Tag Archives: China

Chanel store in downtown Shanghai

Shopping rush at Chanel stores after price cut

Chanel store in downtown Shanghai

Chinese shoppers are mobbing Chanel stores and counting their savings after the French fashion house slashed handbag prices in the world’s biggest luxury market due to the slumping euro.

Long lines formed at Chanel stores in commercial hub Shanghai and shopping mecca Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, this week as word spread of deep discounts, according to media reports.

LOUIS VUITTON, CHANEL TOP CHINA’S MOST-WANTED LIST

China is widely considered the world’s biggest luxury market as a rising middle class and corrupt officials drive a shopping frenzy, but domestic prices are high due to hefty import taxes and huge retail mark-ups.

At one branch of Chanel in Shanghai, dozens waited anxiously in line for their turn, fearing the shelves might be stripped bare before a shop assistant could escort each person one-by-one into the store.

Miao Sijia, a well-dressed woman in her 20s who said she does not work, rushed 50 kilometres from a nearby city to buy a limited-edition, gold-coloured 2.55 bag for a discounted 19,700 yuan ($3,200).

“I rushed from Kunshan to buy a Chanel bag after a store clerk told me they were making a special price adjustment,” Miao, a VIP customer of the store, told AFP.

Chanel said it was harmonising the prices of its products around the world, including the 2.55, 11.12 and Boy bag collections, but did not specify the size of the discounts in China, or price rises in the eurozone.

White collar worker Wang Lei, also in her 20s, gave up 5,500 yuan ($894) of her salary to buy a Cambon purse but marvelled at the 21 percent discount. “It was almost 7,000 yuan ($1,138) before,” she told AFP.

skyscraper china

WATCH: 57-storey tower in China built in just 19 days

skyscraper china

A Chinese company has built a 57-story building in only 19 days in the town of Changsha, China, a construction company official told ABC News.

The project, called Mini Sky City, was built by 1,200 workers and includes 800 homes and working space for 4,000 people, the official with Broad Sustainable Building told ABC News.

The video below shows a time-lapse of the process.

The building could be built so quickly because it was made of pre-fabricated parts. Nevertheless, it is earthquake-resistant and safer than others, the company official said.

Chinese drinking wine

What wine goes best with Chinese food?

Chinese drinking wine

In honor of the Chinese New Year this Thursday, foodies around the world are planning Asian-themed dinner party menus for the weekend.

But what is the best type of wine to serve with Peking duck, spring rolls or steamed dumplings?

DON’T MISS: CHINA LOVES RED WINE

Finding the perfect wines to serve with Asian cuisine is often a difficult task, especially in the case of spicy dishes, which have a tendency to overpower the delicate flavors of a fine vintage.

So if you plan to ring in the Year of the Goat with a handful of hot chilies, lager may be your best bet in the beverage department.

Luckily for wine lovers, not all dishes from the Far East are heavy on the capsicum. For these subtler recipes, rosé wines tend to provide a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are alternatives as well.

Caramel pork and other sweet and savory dishes

To complement the sweet and savory combinations often found in Asian cuisines, nothing beats a sweet or semi-sweet white wine.

That said, wines such as Sauternes with a particularly high sugar concentration are best avoided. Opt instead for a sweet white wine with a hint of acidity, such as those from the Jurançon region, the Coteaux du Layon or the late harvested wines of Alsace.

Spring rolls and other fried dishes

It’s hard to turn down these crispy treats, fattening though they may be. To cut through the grease, serve a red wine with fruity notes. Those from the Beaujolais or the Loire region fit the bill.

Steamed dumplings

Depending on the filling (chicken, vegetables, shrimp), dumplings may go down nicely with a variety of different wines.

At any rate, if you plan on dipping in hot sauce, avoid red wines that are high in tannins, which tend to accentuate spiciness. Here again, a lighter red wine such as a Beaujolais is an excellent choice.

Peking duck

It’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular Chinese dishes in France, since it pairs so nicely with the tannic red wines the French are so fond of. The delicate flavors of the duck meat and the crispy, fatty skin are best complemented by red wines with spiced notes, such as those from Provence or Le Corbières in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

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

Rolls-Royce London 2012 Olympic badge

British car exports to China surge

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe 2011

British car exports to China have increased five-fold since 2009, driven by a demand for luxury brands such as  and .

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 137,410 UK-built cars were exported to China in 2014 – up 14.5% on 2013 and from 19,417 in 2009.

DON’T MISS: ROLLS-ROYCE TO LAUNCH ITS FIRST SUV

British car exports to all destinations have increased by 54% since 2009 to 1.2 million vehicles in 2014, and the sector represented 11.2% of all British exports last year, a new record.

The rude health of the British motor industry has not escaped the notice of Prime Minister David Cameron, who praised the sector’s performance during a visit to a Rolls-Royce plant on Wednesday.

David Cameron

Johnnie Walker Year of the Ram Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker Blue Label “Year of the Ram”

Johnnie Walker Year of the Ram Scotch Whisky

To mark the Chinese New Year, Johnnie Walker & Sons has released a limited edition series of bottles that fete the Year of the Ram.

Designed as a quartet, when four bottles are placed side by side, the image of a ram unfolds in the manner of a Chinese scroll painting.

SEE ALSO: JUDE LAW STARS IN NEW JOHNNIE WALKER AD

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Ram is the second in the brand’s Chinese New Year series, which began with a Year of the Horse in 2014.

A 750 ml bottle of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Ram Special Release retails for $258 USD (750 ml/bottle).

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Ram

iPhones China

Chinese online spending to hit $1 trillion by 2019

iPhones China

Online retail spending in China will exceed a staggering $1 trillion by 2019, according to new research by Forrester Research.

The China Online Retail Forecast 2014 – 2019 estimates that Chinese customers are switching from online to mobile shopping.

Spending via mobile is expected to grow at 44.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), compared to online sales, which are estimated to grow at 19.9% CAGR.

Those in lower-tier Chinese cities are increasingly using their smartphones as their primary means of network access and for online shopping.

Major web players such as Tmall and JD.com will focus on getting a grip on dominating the mCommerce market over the next few years.

DON’T MISS: LUXURY SHOPPING WEBSITES IN CHINA

Meanwhile online shopping will be boosted by the availability of more and more products such as fresh food, imported goods, and automobiles.

Chinese car fish tank

Chinese car boasts tank in back seat

Chinese car fish tank

Combine a fish tank and a driverless car and what do you get? The WitStar, an autonomous electric vehicle from China’s GAC.

The concept car, which was on display at the Detroit auto show, also boasts a wooden floor and swish front seats that swivel around so the family can enjoy the sight of the fish all together — all while in transit.

“In southern China, water means fortune and wealth,” Tang Xiaojian, studio engineer for the ambitious Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, told AFP. “So many people will have a fish tank in their home.

WitStar fish tank

“So in this concept, the interior will feel like your living room at home.”

But asked the likelihood of the fish tank staying when the WitStar is one day produced, Tang said: “The final product — maybe not because you need to keep the water in the tank clean.”

WitStar

And when will the driverless WitStar make it to market? “Every company is developing autonomous cars, but probably it will take a long time.”

Lang Lang

Lang Lang becomes Hublot’s latest ambassador

This Friday, January 30, the Swiss luxury watchmaker announced renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang as its latest brand ambassador.

Particularly well-known in China and the US, Lang Lang is admired by music connoisseurs worldwide. So it is fitting that Hublot has named the 32-year-old pianist as its new global brand ambassador.

The watchmaker announced the news in Lang Lang’s hometown of Shenyang, China. So far, the Swiss brand has not yet revealed which watches the pianist will represent in future campaigns.

Lang Lang

However, one might reasonably speculate that Hublot will introduce a new watch with ties to the piano, or at least to music in general.

As a Hublot brand ambassador, the pianist joins an elite group consisting of a number of star athletes, including Pelé and Usain Bolt and celebrities such as Jet Li and Bar Refaeli.

shanghai plaza 66

Fendi’s New Store at Shanghai’s Plaza 66

 released this video to celebrate the opening of their latest Shanghai store, in the booming megalopolis’s Plaza66 shopping mall.

The film also captures the glittering Fendi Christmas-themed light installation the Roman luxury label installed in the plaza outside the store.

STORY: THE FIRST LOUIS VUITTON MAISON IN SHANGHAI

Hermes in Shanghai

China luxury market shrank in 2014

Hermes in Shanghai

China’s luxury market shrank last year, a global consultancy said, attributing the decline to a national anti-corruption campaign, slowing economic growth and changing consumer tastes.

Sales of luxury goods in mainland China fell`1% to 115 billion yuan ($18.5 billion) in 2014 compared to a year earlier, Bain & Company said.

The consulting firm, which has been surveying the market since 2000, said it was the first time the industry had contracted.

China has become an ever more important destination for luxury goods manufacturers as the ranks of its wealthy have been swelled by a decades-long boom.

Swiss giant Richemont, the world’s second-largest maker of luxury products, said in November that its 2014/2015 first half net profit dropped 23 percent due to weaker demand in China.

The overall decline last year was because of the “continued impact of anti-corruption and frugality campaigns undermining ‘luxury gifting'”.

Slowing sales of high-end watches, menswear and leather goods contributed the most to the decline, the consultancy added.

Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping has overseen a much-publicised anti-corruption drive since taking power in late 2012, targeting high-level “tigers” and low-level “flies”.

A parallel austerity campaign has also has sought to curtail extravagant gift-giving, banquets and other excesses in the ruling party and government.

Bain added that China’s slowing economic growth was “exacerbating the issue”.

China’s economy expanded 7.4 percent in 2014, its weakest pace in 24 years, official data showed Tuesday, and authorities are emphasising a “new normal” as they retool the country’s growth model to one they hope will be more sustainable.

The consulting firm also stressed that China’s luxury market is becoming more diverse.

“The field of luxury brands in China is breaking wide open,” Bruno Lannes, the Bain partner who wrote the report, said in a statement.

“Brands’ future positioning and popularity within the luxury market hinges on their willingness to revamp concepts to serve the needs of the increasingly sophisticated and well informed Chinese consumers, while managing the growing diversity of sales channels, such as daigou.”

Daigou is a Chinese word for personal shoppers abroad who purchase luxury goods and send them to customers in China.

Bain said that the daigou market increased in 2014 to an estimated 55 to 75 billion yuan, led by cosmetics, leather goods, watches and jewellery.

The consultancy said that Chinese now purchase 70 percent of luxury brands either overseas or through daigou agencies.

Landwind X7

China’s LandWind unveils a copy of Range Rover Evoque

Landwind X7

Land Rover plans to complain to Chinese officials about a close copy of its  that broke cover at the Guangzhou Motor Show in China last week, according to Autocar.

The X7 SUV, presented by Chinese automaker Landwind, bears more than just a passing resemblance to the Evoque, right down to the font and the positioning of the lettering on its hood.

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr Ralf Speth said: “The fact that this kind of copying is ongoing in China is very disappointing. As a company we have invested heavily in China with our joint venture partner Chery.”

“That commitment is based on a clear business plan, that allows us to hit our sales targets at clear prices. Anything that damages the potential profitability of our plant damages the integrity of those plans.”

Range Rover Evoque comparison

Jaguar Land Rover recently opened up a £1 billion factory in China as part of a venture with local company Chery.

While the Evoque is priced from around $95,000 in China, the LandWind X7 will go on sale later this month for just $22,000.

The X7 is powered by a 188hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Source: Carscoops via Autocar

Tibetan tapestry

Tibetan tapestry fetches record $45 million in Hong Kong

Tibetan tapestry

An ancient Tibetan silk tapestry has set a world record for Chinese art after it was sold for $45 million at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong.

The 600-year-old artwork, called a thangka and embroidered in vivid hues of red and gold, was bought by Liu Yiqian on Wednesday and will be displayed at his new museum in Shanghai, the auction house said.

The sale broke the world record for any Chinese work of art sold by an international auction house.

CHINESE COLLECTORS PUSH PRICES TO NEW LEVELS

The piece — which depicts the meditational diety Raktayamari, known as the Red Conqueror of Death, standing stride a buffalo — was created during the Ming dynasty between 1402 and 1424.

It is one of a set of three thangkas from the Jokhang Monastery in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, according to Christie’s.

In April, Liu bought a Ming Dynasty wine cup which broke the world auction record for Chinese porcelain in Hong Kong for $36.05 million.

Meiyintang Chenghua Chicken Cup

A taxi driver-turned-financier now aged 50, Liu is one of China’s wealthiest men and among the country’s new class of super-rich scouring the globe for artwork. He is worth an estimated $1.6 billion.

W Beijing

W Hotel Opens in Beijing, China

W Beijing

Beijing has opened the doors to a new , a modern, glitzy property that aims to be the hotel of choice for the fashion, music and entertainment industry who descend on the bustling capital.

Located on Chang’an Avenue, a major thoroughfare that’s also home to major landmarks and monuments like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Silk Market and the Beijing Concert Hall, the W Beijing towers over a place that straddles tradition, history and the 21st century.

DON’T MISS: W HOTELS TO DOUBLE ASIAN PORTFOLIO

W Beijing lobby

All 349 guestrooms and suites feature digital tablets that can control room lighting and mood, a home theater system with Bose portable speakers and amenities from Bliss.

DON’T MISS: CHINA PLANS $1.3BN ‘SEVEN-STAR HOTEL’

W Beijing room

The W Beijing is the second of several W Hotels planned for China over the next five years in cities like Changsha, Chengdu, Shanghai, Suzhou, Sanya, and Shenyang.

W Hotels opened its first China location in the city of Guangzhou.

w beijing Spectacular Room King Bed

W Beijing – Chang’an is offering special rates to celebrate its opening from November 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015.

More information available at www.whotels.com/beijing

Christie's Shanghai

Christie’s opens new Shanghai office

Christie's Shanghai

 has consolidated its presence in China with a new Shanghai location, as the nation continues to embrace the high-end art industry.

“This building gives us the opportunity not only to bring art from around the world to Shanghai, but to bring the art of China to the rest of the world,” said Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy.

“China now plays a hugely important role in the global art market. Nearly one third of all buyers are from Asia and in the last year, 20% of all new clients to Christie’s globally came from Greater China.”

The move comes a year after the auction house brand first received a license to operate independently in mainland China, holding its first auction there in fall 2013.

SEE ALSO: CHINESE INTEREST RULES THE AUCTION WORLD

Chinese artist Qin Feng created an interactive piece called “Landscape of Desire” for the Christie’s Shanghai opening — a 15 x 30 meter work, executed in black acrylic painted on canvas, which visitors were invited to walk on to add their own imprint to the work.

The canvas will be divided into 108 scenes and each work will be ‘adopted’ or sold for charitable purposes.

Housed in the historic Bund-side 1907 Ampire building, the 10,000-square-foot Christie’s Shanghai is aiming to become a global art hub and converging point between the East and West.

The first three auction sales in the new space will take place October 24.

Bulgari Hotel Beijing

Bulgari Hotel to open in Beijing

Bulgari Hotel Beijing

Bulgari Hotels are set to launch a new luxury hotel in 2017, located in Beijing’s upmarket Embassy District and overlooking the Liangma River.

The 120 rooms and suites of the hotel will be flanked by two office buildings and a contemporary art gallery. The space will be designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners and will sit with the rest of the brand’s ‘contemporary Italian’ aesthetic for its hotel portfolio.

“The combination of the natural landscape with the artistic content will make this development a new benchmark for enlightened luxury living in the future,” explained Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin.

This hotel will join the brand’s existing locations in Milan, Bali, Tokyo and London. Ahead of the Beijing launch, another Chinese outpost is set to launch in 2016 in Shanghai, with a further hotel opening in Dubai in 2018.

Baidu smart chopsticks

Is Your Food Safe? New ‘Smart Chopsticks’ Can Tell

Baidu smart chopsticks

Chinese internet giant Baidu has unveiled a pair of ‘smart chopsticks’ that can detect contaminants in food and report back to smartphone apps.

The idea behind Baidu’s smart chopsticks, which the company will be marketing as Baidu Kuaisou, is to act as a food safety device, essentially telling you if the meal you’re about to tuck into is tainted.

DON’T MISS: LOUIS VUITTON CHOPSTICKS

The chopsticks aren’t yet ready for mass production but a video shows that when they do hit the shelves they will be very simple to use.

Baidu chopsticks

Connecting wirelessly to a smartphone or desktop app, when the chopsticks come into contact with an oil or water that is in some way tainted, the app warns that the food is bad, and if no toxins or impurities are detected, the app sounds the all-clear.

To make things even simpler the chopsticks also have an integrated light that glows blue or red to indicate if something is safe or potentially unsafe.

As well as spotting potential toxins, Baidu wants the device to highlight nutrition too. The chopsticks will come with a base unit for charging that can also be used to test solid, non-liquid items like fruits and vegetables.

In April, the company uploaded a video to YouTube detailing an early prototype version of the chopsticks (above) which, due to its date stamp, was considered by many as an April Fools’ joke.

However a new video, posted to Baidu’s video platform this week, shows how the device has developed and how the app has been simplified and improved.

The Infiniti Q50L

Infiniti reveals first China-only car

The Infiniti Q50L

The new Q50L is the first car from Infiniti developed exclusively for the Chinese market and will also be the first Infiniti to be built in China.

Although based on the existing Q50 executive sedan, Infiniti claims that the L is a result of “listening closely to customers’ needs” in what it describes as a highly sophisticated market.

So, the first obvious difference is the car’s length. Affluent Chinese drivers value rear passenger space as highly as performance or exclusivity.

The Q50L measures 4.8 meters from end to end and its wheelbase (the distance between front and rear wheels) is also greater at 2.9 meters.

SEE ALSO: INFINITI PLANS TO LAUNCH ITS SUPERCAR BY 2018

But as well as more leg room, passengers will get mood lighting and rear window sunshades as standard as well as a 14-speaker Bose sound system.

 hasn’t neglected the driver either, the car will come with a host of electronic aids including active lane control.

The Q50L will also be the first Infiniti to benefit from a new economical but potent 2-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine and a drive-by-wire electronic steering set-up for smoother and more responsive maneuvering.

The Q50L’s big brother the Q70 is already offered in a longer L variant in China and the model is now going to go on sale in the US and Canada.

ritz carlton Haikou Mission Hills

Ritz-Carlton plans first golf resort in China

ritz carlton Haikou Mission Hills

The  Hotel Company is to open its first luxury golf resort in China, which will open in 2015 in Hainan Island.

Developed by the Mission Hills Golf Club and managed by The Ritz-Carlton, the 201 room resort includes 21 private villas and a dedicated club house.

DON’T MISS: CHINA’S LOVE OF GOLF GROWS

It will be part of the Haikou Mission Hills Golf Club project, which boasts 10 golf courses and will be the largest public golf complex in the world.

Mission Hills Hainan

Designed by architects AECOM with interiors created by Hirsch Bedner Associates, the property includes five restaurants and bars, a Ritz-Carton Spa and extensive leisure facilities including tennis courts, two swimming pools and a recreation pavilion.

SEE ALSO: ILLEGAL GOLF COURSES IN CHINA FLOURISH

The nearby city of Haikou, nicknamed the Coconut City, has recently reinvented itself as Hainan’s new hub for business and tourism.

The region is known for its white sand beaches and is home to China’s national sailing and windsurfing teams.

Burberry Wechat

Burberry x WeChat = Innovation

Burberry has worked with Chinese messaging service WeChat on an ongoing innovation partnership, which has seen the two companies team up for some innovative digital-IRL crossover experiences.

DON’T MISS: BURBERRY FÊTES NEW SHANGHAI STORE

In February, the Autumn/Winter 2014 Womenswear show debuted a series of responsive journeys, instantly personalising the show experience.

In April 2014 in support of the Burberry London to Shanghai event, users were invited to join Burberry on a rich interactive journey between the two cities, and then experience the event first hand via a series of immersive panoramas.

SEE ALSO: BURBERRY OPENS FLAGSHIP STORE IN SHANGHAI

This film explores some of the highlights so far soundtracked by “You Can’t Stop the Rain” by Ed Harcourt.