China News Brief
    May 08, 2024

    China extends visa exemption policy; France welcomes BYD’s EV expansion plans; Swire Properties posts mixed Q1 results in China.
    Tourists enjoy the sunset at Wanquan River scenic area during the five-day May Day holiday on May 4, 2024 in Qionghai, Hainan province. Photo: Getty Images

    China extends visa exemption policy#

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced  the extension of the visa exemption policy to 12 countries including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg until December 31, 2025. Individuals from these countries holding ordinary passports can enter China without a visa for purposes such as business, tourism, family visits, and transit, for up to 15 days. According to data from the China National Immigration Administration, in the first quarter of this year, the number of foreigners entering China under the visa exemption reached 1.988 million, an increase of 266.1% compared to the same period last year.

    France welcomes BYD’s EV expansion plans#

    France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire expressed  openness to Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD establishing a factory in France, during a meeting with car sector executives. This statement came as China’s President Xi Jinping was visiting Paris on a rare state visit. Le Maire emphasized that France is receptive to all industrial projects, specifically welcoming BYD and the broader Chinese auto industry to consider expansion into France.

    Swire Properties posts mixed Q1 results in China#

    Swire Properties reported  its Q1 2024 data, highlighting mixed results in mainland China’s retail sector. Occupancy rates were generally high: Beijing’s Taikoo Li Sanlitun at 97%, Guangzhou’s Taikoo Hui at 100%, Beijing’s Indigo at 99%, Chengdu’s Taikoo Li at 98%, and Shanghai's Qiantan Taikoo Li at 98%. However, retail sales declined in most areas, except for a slight increase at Shanghai’s Qiantan Taikoo Li. Notably, Shanghai’s Xintiandi Taikoo Hui saw a significant retail drop of 19.4%. Following these results, Swire Properties’ stock price decreased by 3.43%, bringing its market value to approximately $11.71 billion (HK$92.2 billion).

    Etro marks 520 Day with Rajasthan-inspired ad#

    Etro, in collaboration with Japanese singer and dancer Santa, launched  a film titled Rajasthan alongside a refreshed boutique fragrance for 520 Day. In the ad, Santa wears Etro’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection featuring floral print shirts, short sleeves, and wide-legged denim trousers.

    Descente taps Daniel Wu for sports gear series#

    Descente, in collaboration with brand ambassador Daniel Wu and triathlon ambassador Li Pengcheng, presents  the Breaking the Wind series of themed short films. In the films, Wu and Li transform into windbreakers, wearing Descente’s new Awaken windbreaker series of running and cycling gear.

    Golden Goose debuts Nanjing boutique#

    Italian luxury fashion brand Golden Goose, known for its distressed sneakers, has opened  a new boutique and its first Younique Caffe in China, which is also the second globally, in Nanjing. Spanning over 360 square meters, the store’s design pays homage to its origins in Marghera, featuring silver mirrors and concrete walls to create an avant-garde Italian space.

    Tesla’s China-made EV sales slump 18%#

    In April, Tesla’s sales of China-made electric vehicles fell  by 18% YoY to 62,167 units, lagging behind the broader Chinese EV market’s growth, as reported by the China Passenger Car Association. This downturn led to a 3.8% drop in Tesla shares, exacerbated by concerns over decreasing demand and a price war with Chinese competitors. In contrast, Tesla’s main Chinese rival, BYD, recorded a 49% increase in sales. Amid these challenges, Tesla has been reducing prices and laying off over 10% of its workforce globally.

    Coty Group’s Q3 revenue rises 8%#

    Coty Group’s third-quarter report for the fiscal year ending March 31, shows  an 8% YoY increase in revenue to $1.39 billion. Gross margin stood at 63.8%. Revenue growth was consistent across regions: 8% in the Americas to $589 million, 7% in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to $628 million, and 7% in Asia-Pacific to $169 million. The luxury cosmetics division grew by 8% to $867.2 million, representing 63% of total sales, while the beauty division increased by 6% to $518 million, accounting for 37% of total sales.

    Tiffany unveils Pharrell Williams collection#

    Tiffany & Co. has launched  the “Tiffany Titan by Pharrell Williams” collection. This new series draws inspiration from the trident, the weapon of Poseidon in ancient Greek mythology, featuring distinct and bold designs that highlight vitality, strength, and courage.