Worried about the slowdown in the Chinese economy? Or Beijing’s austerity drive? Lane Crawford, the iconic Hong Kong purveyor of luxury brands, is not.
It says the time is just right to open a shop in Shanghai which, at 150,000 square feet, is twice the size of any other Lane Crawford store anywhere. It will open in September. Continue reading »
Even in China, David sometimes beats Goliath – though it’s sometimes hard to be sure.
This week, residents of Songjiang – a suburb of Shanghai which has gained fame around the world for having over 10,000 dead pigs floating in its water supply – found that though they could not vanquish the porcine invader, they had scared away an intruder from the corporate world. Shanghai Guoxuan High-Tech Power Energy company said it was abandoning plans for a battery factory in Songjiang, after residents protested on the streets and on the internet against it. Continue reading »
The quality of Chinese infant milk is not just an issue for mothers and the market – now Ai Weiwei, the artist Beijing most loves to hate, has been inspired by the formula scandals to create a piece of protest art.
The dissident artist told the South China Morning Post that his new sculpture, to be unveiled in Hong Kong next week at an exhibition dedicated to the history of epidemics, was inspired by the continuing crisis over the quality of mainland infant milk – a crisis that has had repercussions around the world, with grocery stores as far away as the UK restricting sales as mainland consumers rush to procure safer supplies overseas. Continue reading »
China got a bit of a late start on the internal combustion engine and has yet to produce a globally-competitive home-grown automaker. So Beijing decided several years ago that it might be better to leapfrog that entire generation of cars and go straight to electric vehicles instead.
Unfortunately, it’s proved harder than expected to build an affordable and practical electric car in China; despite hefty government subsidies, private sales of electric cars have not got off the ground. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that there is no public infrastructure for charging private vehicles (taxi fleets have proven easier to convert to electric). Continue reading »
We recruit in peace
The statistics are staggering: 60 per cent of Chinese worth more than Rmb10m are either planning to move to another country, or have already done so.
Maybe that’s why the people from Mars One came to China on Friday to recruit settlers for the red planet. Continue reading »
For more than 30 years, Beijing has been trying to force foreign automakers to transfer technology to their Chinese rivals. To judge from all the happy displays of Sino-foreign joint venture cooperation at this year’s Shanghai auto show, China has now got its way. Or has it?
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If there was one thing that Chairman Mao Zedong’s China always promised it would not do, it was repeat the mistakes of the US by building a society based on private car ownership.
But Mao has been gone a long time now and the last decade has seen China go crazy for cars – buying so many that it is now the world’s largest auto market. And that means a lot of cars that need to be cleaned. Continue reading »
Death is big business in China at this time of year, as the annual Tomb Sweeping festival approaches, boosting demand for virtual iPads, iPhones and even mistresses offered up to entertain the deceased in the afterlife (or to console him, if his grave gets moved to make way for another golf course or superhighway). Continue reading »
If there is one thing that China’s smaller cities do not lack, it’s sportswear stores. The average fourth-, fifth- and sixth-tier Chinese city – everyone defines their tiers differently – has a high street with multiple Chinese sportswear retailers lined up in a row. Do these towns really need more running shoes?
Adidas certainly thinks so and its latest greater China sales – up 15 per cent in 2012 – seem to indicate that it’s right. The German sportswear brand, currently number two by sales behind Nike, has expanded into 350 more Chinese cities in the past 18 months, to 900 in total. Of the 800 stores opened last year, 400 were in lower-tier cities. The goal is to have 1,400 cities buying Adidas by 2015. Continue reading »
China has gained such fame for food safety crises that Chinese consumers are normally delighted to be told that what they are eating is imported rather than local.
But on Tuesday Ikea turned the tables by announcing that the Swedish meatballs in its mainland cafeterias are safe – precisely because they are Chinese. Continue reading »
Today the world’s largest annual human migration – the lunar new year travel rush in China – will reach its culmination as millions of people hurry back to the office, where work officially begins tomorrow. They will be taking trains, planes, boats, buses and even bicycles to get back to that cubicle on time. But some will be coming home by a form of conveyance almost unthinkable even a few short years ago: by carpool. Continue reading »
China gets a bad rap for lacking creativity. The conventional wisdom, especially among frustrated multinational personnel managers, is that it’s hard to find recruits in China who can “think outside the box” (though those who complain about that defect always use exactly the same phrase about the box, raising questions about their own ability to complain creatively).
But if they scan Chinese newspapers at this time of year – the run-up to Lunar New Year, which triggers the earth’s biggest human migration – they can find plenty of stories of Chinese exercising their ingenuity on the problem of how to get home to mama’s for the holidays. Continue reading »
They don’t call them the “Fishing” islands for nothing, it seems. The territory at the centre of the protracted Sino-Japanese-Taiwanese islands dispute is known as Diaoyu in Chinese, which means fishing, and now Beijing is making sure that Chinese citizens get a taste of the islands – just in time for Chinese New Year when fish is usually high on the menu. Continue reading »
These are hard times for Chinese government officials, it seems: corruption just isn’t what it used to be.
At least that’s the headline finding of Tuesday’s Hurun Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013, which discovered that super-premium Chinese liquor (Moutai) and top end luxury watches are no longer the Chinese millionaire’s favourite gifts. Continue reading »