, and guidance throughout the purchasing process. Since its establishment in 2014, Xpeng has achieved a cumulative delivery volume exceeding 400,000 vehicles by the end of last year, with over 140,000 vehicles delivered in 2023 alone.

    Mentholatum joins forces with Lay Zhang#

    Mentholatum announced  rapper and actor Lay Zhang as its new brand ambassador on Monday. Lay and Mentholatum are collaborating with the China Rural Development Foundation to provide support for children to pursue their dreams.

    Kering appoints new CCO#

    Kering Group on Tuesday appointed  Thibault Tétrel, who had worked for over 20 years at L’Oréal Group, as Chief Commercial Officer. In 2002, after three years at Moet Hennessy, Tétrel joined L’Oréal Group, serving as the General Manager of Distribution for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. From 2008 to 2011, he was the Marketing Director for L'Oréal Paris in India. He also served as the General Manager of Consumer Products for Lebanon and Jordan before becoming the Retail General Manager for the Americas at Giorgio Armani in 2014.

    UBS expects Prada to outperform#

    According to UBS, Prada Group’s strong performance  in the fourth quarter of last year, driven by the growth of its brands Prada and Miu Miu, has caught the attention of global investors. The group is expected to announce its first-quarter results on April 24, with projected revenue of $1.31 billion (€1.18 billion), a 14% increase at a fixed exchange rate. UBS maintains a “buy” rating on Prada Group, raising its target price to $9.69 (HK$74.5), and expects the group to outperform in revenue this year.

    Kiki World discloses funding injection#

    The Web3.0 beauty brand Kiki World secured  $7 million in first-round financing led by New Incubation Ventures, an early-stage investment and incubation company under Estée Lauder. Although the investment was officially disclosed recently, it was actually completed in 2022 before the official launch of Kiki World. Established in 2023, Kiki World allows consumers to decide on the direction of the brand’s product development through its proprietary platform and blockchain infrastructure, and provide suggestions for product features through voting.