Tag Archives: China

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.

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.