China News Brief
    June 12, 2024

    Huawei to launch luxury EV in 2025, challenging top carmakers; Chinese brands and designers to unveil new vision at Pitti Uomo; Apple Vision Pro pre-orders in China begin Friday.
    A Luxeed S7 electric sedan, co-developed by Huawei and Chery, is on display during the Auto Guangzhou 2023 at China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex on November 17, 2023 in Guangzhou, China. Image: Getty Images

    Huawei to launch luxury EV in 2025, challenging top carmakers#

    Huawei plans to replicate its smartphone success in the automobile industry by launching a luxury car  in 2025 through a joint venture with JAC. Huawei aims to compete with top luxury carmakers, offering high-end, technologically integrated EVs priced around 1 million RMB ($140,000), undercutting brands like Maybach and Rolls-Royce. The flagship sedan, expected to challenge models like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes EQS, will showcase Huawei’s capabilities in luxury automotive production. The joint venture, positioned as ultra-high-end, complements Huawei’s other partnerships with Seres, BAIC, and Chery, aiming to cover a broad market range with advanced smart driving solutions.

    Chinese brands and designers to unveil new vision at Pitti Uomo#

    The first stop of the China National Garment Association’s 2024 international expansion, the China Wave  delegation will showcase at the 106th Pitti Uomo in Florence from June 11 to 14. Featuring Chinese brands and designers, this exhibition aims to unveil a new vision of high-value Chinese fashion. Partnering exclusively with the China International Clothing and Accessories Fair (CHIC), Pitti Uomo has reserved prime spaces for the delegation.

    Apple Vision Pro pre-orders in China begin Friday#

    At the recently concluded WWDC24, Apple announced that the Vision Pro headset  will soon be available in more countries worldwide, including mainland China, Japan, and Singapore in the first batch. It will then be released on July 2 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK. Currently, the Apple Vision Pro is listed on Apple’s China website, with the 256GB version priced at 29,999 RMB ($4,200), the 512GB version at 31,499 RMB ($4,410), and the 1TB version at 32,999 RMB ($4,620). Pre-orders will begin on June 14 at 9am, and the official release is set for June 28.

    China’s consumer inflation steady, but weak demand persists#

    China’s consumer inflation  remained steady in May, with the CPI rising 0.3% YoY, matching April’s gain but below the forecasted 0.4%. Month-on-month, CPI edged down 0.1%. Producer price index (PPI) declines eased to 1.4% from April’s 2.5%. Despite these figures, underlying trends indicate weak domestic demand and an uneven economic recovery. Measures to boost demand, including housing incentives and consumer goods subsidies, are in place, but core inflation, excluding food and energy, slowed to 0.6% in May. Economists expect more support measures to meet the 5% GDP growth target for this year.

    Chinese automakers eye European factories amid EU tariff threat#

    While the EU considers tariffs  on Chinese EV imports, countries like Hungary, Poland, Spain, and Italy are offering incentives to attract Chinese automakers. Companies like BYD, Chery, and SAIC Motor are keen to build European factories to improve brand perception and avoid tariffs despite higher local production costs. Chinese EV sales in Europe are growing, and several countries have already secured significant investments, balancing higher costs with strategic benefits of local manufacturing.

    Ambush’s Tmall flagship store to shut down#

    Designer brand Ambush announced that due to a global strategic adjustment, its Tmall store  will cease operations from June 20 at midnight. The store is currently holding a clearance sale. From June 21 to July 20, the store will not accept new orders, but will continue to provide after-sales service. Ambush’s Tmall flagship store has posted closure and clearance sale notices, offering discounts up to 70% off, with some iconic items priced in the three-figure range. Launched in January 2022, Ambush’s Tmall flagship store has gained about 150,000 followers in less than three years.

    Adidas Originals Gazelle by Clot gains traction with K-pop idol Jennie#

    The latest Adidas Originals Gazelle by Clot  has been gaining exposure as its release date nears. Edison Chen recently shared images of K-pop idol Jennie showcasing the shoes on social media. The design features a beige color palette with woven elements throughout, including handcrafted stitching effects and beaded side stripes.

    Clarks opens new store at Shanghai Qiantan Taikoo Li#

    On June 5, Clarks’ new store  opened at Shanghai Qiantan Taikoo Li, offering a new summer sandal collection, casual sports shoes, and the Clarks classic Icon Wallabee T limited edition collaboration. The new store features an upgraded design with a summer beach atmosphere. The store is offering limited-time raffle activities, opening surprise vouchers, and exclusive gifts as part of the opening celebration.

    Fan Bingbing named 2024 Melaka Tourism Ambassador #

    The appointment of Chinese actress Fan Bingbing  as the 2024 Melaka Tourism Ambassador in Malaysia is expected to significantly boost the state’s tourism sector, particularly by attracting international tourists, according to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh. Fan’s massive social media following will help promote Melaka globally during the Visit Melaka Year 2024.

    Temu outpaces eBay in repeat US customers#

    Temu has attracted more repeat customers  in the US within less than two years of its launch compared to eBay. A survey conducted by London-based online marketing company Omnisend in April, involving 1,000 consumers, revealed that 34% of consumers purchase items through Temu at least once a month, surpassing eBay's 29%. However, Amazon still leads, with more than three-quarters of the respondents making monthly purchases.

    LVMH appoints Cécile Cabanis as deputy CFO in succession plan#

    LVMH announced the appointment  of Cécile Cabanis as Deputy Chief Financial Officer, reporting to the Group’s CFO, Jean-Jacques Guiony. LVMH stated that this personnel change is part of the Group’s succession plan, with Guiony gradually transferring his responsibilities to Cabanis. Guiony’s new responsibilities will be announced in due course. Cabanis began her career in 1995 at L’Oréal in South Africa and worked at Danone for 17 years.

    Kering Group names Laurent Claquin chief brand officer#

    On June 7, Kering Group announced the appointment  of Laurent Claquin as the Group’s Chief Brand Officer, effective July 1. Claquin joined Kering Group in 2005 and has served as senior vice president in charge of communications and corporate social responsibility. Since 2012, he has been President of Kering Americas. From 2017 to 2018, he also served as CEO of Tomas Maier.

    Airline industry profits to soar in 2024#

    The International Air Transport Association projects airline profits  to reach $30.5 billion in 2024, up from $27.4 billion in 2023, driven by record-high traveler numbers and revenues. Global passenger numbers are expected to hit 5 billion, with revenues rising to $996 billion. Domestic travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels, and international routes have surpassed 2019 numbers. Business travel spending is set to exceed $1.5 trillion in 2024. China’s travel sector is rebounding, boosting the luxury market. Overall, the airline industry’s recovery is strong, supported by increased profitability and positive market dynamics.