Tag Archives: China

Remy Martin Connected Bottle

Remy Martin to export ‘smart’ cognac to China

Remy Martin Connected Bottle

Chinese consumers concerned about counterfeit cognac will soon be able to verify the authenticity of a bottle of Remy Martin via their cellphone.

The “smart” bottle of Remy Martin Club Connected Cognac, sold only in China, will be available in the coming months in “nightclubs in three big Chinese cities”, said Florence Puech, a spokeswoman for the firm.

DON’T MISS: THE WORLD’S BEST COGNAC BARS

Consumers can download a special app onto their smartphones, developed in partnership with Selinko — a technology company — which will communicate with a chip in the bottle cap.

The technology will allow them to ensure the bottle has never been opened as well as other information about its content.

It also has a marketing component, allowing cognac connoisseurs to join a fidelity programme.

China is one of Remy Martin’s key markets, along with the United States. French people do not consume a lot of cognac and most of the liquor produced in the country is exported.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift creating fashion line for Chinese market

Taylor Swift

JD.com has announced that it will soon be offering a new fashion line that US singer Taylor Swift has designed especially for the Chinese market.

The line will include dresses, sweatshirts and tops that the company says will be high-quality and will be available next month on JD.com.

Created by Swift with Heritage66 Company, which focuses specifically on US artists looking to expand their reach in China, it will be an exclusive to the Chinese market and was designed with local consumers in mind.

JD.com is to be the first authorized seller of Taylor Swift merchandise in China via its new platform “U.S. Mall,” through which Chinese consumers wil be able to buy goods from US brands.

shanghai tower China

Shanghai Tower nears completion

shanghai tower China

The Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world, is nearing completion.

Located in the Pudong financial district, the 632m tower composed of 128 floors is a striking addition to the Shanghai landscape.

CHINA’S SKYSCRAPERS TO OFFER LUXURY HOTELS

Composed of a tapering outer skin of glass and steel that wraps itself around the building’s circular core, Gensler, the American firm behind the design, claims this twisting shape reduces wind load on the building by 24%, thus saving approximately $58 million in steel and structure costs.

While still dwarfed by the 829.2m Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Shanghai Tower is now Asia’s tallest skyscraper and a bold statement about the country’s economic prosperity going forward in the 21st century.

A soft opening of Shanghai Tower has seen some tenants allowed into the building to conduct interior construction. An official public opening has yet to be announced but is expected sometime this autumn.

bordeaux wine

China recognises ‘Bordeaux’

bordeaux wine

After a four-year struggle, France has convinced China to recognise “Bordeaux” as a brand in a bid to combat counterfeit wines.

France has been in talks with China since 2011 to recognise the Bordeaux “appellation” — a legally defined and protected geographical marker used to identify where grapes are grown.

BOOMING CHINA IS NUMBER ONE BORDEAUX IMPORTER

China’s recognition, announced Tuesday on the first of a three-day visit by Prime Minister Li Keqiang — was a “historic advance” in the battle to stop fake Bordeaux wines being sold in Asia.

The appellations system “promotes quality productions rooted in our territory,” the agricultural ministry said in a statement.

The two countries are discussing around 100 geographical labels from both countries as part of wide-ranging trade talks.

bordeaux wine map

Armani Casa project Beijing

Armani to design luxury residences in Beijing

Armani Casa project Beijing

Armani Casa has signed a deal with the Smart Hero Group to develop a residential project in Beijing, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reports.

Architect Ma Yansong has been signed up to design an eco building comprising several apartments, with Armani creating the amenities and common areas.

Armani Casa project Beijing China

“I’m very happy to collaborate on the development of this complex in Beijing, one of the most charming cities in the world,” Giorgio Armani told the publication. “The Chinese concept of ‘Union of Nature and Man’ perfectly fits the aesthetic I developed for Armani/Casa, which constantly aspires at creating a sense of harmony inside the indoor spaces while respecting their natural context.”

The brand has previously worked on projects including the Century Spire complex in Makati, Philippines and the World Towers in Mumbai.

Alibaba.com advertising

China’s Alibaba launches Internet bank

Alibaba.com advertising

Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba on Thursday launched an Internet bank aimed at serving small businesses which often struggle to obtain credit from large banks.

MYbank, which is 30% owned by Alibaba-linked Ant Financial Services Group, will offer loans of up to 5 million yuan ($800,000).

The bank, based in Hangzhou where Alibaba is headquartered, added it will serve “small businesses, individual consumers and rural users.”

Alibaba completed the world’s biggest IPO last September with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange that raked in $25 billion and made founder Jack Ma one of China’s richest men.

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Mercedes-Maybach rolling out the door in China

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Mercedes-Benz is selling almost as many Maybach cars in China each month as it used to sell worldwide in a year, when it targeted the super-rich with a stand-alone model.

Chinese buyers are snapping up about 500 a month of the ultra-luxury variant of the Mercedes S-Class, which starts at about 1.44 million yuan ($230,000) in China. That compares to a peak of 600 Maybach cars in 2003, which at the time cost more than $350,000.

Daimler revived Maybach as a Mercedes sub-brand this year to chase the wealthiest buyers, people who otherwise might have considered a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley.

The Mercedes-Maybach adds legroom and opulent options such as hand-made silver-plated champagne goblets to the standard S-Class.

The effort appears to be working. Mercedes started selling Maybach in China in February as part of a push to catch up with BMW and Audi in the world’s largest auto market, which is suffering a slowdown.

Mercedes sales rose 20 percent last month, driven not just by Maybach but also by its compact cars and sport utility vehicles.

Read the rest of the story [email protected]Bloomberg

Carina Lau

Carina Lau launches online wine, champagne brand

Carina Lau

Hong Kong movie star Carina Lau (刘嘉玲) on Wednesday launched her own online wine and champagne brand at the world’s biggest wine and spirits fair Vinexpo in southern France.

Going on sale in China on the Alibaba website under the name of the Chinese-born actress are six top-end Bordeaux and four other wines from the region as well as two Moutard champagnes and a sparkling wine.

“It’s an important day for me and my company Carina international e-commerce limited,” said the actress who married movie star Tony Leung in 2008. “My first products are red wine and champagne but it will be introducing many more other products under my brand.”

280,000 bottles of the top-end Bordeaux wines will be offered in a pre-sale launch with the four vintages from the Haut-Medoc, Margaux and Saint Emilion available later following the official launch of sales in Shanghai.

Carina Lau, 49, already has cosmetics, fashion and jewellery brands and owns 17 nightclubs.

Since about 2008, wealthy Chinese investors have snapped up more than 20 chateaux in the Bordeaux region.

Download the Epicurio app on iTunes or Google Play now, to learn more about wines and purchase your very own bottle, today

OPUS HONG KONG

Most expensive flat in Asia sold in Hong Kong: Report

OPUS HONG KONG

Swire Properties has sold a duplex apartment at Opus Hong Kong in Mid-Levels for HK$497 million, setting a record as Asia’s most expensive flat. [Update: A new record holder has emerged]

The 5,188 sq ft duplex flat A, on the ground and first floors of Opus Hong Kong at 53 Stubbs Road and including two car parking spaces, was sold yesterday at HK$95,971 per square foot.

Interior of Opus Hong Kong

That breaks the previous record for price per square foot, set in April, when Wang Shuang, paid HK$93,000 per square foot for a HK$433.8 million home on the 45th floor of 39 Conduit Road.

Opus Hong Kong

The Opus duplex has 5,188 sq ft of saleable area and a 3,245 sq ft garden which is not included in the saleable area. It has a 36 sq ft balcony and 113 sq ft of verandah.

Opus Hong Kong apartment

Opus, a 12-storey super- deluxe property completed in 2012, is dubbed Hong Kong’s most expensive apartment block.

Opus Hong Kong view

It is Frank Gehry’s first residential building in Asia and features an unusual twisted shape. Each unit has floor-to-ceiling windows and commands 360-degree views of Victoria Harbour and Mount Cameron.

Opus Hong Kong exterior

Source: PropGOluxury via SCMP

tripadvisor china

TripAdvisor launches rebrand of Chinese site

tripadvisor china

To cater to the world’s fastest growing tourism market, TripAdvisor has launched a new global brand for Chinese-speaking travelers.

From now on, Chinese users will know TripAdvisor as Mao Tu Ying, which means ‘owl’ and ‘journey’ in English, as part of the company’s aim to unify its three Chinese language sites under a single global brand.

Currently, TripAdvisor operates three separate sites: one for users in Taiwan, one for residents in mainland China (daodao.com), as well as a recently launched site written in international simplified Chinese for the benefit of the Chinese diaspora living outside mainland China.

TripAdvisor’s new Chinese name is phonetic word play that combines the Chinese characters for owl and journey. The literal translation, however, can be interpreted as “Experience the world through different perspectives.”

The move comes amid travel forecasts predicting that mainland Chinese travelers will grow from 110 million to a staggering 230 million by 2020.

NetDragon headquarters

VIDEO: Chinese millionaire builds Star Trek office

NetDragon headquarters

China’s online gaming operator NetDragon has its headquarters modeled after the Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise, new reports have confirmed.

The Y600m ($97m USD), six-floor building near Changle, southeast China, was made with the agreement of US rights holder CBS, reports the Wall Street Journal; NetDragon founder Liu Dejian is a big fan of the series.

NetDragon headquarters China

Construction started in 2010, with the building opening in May 2014; also contained within its halls is a full-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

The company runs a number of MMOs, including “Disney Fantasy Online,” as well as mobile apps that cover enterprise productivity, 3D home remodeling and weather reports.

glass-bottomed bridge

China set to open world’s highest glass-bottomed bridge

glass-bottomed bridge

China is set to become home to the tallest, longest, and, arguably, scariest pedestrian bridge in the world, when construction of a glass-bottomed bridge is complete in the national park that inspired the floating mountains from the James Cameron film “Avatar.”

Hovering a dizzying 300 meters (984 feet) above the ground, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge will span 380 meters (1,247 feet) in length and 6 meters (20 feet) wide.

Zhangjiajie National Park

Designed by Tel Aviv-based architectural firm Haim Dotan Ltd., the bridge can accommodate up to 800 people and will feature the world’s highest bungee jump. Designers also envision the bridge as a dramatic catwalk for fashion shows.

Lead architect Haim Dotan said the design is meant to work seamlessly with nature, make the least impact on its surroundings and give visitors the sense of floating in mid-air.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge

Construction of the bridge will be complete in July and the official opening is set for October.

Sephora flagship Shanghai

Sephora to launch flagship site in China

Sephora flagship Shanghai

Cosmetics giant Sephora is set to launch a flagship retail site in China.

The beauty boutique, part of the LVMH Group, is collaborating with the Chinese e-tailer JD.com on the project. The site will be JD’s largest yet, encompassing over 1,200 products from over 70 different beauty brands including Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy, Benefit and Kenzoki.

DON’T MISS: SEPHORA OPENS SHANGHAI FLAGSHIP

President of Sephora Asia Anne Veronique Bruel said that authenticity was an issue when choosing the right partner for the project.

“Sephora is renowned for its beauty solutions from the world’s best brands,” she said. “I am confident that together we will be able to provide Chinese consumers with a truly world-class online shopping experience, without the worry of counterfeits.”

The site will be Sephora’s first move into the Chinese e-commerce market, proving how far the French brand has come since it was founded in 1969.

The brand now sells over 200 world-class brands including its own label, Sephora Collection, and features more than 10,000 unique products across makeup, skincare, perfume, hair care, body care, professional tools and more. It comprises 2,000 retail locations in 32 countries.

Tommy Hilfiger Beijing store

Tommy Hilfiger opens biggest store in China

Tommy Hilfiger Beijing store

Tommy Hilfiger is opening its largest Chinese store yet in Beijing this month. The two-story retail space at the In88 shopping centre spans over 500 square meters and reflects the brand’s “classic American cool” identity.

It showcases women’s sportswear, the Hilfiger Collection and accessories, as well as the Tommy Hilfiger Tailored and men’s sportswear collections.

A visually striking façade stretches over 30 meters along two sides of the mall with large windows hosting high-resolution digital screens displaying the brand’s latest advertising campaign videos and imagery.

Inside, bespoke décor reflects the brand’s all-American heritage, featuring over-dyed patchwork rugs, vintage furniture and antiques alongside digital screens and custom-designed lighting fixtures.

The new store will mark the first time the Hilfiger Collection, which comprises the womenswear designs that debut during New York Fashion Week, has been shown in China.

Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2015 Fashion Show

The opening of the new store coincides with the brand’s 30th anniversary, which will be celebrated by Mr. Hilfiger himself over the course of a series of special events from May 24-26.

These include an exclusive recreation of his Fall 2015 Hilfiger Collection runway show, which debuted at New York Fashion Week in February.

The complete show experience will be transported to Beijing for the runway event, which will include looks from the men’s and women’s collections and take place against the celebrated backdrop of Hilfiger’s football stadium set.

“For the first time, we’ll transport our entire New York runway show to a new setting abroad,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “I’m excited to bring the spirit of an authentic American football game to China and share the unique experience as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations.”

Chinese vineyard

China has world’s 2nd biggest wine-growing area

Chinese vineyard

China now has the second-largest wine-growing area in the world after Spain, pushing France into third place, according to figures released Monday by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

The figures for 2014 showed China had 799,000 hectares of land devoted to wine growing, compared with 1.02 million hectares for Spain.

BOOMING CHINA IS NUMBER ONE BORDEAUX IMPORTER

France remained the biggest producer of wine in the world, pumping out 47 million hectolitres last year. It also made the most from selling wine abroad, raking in more than 7.7 billion euros ($8.4 billion).

Meanwhile, the US is the biggest consumer, quaffing some 31,000 hectolitres – 13% of the global intake – followed by France and Italy.

China has rapidly emerged as a major player in viniculture, accounting for 11% of the territory given over to vineyards last year, up from 4% in 2000.

The biggest importers of wine were Germany, the United Kingdom and the US — with total global trade valued at 26 billion euros.

Find out if any of these winning wines are on Epicurio now. Download the app on iTunes or Google Play now.

mclaren 540c photo

New entry-level McLaren 540C revealed in China

mclaren 540c photo

McLaren has unveiled its newest offering at the Shanghai Auto Show, the 540C, which alongside the 570S rounds out its “Sports Series.”

It’s also the company’s most affordable supercar to date, with McLaren confirming a starting price of $165,000.

mclaren 540c side

As most of you know, McLaren now has a three-tier product lineup, enthusiastically called Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series.

In the Sports Series category, the 540C joins the 570C, unveiled a few days earlier in New York, whose twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 produces 562hp, capable of hitting 62mph in 3.2s and topping out at 204mph.

McLaren 570S Coupe orange

The entry-level 540C’s twin-turbocharged V8 produces 533hp and is capable of reaching 199mph, the first 62 of which it’ll attain in just 3.5s.

It is available for purchase, though delivery of the vehicles won’t begin until early 2016. Both of these cars share the same carbon fiber chassis.

mclaren 540c back

Three price and performance levels

The Super Series includes a model first presented at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2015, the 675LT, capable of reaching 62mph in a claimed 2.9s thanks to its 666hp twin-turbocharged V8.

McLaren 675LT

The company announced that it will limit production to 500 units with a starting price of $349,500.The 650S, in coupe and spider form, both of which were presented in Geneva in 2014, complete the Super Series.

While the 650S’s design is clearly inspired by the P1, its performance more closely resembles that of the 12C, its 3.8-liter V8 producing 641hp and racing to 62mph in 3s.

McLaren 650S Spider side

Finally, the Ultimate Series includes the spectacular P1 and its track-only version, the P1 GTR. The McLaren P1, first presented at the Paris Auto Show in 2012 before making its debut in its definitive hybrid version the following year in Geneva, is the flagship of the McLaren catalogue.

McLaren P1 supercar

Its technology amazes, pairing a 3.8-liter 727hp V8 with a 177hp electric motor capable of reaching a top speed of 217mph, and featuring hydro-pneumatic suspension, electro-hydraulically assisted steering, and even a rear wing that extends almost 12 inches.

McLaren P1 GTR

All 375 of the million-dollar plus supercar have already been sold. In 2015, McLaren followed with the P1 GTR, the most powerful supercar it has ever produced. It surpassed the 1000hp mark, cost $3 million, and was only offered to customers who had already purchased the road-legal P1.

one-yuan banknotes

Woman pays for BMW with one-yuan notes

one-yuan banknotes

A woman stunned staff at a car showroom by making a part payment for a new BMW 730Li using 100,000 yuan ($16,400) in one-yuan banknotes.

It took 20 employees in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, China six hours to count the money – without any rest – SCMP reports.

The unnamed buyer, who owns a food retail business, paid the rest of the cost of her one-million-yuan car with her bank card.

She said people often paid her at work using small denomination notes.

As she was often busy she had decided to keep the banknotes until she was able to spend them all at once when buying a car!

Chinese Guan Vase

Chinese tycoon Liu snaps up ancient vase for $15 million

Guan Vase Southern Song Dynasty

Chinese tycoon Liu Yiqian splashed out nearly HK$114 million ($14.71 million) on an ancient vase at auction in Hong Kong Tuesday.

The octagonal piece, an 800-year-old Southern Song Dynasty work tinted a milky blue, broke the guide price of $7.7 million at the Sotheby’s sale.

Imperial Chinese bowl

The vase is from the same collection as a Chinese porcelain bowl which fetched nearly $27 million at a Sotheby’s sale in April 2012 (above). That price was a record for Song Dynasty ceramics.

Taxi-driver-turned-financier Liu — chairman of investment company Sunline Group — is one of China’s wealthiest men and among the country’s new class of super-rich scouring the globe for artworks.

Meiyintang Chenghua Chicken Cup

The 51 year-old broke the world auction record for Chinese porcelain in April last year when he bought a Ming Dynasty wine cup for $36 million, which he subsequently famously drank tea from.

In November he snapped up a Tibetan silk tapestry for $45 million at Christie’s in Hong Kong, setting another world record for any Chinese work of art sold by an international auction house.

Tibetan tapestry

Liu, who also owns his own museum in Shanghai, has said he is on a mission to bring ancient Chinese artefacts back to the country.

tang

Bacardi Launches Tea-Distilled Liquor in China

tang

Rum maker Bacardi has created what’s being called the world’s first spirit distilled from green tea leaves.

Developed specifically with Chinese consumers in mind, Tang is described as a bold and fragrant spirit with a “smooth and bitter-sweet taste of tea.”

Produced in Cognac, Tang was developed using a “groundbreaking” process that is able to release complex sugars from green tea leaves to make way for fermentation.

The mash is then distilled, blended and diluted to 40 percent alcohol by volume with French spring water, resulting in a light green liquor.

Tang is meant to be consumed neat, and was developed specifically to complement the flavors of Chinese cuisine.

Only 2,000 bottles have been produced for the initial run. Bottles are available at the duty free boutique at the Hong Kong airport until May.

Bacardi’s next strategy will be to launch the product in restaurants across China, a move that recognizes — and bows to — baijiu’s dominance as the spirit of choice within Chinese households.

A 500 ml bottle of Tang retails for $1888 HKD ($250 USD).

The Mariner of the Seas

Asian Cruising Sees Double Digit Growth

The Mariner of the Seas

The number of Chinese passengers who stepped aboard a cruise ship grew an impressive 79 percent per year between 2012 and 2014, signaling the growing popularity of cruising in the region.

Last year, 697,000 passengers from mainland China chose to spend their holidays aboard a cruise ship, according to a new report from the Cruise Lines International Association

In total, cruise lines hosted nearly 1.4 million Asian vacationers in 2014, representing a 34 percent compound annual growth rate since 2012.

To meet the growing demand, passenger capacity in the region is expected to reach 2.2 million in 2015, tying for fourth place with Australasia for passenger capacity deployment.

The report also outlines a few key differences in the Asian cruising market compared to the Western market.

Given their limited vacation entitlements, for instance, shorter sailings are preferred among Asian consumers.

In 2014, the most popular package chosen by 48 percent of travelers were four to six-day cruises, followed by two to three-night sailings (38 percent). Meanwhile, only 12 percent opted for seven to 13-night cruises.

This year, 52 cruise ships will operate around Asia, with 1,065 sailings scheduled for 2015, including one of the most talked-about liners out on sea today, the Quantum of the Seas.

The game-changing vessel, that comes complete with a bumper car ring, skydiving chamber and 90-meter high observation capsule, will make Shanghai its home port this year.

And in 2013, Hong Kong opened a $1.1 billion cruise terminal at the former site of an airport, in a bid to become Asia’s cruising hub.

The report also reveals that the majority of cruisers stay within Asia (91 percent), while the remaining nine percent flew to cruise destinations like Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean.

The busiest port calls planned for 2015 are Japan, followed by Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.