Today in China, people on social media are buzzing about Jack Ma’s visit with the Swedish Prime Minister, Kris Wu’s becoming the brand ambassador for McDonald’s and the woman who threw coins into the engine of a plane, for good luck.
Jack Ma welcomes Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven
Alibaba welcomed Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and 50 more companies to Hangzhou on June 28. In the opening remarks, Jack Ma emphasized the huge potential to grow Chinese tourism to Sweden through Alibaba’s online travel platform Fliggy. “Swedish brands are already on the top 20 list of most purchased products on Tmall Global,” said Terry von Bibra, General Manager Europe at Alibaba. There will be a range of premium Swedish brands added to the platform, including Baby Bjorn, Twistshake, Blueair and Stiga Games.
Weibo user comment: “H&M and IKEA please come to Tmall soon.”
McDonald’s hires Kris Wu as a brand ambassador to attract Generation Z
One of the most valuable fast food brands (with more than $80 billion dollars in brand value), McDonald’s recently announced that the Chinese-born Canadian actor and singer Kris Wu will be its China ambassador. It’s particularly noteworthy since the brand hasn’t endorsed a celebrity in China for nearly 12 years after hiring NBA player Yao Ming back in 2004.
Kris Wu was appointed Bulgari’s ambassador in 2016 and he has also collaborated with Burberry’s for their campaigns before. His frequent appearances have made both brands a hot topic for Chinese millennials. While Wu seems to be a natural fit for luxury brands, it’s believed that McDonald’s chose him for his influence over China’s generation Z. Or maybe they were trying to keep up with KFC, who invited Lu Han to be its brand ambassador in 2016.
Weibo user comment: “I estimate there will be a fast food eating war between Kris Wu and Lu Han’s fans.”
Google fined $2.7 billion by EU for manipulating shopping search results
This is the biggest fine for a single company in a an EU antitrust case, according to ET tech. EU made the decision after a 7-year-long investigation after receiving complaints by rival search websites, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, UK price comparison site Foundem, News Corp and lobbying group FairSearch. Google now has 90 days to end its anti-competitive practice or face penalty payments of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of the parent company Alphabet. This suggests Google may need to rethink the Google shopping search function fundamentally, at least in Europe.
Weibo user comment: “If Google got fined, Baidu, Sogou, Tencent, and Alibaba would be all filing for bankruptcy.”
Passenger throws coins into the engine for good luck
Besides terrible smog, there is another reason for frequent flight delays in China—coin-tossing. During the boarding of one flight at China Southern Airlines, an 80-year-old Chinese woman threw nine coins at the plane, one of which landed in the engine. She claims she did so to pray for safety. Her act inadvertently did the opposite of her intention. It caused the plane to be delayed for more than five hours during which the staff did a thorough inspection of the engine. Though the total value of the coins adds up to about 25 US cents, the flight delay probably cost much more.
Weibo user comment: “2017’s most expensive way to make a wish: toss coins at a plane engine.”