In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of April 8-12:
In a major development for the role of international auction houses in China, Christie’s announced Tuesday that it will be the first non-Chinese auction company to operate on the mainland independent of a joint venture partner.
“Our launch in China will be a ‘game changer’ and it’s all about right timing, right conditions, with [the] right people,” said Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy to the South China Morning Post.
The company signed an agreement with the city of Shanghai, giving it a 30-year “comprehensive auction license” to sell art, wine and other luxury items anywhere in China as long as they don’t fall under the Chinese government’s definition of “cultural relics.”
The sale of star chef Feran Adrià’s famed El Bulli cellar may have grabbed the headlines at Sotheby’s Hong Kong wine auctions last week, but for anyone following Asia’s wine collecting scene, the real news came the day after.
In the April 4 “Sale Of The Finest & Rarest Wines,” two lots from the prestigious Spanish winery Bodegas Vega Sicilia broke into the top ten, muscling in among the Château Pétrus and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Six bottles of 1953 Vega Sicilia Único made it to seventh place by pulling in HK$367,500 (US$47,115), five times the high estimate of HK$70,000. Rounding out the top ten was a vintage assortment of Único, which fetched HK$294,000 (US$37,692), also well above its high estimate of HK$160,000.
Already with a strong presence in mainland China, with 26 boutiques there (compared to around 10 in the US), Versace has big plans for the market this year despite a much-publicized luxury slowdown in formerly bulletproof cities like Beijing. In addition to introducing its wallpaper line to the country this spring, the brand will open between seven to 10 stores in the Greater China region over the course of 2013.
Though annual per capita consumption sits at less than five cups, coffee is becoming a daily addiction rather than an occasional splurge for a growing slice of the Chinese population. With coffee consumption in China rising at an estimated 30-40 percent annually, over the global average of 2-3 percent, major coffee chains like Starbucks — which currently has over 570 stores in 48 Chinese cities — aren’t the only ones bullish about the market.
In a press conference on Wednesday, L’Oréal executives emphasized the extent to which their market has shifted toward China, and it’s huge—the country is expected to serve as the source for the conglomerate’s largest number of purchasers as early as next year.
“Chinese consumers are at the heart of L’Oréal’s focus and energies,” said Chairman & CEO Jean-Paul Agon. “A potential 250 million new Chinese consumers will be using L’Oréal’s products within the next 10 to 15 years.”