China News Brief
    April 29, 2024

    Porsche earnings tank on China slump; Prada hosts Jia Zhangke for cinema masterclass; Hainan cashes in on travel rebound.
    A Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo is on display during the 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition at the China International Exhibition Center on April 25, 2024 in Beijing, China. Photo: Ghetty Images

    Porsche earnings tank on China slump#

    Porsche reported  a 30% decline in first-quarter operating profit, attributing it to increased investments in what the firm termed its most significant year of product launches ever. Despite this, operating profit for the period matched estimates at $1.37 billion, while sales exceeded forecasts at $10.62 billion. CEO Oliver Blume affirmed the company’s commitment to strategy amid challenging conditions, particularly in China where demand has faltered, contributing to a 24% drop in quarterly deliveries.

    Prada hosts Jia Zhangke for masterclass#

    The Visions du Réel section of The Fondazione Prada’s Cinema Godard in Milan showcased  the work of Chinese director-screenwriter Jia Zhangke earlier this month. On April 20, Jia held a masterclass at the Godard Cinema. The movie theater hosts monthly events including film screenings and public meetings with renowned figures from the contemporary Italian and international film industry.

    Hainan cashes in on travel rebound#

    Hainan Province’s Department of Commerce reported  a 29.62% YoY increase in service imports and exports for Q1. Service exports rose 40.22% to $1.01 billion (6.38 billion RMB), while imports grew 20.68% to $1.03 billion (6.511 billion RMB). Service trade accounted for 16.72% of the province’s total foreign trade, up by 2.03% from the previous year. International travel services surged, reaching $273 million (1.729 billion RMB), with inbound travelers mainly from South Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Mongolia, and Singapore.

    Levi’s launches 1st Chinese podcast#

    Levi’s has launched  its first Chinese-language podcast, titled “Speaking with ‘Lee.’” The teaser episode, To Be a Vanguard, First Go Crazy, has been released, featuring host Jiang Sida introducing guests including Pang Kuan, lead singer and keyboardist of New Pants band, internet celebrity bloggers Luo Zhenni & Zhang Ke, and cultural scholar Ma Jiahui in a group chat.

    Lanvin unveils 520 Day drop#

    Lanvin joined hands with global ambassador Cheng Yi to present  a new limited edition capsule for 520 Day. The collection features romantic patterns and candy-colored tones.

    Verdant visuals star in Prada’s 520 Day ad#

    Prada released  its online advertising campaign for 520 Day, focusing on the blossoming of love. Lorenzo Gironi and Mark Kean crafted the visuals and static images, respectively, with models Zhang Lina and Alexander Poole immersed in almost mystical scenes surrounded by flowers and foliage gently brushing against their bodies. Specially selected garments feature vibrant orange, emerald green, crimson, and yellow hues, juxtaposed with soft gray and black-and-white tones, creating sharp contrasts.

    China buoys Skechers’ Q1 sales#

    Skechers released  its first-quarter performance. Sales increased 12.5% YoY to $2.25 billion, setting a new record. Net profit amounted to $210 million, with a gross profit margin of 52.5%, up by 360 basis points. By market, sales in the Asia-Pacific region grew by 16%, with China specifically maintaining double-digit growth in the first quarter, reaching $320 million, a year-on-year increase of 13.3%. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa saw a 17% increase, while the Americas experienced 8% growth.

    SMCP Q1 sales slip 5.8% on Asia downturn#

    SMCP, the parent company of Maje and Sandro, has announced  its performance for the first quarter of 2024. Sales decreased 5.8% YoY to $318.15 million (€287 million). Regionally, sales in the Asia-Pacific market fell 15.7% to $65.38 million (€57.3 million), while the Americas market saw growth of 8.9%. Sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa increased by 0.99 percent to $99.67 million (€89.4 million)). By brand, Sandro’s sales dropped 3.8% YoY to $15.93 million (€14.04 million), Maje’s by 4.3% to $12.35 million (€10.89 million), and other brands by 16.2% to $4.24 million (€3.75 million).

    Hong Kong forecasts 2.5%-3.5% Q1 GDP rise#

    Hong Kong’s Finance Secretary, Paul Chan, announced  on Sunday that the SAR’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter is anticipated to grow between 2.5% and 3.5%, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of moderate growth. The GDP data for January to March is set to be released on Thursday and is expected to align with the full-year economic growth forecast, as stated by Chan in his blog without further detail. To bolster growth, Hong Kong plans to host large-scale events such as fireworks displays to attract more tourists.

    Weak yen powers tourism boom#

    Affected by the depreciation of the yen, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan continues to increase . According to estimates by the Japan Tourism Agency, the number of visitors to Japan exceeded 3 million for the first time in March, reaching the highest monthly level in history. The weakness of the yen has boosted spending by tourists on luxury goods in Japan, and hotel prices have also risen by nearly 30% compared to the same period last year. Data also shows that total tourist spending by visitors to Japan in the first quarter of this year reached 1.7505 trillion yen ($15.91 billion), setting a new quarterly record.