In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of October 28-November 1.
WeChat, the hottest messaging app in Asia, is only becoming more popular with smartphone users in China and abroad. As we enter the fourth quarter (Q4) of the year, the company has reported several major milestones and innovations, which are likely to catch the attention of luxury marketers worldwide. Read below for the latest news.
WeChat reached 600 million users this month, including 150 million out of China, making it the world’s top messaging app, ahead of products like Twitter (218 million) and WhatsApp (350 million). In China, 90 percent of smartphones now use it, with heavy daily activity.
In terms of global expansion, WeChat now has a direct connection with Google+, and users can log in via Google products, email, or QQ mail.
Luxury retailers in London are hoping to cash in on the growing ranks of high-net worth Chinese travelers in the wake of relaxed visa application rules for tourists and businesspeople from the mainland, which were announced in October by the British government.
Representatives from the London Luxury Quarter (LLQ), a collection of 42 streets in Mayfair, Piccadilly, and St. James, housing some of the world’s top luxury retailers, recently wrapped up a mission to China aimed at courting wealthy Chinese travelers. At an event in Beijing that was attended by London mayor Boris Johnson, the LLQ launched a series of bespoke initiatives to encourage high-net worth individuals to visit the UK and shop in the district. As part of the campaign, 20 brands—including Cartier, Ralph Lauren, and Giorgio Armani—will open their private museums, design rooms, vaults, and archives to ultra-high net worth shoppers for the first time.
In the wake of China’s slowing luxury sales, a new Bain report predicts that North America will surpass China as the top region for luxury growth this year, a sharp turnaround for brands that have zeroed in on China growth over the past several years. However, this doesn’t mean that luxury brands can scale down their efforts to market to Chinese clients. Rather, they’re going to have to step up their global initiatives, since the study also finds that the Chinese traveler is still the most important global luxury consumer.
Looking to attract China’s wealthy travelers for both business and pleasure, five-star hotels are opening at an exponential rate across China’s second- and third-tier cities as luxury hoteliers rush to establish themselves beyond Shanghai and Beijing. The next five years hold a staggering number of five-star openings across the country, and many have opened their doors this year or will do so in the next few months. Below, Jing Daily has compiled a list of the main second- and third-tier cities for 2013 luxury hotel openings in this highly competitive market.
In 2011, a swathe of stories appeared in the international press heralding polo as the next big thing among China’s ultra wealthy. Horse imports were on the rise, with 1,300 horses imported in 2010, over roughly 300 five years previous, according to The Wall Street Journal. A handful of polo clubs in Beijing and Tianjin were staging polo matches in lavishly developed complexes, such as the Metropolitan Polo Club in Tianjin, which The Telegraph reported to have been constructing a GBP60,000 video scoreboard to accompany its neo-classical hotel, which had 167 rooms done up in gold accents and marble.