In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of August 22-26:
As major luxury brands intensify their efforts to use Sina Weibo as an effective digital marketing and communication tool, over the past month an event by the Chinese jewelry brand “IDo” has presented a valuable case study in successfully targeting young, tech-savvy shoppers solely via Weibo, one that the Louis Vuittons and Burberrys of the world shouldn’t ignore.
A year and a half after creating its Weibo account, IDo now has more than 400,000 fans, most of whom started following the company in recent months.
The increasing presence of Chinese contemporary art on the world stage became apparent this past weekend in Dubai, where the new group exhibition “Vigour of Style” gave art lovers in the UAE a peek at China’s resurgent art scene. Running through August 25 at the Gallery of Light, Dubai Community Theatre and Art Centre complex, Mall of Emirates, the exhibition was put together by the Beijing Shangyiguanzhi Art Spreading Organization — a group dedicated to expanding the global footprint of Chinese art. With exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art proliferating in recent years, both in China and around the world, it’s perhaps to be expected that the Middle East — with its growing trade and ties with China — should be ripe for more Chinese art shows.
Although visitors shouldn’t expect to see works by any of China’s sought-after “blue-chip” contemporary artists at the “Vigour of Style” exhibition, the pieces on show by Xu Weixin, Tungyan Runan, Tan Ping, Ye Henggui, Zhang Fangbai, Ma Baozhong and Qin Feng are a good introduction.
We can’t exactly call this an “only in China” story, but Shandong Business Daily reports this week that some enterprising Chinese luxury shoppers are doing a brisk business reselling their branded paper shopping bags online. Much like Gucci’s (truly only in China) free paper folder, which came packaged inside last month’s issue of Vogue China, paper Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry shopping bags are showing up on Taobao, selling for anywhere from a couple of yuan (US$0.38) for the smallest Chanel shopping bag to 200 yuan ($31) for the largest.
For those whose incomes could never allow them to purchase a Chloé handbag, Hermès scarf or Cartier watch, toting around a branded paper bag seems to be the next best thing. But according to Shandong Business Daily, young luxury aspirants are turning to Taobao not only for paper shopping bags, but virtually anything affordable with a name brand stamped on it — and actual luxury shoppers are all too willing to sell.
As Jing Daily wrote earlier this month, due to inflation concerns and relatively few yuan-denominated investment options, interest in so-called “passion funds” — investment vehicles meant to offer long-term returns from luxury items such as art, fine wine, diamonds, and even mint condition comic books — is hitting a new high among China’s newly wealthy. As Enrique E. Liberman, president of the Art Fund Association, told China Daily, “market volatility and severe declines have reduced the attractiveness of many other investment options, such as equities, bonds and hedge funds, so it’s not surprising that investors are increasingly attracted to passion funds.”
In the art and wine segments, we suggested, interest is perhaps highest, as they are both portable, hard assets (very popular among Chinese investors), and with Hong Kong’s rise on the world auction stage over the past few years, wealthy Mainlanders have easier access than ever to some of the world’s best and most valuable vintages.
With China’s notoriously low foreign film import quotas remaining a sore subject for major international production houses, and a point of contention for the WTO, a handful of producers have taken another path in an attempt to capture a bigger piece of China’s booming box office. Following the lead of automakers and manufacturers, producers have turned to joint ventures with domestic companies in order to sidestep quotas, leverage the local knowledge and network of local partners, and enjoy a better share of box office receipts.
This week, one major Hollywood producer, Legendary Entertainment, announced a new 1.4 billion yuan (US$220.5 million) venture with the Chinese powerhouse Huayi Brothers Media Corp. aimed at making one to two “major, event-style” films per year for a global audience, starting in 2013.