Hong Kong’s sizeable British expat community is getting excited about next year’s opening of Topshop in the city’s central business district.

But they are not the only reason why Sir Philip Green has decided to open the British brand’s first permanent outlet in greater China. Continue reading »

Chinese manufacturing: workers on the road, Dec 2012There are further signs that the recovery in China’s manufacturing sector is taking hold, even if Santa Claus hasn’t been ordering an awful lot from China this year.

December’s flash HSBC/Markit China purchasing managers’ index stood at 50.9, a 14-month high and an improvement from November’s 50.5. A sub-index for new orders also rose for the fifth month to 52.7, the highest level since April 2011. Continue reading »

The Peninsula Hotel, Hong KongWith all the new purportedly top-quality hotels popping up in China, what’s the guarantee of service and taste? Very little, according to Clement Kwok, the chief executive of Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels, which is placing an emphasis on quality over quantity.

Kwok criticised the star-rating system, as well as the rapid hotel expansion in China and other emerging markets by competitors during a media lunch at the company’s flagship Peninsula Hotel in Hong KongContinue reading »

Is the new leadership in Beijing going to crack down on the billions in illicit funds long believed to be bank-rolling Macau’s spectacular rise as the Las Vegas of the East?

That’s the question investors were asking as they sold down Macau gaming shares on Tuesday, following new reports that a handful of junket operators had been arrested for suspected money laundering. Continue reading »

Another German Mittelstand has been snapped up by a Chinese manufacturer, this time in textiles.

Hong Kong-based Fong’s Industries has just completed its acquisition of Monforts, based just outside Dusseldorf, in the latest example of how Chinese companies are eager to purchase world-class engineering skills and innovation as well as market share in the developed world. Continue reading »

This time last year, foreign retailers were queuing to open flagship stores in Hong Kong in order to capture the millions of mainland Chinese who visit the low-tax territory each year to shop.

But this week’s data on retail sales is a reminder that the shoppers’ paradise is losing its lustre. Continue reading »

The final tally is in from Christie’s annual Autumn sales in Hong Kong and the auction house is gloating. Last month, rival Sotheby’s sold 37 per cent less at this year’s Hong Kong sales than it did a year ago. Christie’s, however, got away with a far less dramatic 9 per cent year-on-year decline from its six-day sales, which raised around $333m including buyers’ premiums. Continue reading »

Baijiu, the fiery Chinese liquor that has been around for thousands of years and is today a fast-growing multi-billion-dollar industry, has become the focus of China’s latest food and drink health scareContinue reading »

Remember those ghost malls in China? Sad, massive buildings like the New South China Mall in the southern factory town of Dongguan – the world’s largest by leasable area when it opened in 2005 – that just sit there empty for lack of tenants and customers?

According to new research on shopping centres by Knight Frank, the property consultancy, the ghost mall syndrome is spreading: overall vacancy rates in major cities have gone up this year. Continue reading »

Cai Bin's property records

Records of properties owned by Cai Bin and his wife (source: China Daily)

Chinese bloggers have scored another success in their campaign to catch out officials living beyond their means.

Cai Bin, who earns around Rmb10,000 ($1,600) a month from his job with the Guangzhou Municipal Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau, has been suspended after he and his wife were discovered to own 21 properties – worth an estimated Rmb40m. Continue reading »

There is a chill in the air as Sotheby’s opens its Hong Kong autumn sales on Friday, and it’s not because the worst of the summer heat is over.

This week is China’s “Golden Week”, traditionally the public holiday when the world’s most populous country goes on holiday and spends a lot of money abroad. But retailers in Hong Kong – the most popular destination for mainland tourists – have noticed a sharp fall off in sales growth this year. Continue reading »

China isn’t going to come up with a big blockbuster game like “Angry Birds” any time soon. That’s the view of the chairman of China’s largest mobile games business.

“Our games developers don’t dream big enough, and there’s still not enough creativity. Also, there isn’t sufficient intellectual property protection so someone who has a great idea dares not put it out there in case it gets copied,” says Zhang Lijun, who heads China Mobile Games and Entertainment Group. Continue reading »

Marine life activists are thrilled to hear that Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, the world’s biggest international air cargo carrier, has decided to stop flying unsustainably sourced shark products.

“This is a great move by Cathay. It didn’t say how much shark’s fin it has been carrying, but at least it sets a good example for other companies to follow,” says Stanley Shea of Bloom Association, a non-profit organisation focusing on marine conservation. Continue reading »

A successful transition from cheap, contract manufacturer to high-end, consumer brand name is the holy grail for many Chinese companies. One company is making progress.

Goodbaby International Holdings, the world’s largest maker of baby strollers, has announced a 27 increase in its profit from core operations to HK$119.3m in the first half of the year as well as a 17 per cent increase in sales to HK$2.311bn.

“For us, it’s bright in the east and bright in the west. Sales of our own-brand products have gone up a lot in the US and in Europe despite those regions’ economic woes,” said chairman Song Zhenghuan. Investors seemed more than happy with the results, marking the shares up 10 per cent. Continue reading »

“I started it”

Environmentalists and nature lovers in Asia, look away now.

Looking at Sheldon Adelson’s projects in Macau’s Cotai Strip, you get the sense that the chairman of Sands China is not in the “green” camp. All the plants in his new, greenhouse-themed Cotai Central resort are plastic, and he just announced a plan to turn an area designated a “tropical garden” on planning maps into a massive shopping mall. Continue reading »