China News Brief
    April 24, 2024

    La Mer appoints ‘King of Mandopop’; Anta opens eco-friendly store; China’s e-commerce workforce surges past 70 million.
    Jay Chou attends the Dior Homme Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show at Paris Fashion Week on January 19, 2024 in Paris, France. Photo: Ghetty Images

    La Mer appoints ‘King of Mandopop’#

    Timed to coincide with Jay Chou ’s Carnival tour in Hangzhou, La Mer yesterday announced the Taiwanese singer and musician as its new brand ambassador. In the announcement, Chou is seen holding La Mer’s signature product.

    Anta opens eco-friendly store#

    On Monday, World Earth Day, Anta launched  what it touts as China’s first carbon-neutral store, Antazero (Anta 0 Carbon Mission Store). Executives including Lai Shixian and Xu Yang unveiled the store on Shanghai’s Wukang Road. The intention is to explore sustainable business models with consumers interested in low-carbon lifestyles.

    China’s e-commerce workforce surges past 70 million#

    The China International Electronic Commerce Center of the Ministry of Commerce recently released  the Report on the Development of E-commerce Talents in China. The report reveals that the number of e-commerce professionals in China has exceeded 70 million, surpassing the target set for 2025 in the 14th Five-Year Plan for E-commerce Development. From 2018 to 2020, the number of e-commerce practitioners grew from 33 million in 2018 to 60.15 million in 2020, almost doubling. In just over three years, this number has soared to 70 million.

    Alibaba eyes debut South Korean investment#

    Alibaba Group is eyeing  its first investment in a South Korean online retail platform to strengthen global e-commerce and boost cross-border trade with China. Alibaba aims to integrate South Korean fashion trends with Chinese products through its investment in Ably Co, operator of the popular women’s fashion app Ably. The investment aligns with Alibaba’s broader strategy to enter the South Korean market, including plans for a logistics center. With a focus on streamlining selling processes, Chinese e-commerce giants are poised to expand their presence in South Korea and beyond, leveraging advanced technology and logistics networks.

    Li Ning unveils mixed operational results#

    Li Ning announced  on Monday that its sales outlets (excluding Li-Ning Young) saw a slight increase in retail revenue but a decrease in wholesale revenue in the first quarter compared to last year. Offline channels (including retail and wholesale) saw a low single-digit decline, with retail (direct operation) channels recording a moderate single-digit growth and wholesale (franchise dealers) channels recording a moderate single-digit decline. The number of Li Ning sales outlets in China decreased by 26, with retail outlets increasing by one and wholesale outlets decreasing by 27.

    Sacai opens store in Shanghai#

    Japanese luxury brand Sacai unveiled  a new store at Shanghai Hang Lung Plaza 66 on April 20, featuring a design concept that balances heritage and innovation. Collaborating with Japanese artist Gelchop, the space combines materials like mortar and wood with vintage furniture and lightboxes. To mark the occasion, limited capsule collections will be available, including exclusive designs for the Shanghai store and the Sacai x AMG collaboration. Founder Chitose Abe joined celebrities Carina Lau and Du Juan at the opening.

    Valentino chief foresees quiet luxury’s demise#

    Valentino’s chairman predicts  a shift from “quiet luxury” to bold designs in the fashion industry, marking a new chapter for the brand with the recent appointment of Alessandro Michele as creative director. Michele’s flamboyant style contrasts with predecessor Pierpaolo Piccioli’s minimalist approach, signaling a departure from the “quiet luxury” trend popularized during the pandemic. Rachid Mohamed Rachid anticipates a resurgence of colors and bold designs, reflecting a broader industry shift. Despite challenges in the luxury goods market, including flat growth projections and weakened consumer demand in key regions like Europe and the US, there are hopeful signs for a Chinese recovery in the second half of the year.

    Tesla releases Q1 financial report#

    Tesla today released  its Q1 2024 financial report: revenue was $21.3 billion, slightly below analysts’ $22.3 billion expectation; gross profit margin was 17.4%, higher than the expected 16.5%; operating profit was $1.17 billion, below the expected $1.53 billion. CEO Elon Musk announced plans to update the vehicle lineup, accelerate new model launches, and possibly advance some production plans to 2025 or even late 2024.

    Moose Knuckles launches spring collection#

    Canadian luxury brand Moose Knuckles has unveiled  its lightweight 2024 Spring Collection, featuring a range of jackets designed for the changing climates of early spring. The collection focuses on warmth, comfort, and functionality, and as well as jackets, includes hoodies, trousers, and accessories.