In “Chinese Whispers,” we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that haven’t yet made it into the English language.
In this week’s edition, we discuss:
- iPhone resellers in China lowered retail prices,
- NetEase’s response to “fake” Canada Goose products sold on its platform, and
- Hearst Magazines International’s new Greater China CEO.
1. Apple Marked Down Retail Prices of 3 iPhone Models on Tmall – Ebrun
On January 11, Suning, a major electronics e-commerce seller of Apple products in China, quietly reduced the retail prices of three iPhone models on its flagship store on Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Tmall. The price of iPhone XR dropped to $821 (RMB 5,549) from $961 (RMB 6,499), and iPhone 8 and 8 plus both fell to $577 (RMB3,899) and $708 (RMB 4,788), respectively, from $754 (RMB 5,099) and $887 (RMB 5,999).
Suning did not specify the reason for the price reductions. The move happened after Apple slashed its guidance for first-quarter 2019 revenue after seeing diminished demand from Chinese consumers. Other third-party distributors in China such as GOME Retail also expect to lower iPhone prices very soon.
2. Chinese e-commerce platform NetEase Kaola suspected of selling fake Canada Goose parka – Jiemian
A Beijing-based consumer recently filed a complaint against NetEase Kaola, a Chinese e-commerce site, for selling a fake Canada Goose (priced $823) parka to her. This consumer showed the email communication she had with Canada Goose’s headquarters staff, which confirmed her parka was not an authentic product. However, NetEase Kaola claimed they also sent the same pictures to the headquarters and received the opposite answer.
To resolve the issue, NetEase Kaola proposed to take the consumer to Canada to authenticate the product together, and the company would cover the cost of the trip, the news site Jiemian reported on January 10. And if the product turned out to be a fake, NetEase would issue a public apology and compensate the consumer.
3. Hearst China Names New Chief Executive Officer – Heart Magazine International
Hearst Magazines announced the new leadership appointment last week. Daisy Wang, who worked for Hearst Taiwan for over a decade, has been named as the new CEO for the Greater China region. Wang will officially assume her role on February 14 and will continue to oversee the magazine’s business in Taiwan.
Wang has succeeded in leading the digital transformation of Hearst Taiwan. In 2019, the digital business is projected to account for 60 percent of total revenues for the magazine in Taiwan.