In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of July 5-9:
This week, Xinhua writes that the euro’s depreciation against the yuan has lured more Chinese — mainly wealthier individuals from the prosperous urban east coast — to travel to European countries, looking to pick up luxury brands at a comparative bargain. From the article, which notes that the yuan has strengthened 20% against the euro since the end of last year:
Li Yaoyi, resident of Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province, has just finished a fruitful trip. “A 1,000-euro purse now costs about 8,000 yuan, which is about 1,400 yuan cheaper according to the converted price paid for the commodity in the same period last year.”
Louis Vuitton, Omega and some other luxury brands now cost less in Europe than in Hong Kong or Macao, two other popular Chinese destinations for shopping trips, Li said.
The Chinese art market has seen a healthy rebound over the past six to nine months, as mainland-based collectors have pushed prices for traditional artwork to record-breaking highs and prices for blue-chip contemporary artists approaching pre-financial-crisis levels. However, this rebound has really only been seen in Beijing and Hong Kong, as Shanghai — despite massive investment in the city’s cultural and arts infrastructure — has yet to build an auction market that can compete. But why is this? Shanghai certainly isn’t hurting for cash, and the city is home to some of mainland China’s top art collectors and thousands of millionaires looking to get in on the game.
According to an article this week in Shanghai Daily, the contrast between the Beijing and Shanghai auction markets is “striking – and embarrassing,” and helps to illustrate why, despite having China’s first auction house (Duo Yun Xuan, est. 1992), Shanghai lags far behind its northern neighbor.
It appears that product localization for the Chinese market is no longer limited only to major luxury auto brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but is even starting to catching on among makers of “supercars.” (The prohibitively expensive and blazingly fast models produced by the Bugattis and Mitsuokas of the world.) Today, the Dutch supercar maker Spyker — which recently purchased the imperiled Swedish automaker Saab from GM — announced that it plans to launch a China-only, road-ready version of its GT2 this October.
From China Car Times:
Spyker’s plans for the Chinese edition GT2 appear to be working on making the car longer, wider, and more importantly, more comfortable for the driver. Spyker are also planning a four door car that might make an appearence as early as 2013 which will no doubt go up against the recent crop of sporty executive vehicles such as the Porsche Panamera, Jaguar XF and the cheaper Passat CC.
We’ve covered the gradual appearance of Chinese design cues in recent collections by top Western fashion and luxury houses, but what’s the status of China’s home-grown designers? When will we see them on the global stage?
Though top fashion schools in New York and London are churning out design graduates in ever-greater numbers, and Chinese fashion brands like Shanghai Tang and JNBY are expanding into more international markets, as Jill Spalding of Vogue Living told Forbes editor Russell Flannery in an interview last week in Shanghai, the fashion world is still waiting for “China’s Karl Lagerfeld” to emerge and take Chinese fashion global.
Q. What strikes you [in China] about fashion and the fashion industry?
A. With regard to fashion, it’s so interesting because in America we look to the streets for fashion. In fact, even the French designers come to America to look to the streets for fashion, so of course what I was doing was to look to the streets for fashion. I think the American idea of China is of uniforms — that all of them will be in t-shirts.
We thought we’d toot our own Made-in-China vuvuzela for a moment and point out that the British newspaper The Independent mentioned Jing Daily in an article today on Carrefour’s plan to close some Asian locations. Check out the full article here.