China News Brief
    June 26, 2024

    Hong Kong, Singapore top Julius Baer’s global luxury goods index; Longchamp said to raise prices in China.
    Luxury stores on a Hong Kong street. Image: Getty Images

    Hong Kong, Singapore top Julius Baer’s global luxury goods index#

    According to Julius Baer’s annual report, Hong Kong and Singapore remain the top cities  for luxury goods consumption. Hong Kong rose to second place, London to third due to a strong pound post-Brexit. Shanghai fell to fourth amid real estate challenges, Tokyo to 23rd with a weaker yen, and Zurich to sixth with a strong franc. The Julius Baer Lifestyle Index noted Europe, the Middle East, and Africa becoming pricier in 2023, boosting all European city rankings due to currency fluctuations. Jewelry, men’s suits, and women’s shoes saw significant price hikes in tourist retail.

    Longchamp said to raise prices in China#

    French luxury leather goods brand Longchamp yesterday reportedly started notifying customers through various channels that it will implement across-the-board price hikes  starting tomorrow. A Longchamp staff member told The Paper newspaper, “Most prices will increase, with varying degrees, up to around 200 RMB ($27.52).” Customer service representatives from Longchamp’s flagship store and have not yet received any related notifications regarding this matter.

    Nike lags Adidas in Chinese market#

    According to Citigroup analyst Paul Lejuez, Nike remains a leader in North America and Europe, but lags behind Adidas  in China. Surveying consumers across these regions, Lejuez found Nike strong in North America and Europe for brand recommendation and innovation, but Adidas is closing the gap. In China, Adidas leads in consumer preference and innovation, surpassing Nike in both categories. These results suggest challenges for Nike, especially as China’s contribution to its revenue fell to 15% in 2023, despite North America still being its largest market at 44%.

    Balenciaga to livestream haute couture show via WeChat#

    Balenciaga yesterday announced that its 53rd haute couture collection, led by Creative Director Demna Gvasalia, will debut officially at 6pm Beijing time today. The show will be livestreamed  simultaneously on WeChat Video and the brand’s website. Since its relaunch on July 7, 2021, the Balenciaga haute couture collection has been led by Demna for three seasons.

    Marimekko partners with Heytea for 60th anniversary#

    On June 24, Finnish fashion brand Marimekko  announced on social media its collaboration with Heytea, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the iconic Unikko print. The collection includes various collaborative products, such as stickers, tote bags, mugs, badge sets, and a special edition Osmanthus Milk beverage. Additionally, Heytea has partnered with Walden of Flowers in Shanghai to create a limited-time Joy Blooms-themed pop-up space, inviting consumers to participate in on-site check-in activities for a chance to win custom osmanthus flower bouquets.

    Dunhill opens new boutique in Guangzhou#

    Dunhill has opened a new boutique  at Taikoo Hui in Guangzhou. The store features contemporary design using the brand’s signature materials, showcasing collections designed by Creative Director Simon Holloway. It offers a selection of tailored garments, leather goods, accessories, and footwear.

    Wegovy weight loss drug gets green light from Chinese regulators#

    It was reported today that multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk announced that the China National Medical Products Administration had approved the company’s application to market Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy  (for long-term weight management) in China. Novo Nordisk stated that the price of the product will be announced upon its commercial launch. The company has initiated the relevant processes for drug supply according to plan.

    Maia Fun Club hosts yoga party in Shanghai#

    Maia Active’s Maia Fun Club, an offline sports community tailored for Asian women, launched an upgrade  this summer. On June 22, over a hundred Maia Girls gathered at Fotografiska Shanghai for a yoga energy party. The event, set in this new artistic landmark, featured lively orange accents and showcased Maia Active’s dynamic brand image.

    Beijing-Prague direct flights resume#

    Direct flights  between Beijing and Prague, respective capitals of China and the Czech Republic, resumed this week with Hainan Airlines reinstating service. The flights, operating three times weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, mark the renewal of direct air connectivity between the two cities. The first flight arrived at Prague Airport early Monday morning after a 10-hour journey.

    China expands visa-free travel to Polish citizens#

    China on June 24 expanded its visa-free travel  scheme to include Polish citizens, effective until the end of 2025. This initiative, launched in stages since the beginning of 2024, aims to promote tourism and business exchanges by allowing citizens from 11 European countries and Malaysia to enter China without visas. The participating European nations include Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland, with Poland set to join on July 1.

    China, Sol de Janeiro boost L’Occitane Group’s sales#

    L’Occitane Group announced its fiscal year 2024 full-year results  ending March 31, driven by strong performances from Sol de Janeiro and L’Occitane en Provence. Total sales reached a milestone of $2.81 billion (2.54 billion euros), up 19.1% YoY. Highlights include L’Occitane en Provence’s sales rising 2.7% to $1.53 billion (1.38 billion euros), driven by robust growth in China, and Sol de Janeiro’s sales surging 167.1% to $757 million (686 million euros).

    China’s EV subsidies declining as industry matures: Report#

    According to analysis  by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, China has invested $230.8 billion over more than a decade to develop its electric car industry, accounting for 18.8% of total electric car sales from 2009 to 2023. Scott Kennedy highlighted that government spending relative to EV sales has decreased significantly, from over 40% 2017 to just above 11% in 2023.

    EV maker Neta Auto files for Hong Kong IPO#

    On June 26, Neta Auto submitted an IPO application  to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Neta Auto is a product brand under Hozon New Energy Automobile, and the company will become the fifth new energy car company to IPO in Hong Kong. According to the prospectus, Neta Auto’s parent company is a global technology-oriented new energy vehicle company. Data shows that from January to May 2024, Neta Auto exported 16,458 vehicles, ranking first among new force car companies in export volume.

    Shein shareholders push for buyback amid IPO challenges#

    Shein’s plans  for an initial public offering (IPO) in London, potentially valuing the online fast-fashion giant at over $60 billion, are encountering significant challenges and uncertainties. Major shareholders are reportedly growing impatient with Shein’s fundraising efforts, privately requesting the company to consider buying back their shares. Concerns persist around the limited expected returns from a London IPO, compounded by regulatory complexities due to Shein’s Chinese origins.