China News Brief
    June 25, 2024

    Estée Lauder refutes China duty-free rumors; Indonesia inks EV deals with Chinese automakers; Maison Margiela debuts at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport with DFS.
    A visitor takes a photo of lipsticks at Estée Lauder's booth during the 3rd China International Consumer Products Expo at Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center on April 12, 2023 in Haikou, Hainan Province of China. Image: Getty Images

    Estée Lauder refutes China duty-free rumors#

    Estée Lauder has denied recent online rumors of a significant overhaul  in July regarding the management of its duty-free channel in China, which speculated a transfer of management rights from the group’s headquarters to a Chinese company. Responding to reporters from the Guangzhou Daily yesterday, Estée Lauder’s headquarters stated that “the online rumors are not true,” without providing further details. The potential adjustment in ownership of the duty-free channel operation in China is closely monitored due to its potential impact on Estée Lauder’s performance in the Chinese market. The company’s revenue from duty-free channels dropped from 32.97 billion RMB ($5.15 billion) to 23.11 billion RMB ($3.61 billion) in the 2023 fiscal year, presenting a significant challenge to its skincare products and overall performance over the past two years.

    Indonesia inks EV deals with Chinese automakers#

    Indonesia has sealed deals  with four Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers (Hozon Auto, SAIC-GM-Wuling, Chery, DFSK), which may inject new impetus into its efforts to become a major exporter of right-hand-drive EVs. The deals were signed during a two-day visit to Beijing last week by Indonesian Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita.

    Maison Margiela debuts at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport with DFS#

    On June 19, DFS unveiled the first-ever Maison Margiela  store in an airport at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. This marks an expansion of Maison Margiela’s global retail network and enhances DFS’ duty-free retail presence in mainland China's airports.

    Celine debuts summer collection in Wuhan#

    Wuhan Wushang Mall has announced the opening of a new Celine boutique  today, featuring the Celine Plein Soleil Summer Capsule Collection. This collection includes jackets and woven crop tops, as well as Teen Victoire handbags and sunglasses.

    China urges EU to drop EV tariffs by July 4#

    Beijing wants the EU to scrap  its preliminary tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles by July 4. Provisional EU duties of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese-made EVs are set to kick in while the bloc investigates what the EU claims are excessive and unfair subsidies to Chinese EV makers.

    JLR, Chery partner for electric Freelander#

    Jaguar Land Rover has partnered  with Chery Automobile to form a new joint venture to develop EVs, leveraging the state-owned Chinese automaker’s advanced product platform, the companies announced on June 19. The new models will carry the “Freelander” badge, a popular compact SUV brand Land Rover first introduced in 1997 but discontinued in 2015. The new electric models will be marketed through a dedicated network in China, with plans for future exports, the companies said.

    La Mer to open concept store in Hangzhou#

    Luxury skincare brand La Mer is set to unveil its new concept store  at Hangzhou MixC on June 30. The store features an open design, showcasing deep-sea art installations intertwined with blue light and shadow, creating an immersive oceanic experience. In addition to offering a wide range of skincare products, the new store will provide personalized hand care and spa services.

    China’s fiscal revenue drops as economy struggles#

    China’s fiscal revenue  dropped 2.8% in the first five months of 2024, a faster decline than the previous period, reflecting weak demand. Fiscal expenditure rose 3.4% during the same period. In May, fiscal revenue fell 3.2% YoY, while spending grew 2.6%. Beijing is implementing fiscal stimulus measures, including issuing one trillion RMB in bonds and incentivizing trade-ins for autos, to support its economy amid trade tensions. However, concerns remain over weakening property investment and sales, indicating ongoing domestic demand challenges.

    US camping brand Nemo enters Chinese market#

    The ISPO Shanghai Exhibition (Asia’s Summer Sports Goods and Fashion Exhibition) yesterday revealed that the lightweight camping gear  brand Nemo from the US will soon enter the Chinese market, represented by Yuebu Sports Products. The Nemo brand and its agent will announce detailed information about the Chinese market layout during the 2024 ISPO Shanghai Exhibition, which will open tomorrow. Founded in the United States in 2004, Nemo’s product line includes tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and camping accessories.

    Anna Hu’s jewelry project blends East and West#

    High jewelry artist Anna Hu collaborated with Musée Guimet to mentor students  in creating pieces inspired by Chinese culture. This project, which culminated in the selection of Lucie Monamy’s orchid design for production, highlights the deep cultural exchanges between France and China.

    Shanghai’s Juneyao Air adds Manchester, Brussels flights#

    Juneyao Air will launch two new intercontinental routes  from Shanghai to Manchester and Shanghai to Brussels in July, with three flights per week on each route, bringing the total number of European destinations to five. In addition to Helsinki, which was the first route opened in 2019, Milan, Athens, Manchester, and Brussels have all gradually opened new intercontinental routes after the pandemic.

    Fast fashion retailer Urban Revivo eyes $100M Hong Kong IPO#

    Urban Revivo Fashion is reportedly exploring an initial public offering  (IPO) in Hong Kong, potentially injecting momentum into the city’s listing market, which has been sluggish this year. The Guangzhou-based company is said to be working with advisors on a potential share sale to raise at least $100 million. Founded in 2006, Urban Revivo operates over 400 stores in China and expanded to other countries like Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. The company also sells online and aims to compete with brands like H&M and Zara.

    Shein faces UK copyright lawsuit#

    Shein, preparing for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange, is facing a lawsuit  from UK competitor Oh Polly and its sister brand Bo&Tee. The lawsuit, filed in London’s High Court, alleges copyright and design right infringements. Shein has hired Harbottle & Lewis for its defense. This is not Shein’s first legal challenge regarding copyright and design rights, as it previously faced a similar claim from shoe retailer Golden Wolfe.

    Couture Week defies luxury market slowdown#

    Chairman of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, Sidney Toledano, recently stated that despite a general slowdown in the luxury market, haute couture  is performing well. The Paris Couture Week is taking place from yesterday to Thursday, with preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics expected to have a slight impact on attendance. Nearly 30 brands will present their fall 2024 designs, while Valentino, Fendi, and other designers are skipping this season for various reasons.