China News Brief
    June 21, 2024

    Swiss watch exports to China plummet 18% in May; 618 shopping festival: Overall e-commerce sales decline YoY; Dubai Tourism Board launches podcast campaigns on Chinese platforms.
    The logo and storefront of Rolex, the British-founded Swiss watch designer, and manufacturer, on one of its stores in Zurich on July 4, 2023, in Zurich, Switzerland. Image: Getty Images

    Swiss watch exports to China plummet 18% in May#

    The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry recently reported that Swiss watch exports in May fell by 2.2% YoY to 2.3 billion Swiss francs ($2.6 billion), with exports to China plummeting  by 18%. In addition to rising interest rates and unstable economic growth, the continued strengthening of the Swiss franc has also impacted Swiss watchmakers. Swiss watch exports for the first five months of this year fell by 2.5% to 10 billion Swiss francs ($11.2 billion). Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet stated in a report that these figures could affect growth forecasts for Richemont, the parent company of Cartier, and Swatch Group, the parent company of Longines. The analyst added that due to these two groups’ high dependence on Chinese consumers, their performance is at risk of decline.

    618 shopping festival: Overall e-commerce sales decline YoY#

    Chinese beauty brands made significant inroads during the 2024 618 shopping festival , with Proya topping Tmall’s skincare category and Kans dominating Douyin’s skincare rankings. Despite overall e-commerce sales declining by 6.9%, livestream platforms saw a surge, with Douyin’s beauty and skincare sales reaching 206.8 billion RMB ($28.95 billion). International brands like L’Oréal and Estée Lauder saw sales declines, while high-end brands like Lancôme and La Mer maintained growth. Domestic brands such as Kans leveraged targeted marketing strategies and robust online presence, highlighting the growing dominance of domestic beauty in the market.

    Dubai Tourism Board launches podcast campaigns on Chinese platforms#

    The Dubai Tourism Board, in collaboration with podcast apps  Xiaoyuzhou and Ximalaya, launched projects titled “Dubai Chronicles: Beyond What You See” and “Exploring Dubai, Seeking the Tales of 1001 Nights,” respectively. They invited six podcast programs to share the stories of Dubai. The Xiaoyuzhou content introduces listeners to a more three-dimensional Dubai from historical, cultural, and economic perspectives. On the Ximalaya platform, the content covers real travel experiences and insights about Dubai.

    Feng Chen Wang showcases futuristic menswear in Paris#

    For Spring/Summer 2025, Feng Chen Wang  shut down the underground halls of Palais de Tokyo with an ultra-modern offering taken from the future. SS25 expands on Feng Chen Wang’s signature deconstructed techniques with a novel edge, delivering 35 menswear looks complete with colossal shoe covers and a crackled Ugg Tasman collaboration. The collection arrived in stages, from solemn greys to wearable khakis and transitional browns.

    Moschino stores in Ningbo face closure#

    Moschino’s first store in Ningbo on the second floor of Hankyu Department Store has been barricaded , and another Moschino store is also barricaded at Ningbo SJI Outlets. Moschino was founded by Franco Moschino in Milan in 1983. Since its inception, Moschino has leaped onto the international fashion scene with its playful, rebellious, and unconventional designs, which challenge tradition and incorporate surrealist elements, attracting fashion enthusiasts.

    Actress-director Jia Ling becomes face of Lululemon’s summer campaign#

    Lululemon yesterday announced Jia Ling as its brand ambassador . Over her 20-year career, Jia has evolved from an actress to a director. Lululemon’s Meet the Ambassador initiative invites consumers to listen to Jia’s stories about sweat, emotions, and connections over the past year, revealing her pure love for exercise beyond her many roles.

    TFBoys’ Jackson Yee becomes rep for eyewear brand Lindberg#

    On June 19, Danish high-end eyewear design brand Lindberg announced actor Jackson Yee as global brand ambassador . The Chinese actor, singer and dancer rose to fame as the youngest member of boy band TFBoys in 2013.

    Loewe taps Chinese superstar Wang Yibo as global face#

    Van Cleef & Arpels has once again partnered  with French artist Arthur Hoffner to create a vibrant and whimsical pop-up space for its Perlée collection. The space showcases the radiant new Perlée series, highlighting the timeless beauty of golden beads. From June 17 to today, the Perlée experience space debuted at Yueyuan Road in Shanghai and will subsequently be presented in Beijing, Nanjing, Wuhan, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou.

    Porsche partners with Manner for limited-edition coffee drink #

    Luxury automaker Porsche and coffee brand Manner have partnered to launch a co-branded beverag e. The Iced Grape Tonic Americano will be available in 31 Manner stores across China from June 20 to June 30. This collaboration coincides with Porsche’s 75th anniversary and the upcoming release of its all-electric Macan model.

    Burberry issues $419M bond as revenue declines, sparking acquisition speculation#

    Burberry announced the issuance of 300 million British pounds ($419 million) in international bonds , with a coupon rate of 5.75% and a maturity date of 2030. The proceeds from these bonds will be used for general corporate purposes, and Moody’s is expected to rate the bonds as Baa2. According to available data, Burberry’s revenue for the fiscal year ending March 30, 2024, fell by 4% YoY to 2.97 billion British pounds ($4.15 billion), below the group’s expectations, with adjusted operating profit down 34% YoY to 418 million British pounds ($584 million). Additionally, since the beginning of this year, Burberry’s stock price has dropped 20%, and nearly 56% over the past 12 months. Analysts suggest that Burberry may become a potential acquisition target.

    China, Malaysia extend visa-free travel arrangements#

    China has agreed to extend the visa-free policy  for Malaysian citizens until the end of 2025. As a reciprocal arrangement, Malaysia will extend the visa-free policy for Chinese citizens until the end of 2026.