Tag Archives: China

BMW Horse Edition interior

BMW prepares China-only 7-Series Horse Edition

BMW Horse Edition interior

The car, which will be exclusive to the brand’s Chinese customers, will be the centerpiece of BMW’s stand at the Beijing auto show.

Based on the long-wheelbase 7-Series luxury executive sedan, the Horse Edition offers a host of personalization options, including a number of individual paint finishes, and to help it stand out from the crowd, the exterior will also be augmented by elements from the company’s M division.

So, equipment and aerodynamic additions focused on increasing handling, performance and its sporty nature.

BMW promises a host of “high-class” interior details which will be open to personal interpretation but will include, as standard, specially embroidered leather seats featuring the Chinese character representing the Horse.

Now in its 13th year, the Beijing International Automotive exhibition officially opens its doors to the public on April 20.

BMW Horse Edition

Meiyintang Chenghua Chicken Cup

Small Chinese cup sells for $36 million

Meiyintang Chenghua Chicken Cup

A rare Ming-era wine cup broke the world auction record for any Chinese porcelain on Tuesday, selling in Hong Kong for $36.05 million (HK$281 million) to Shanghai tycoon Liu Yiqian, Sotheby’s auction house said.

The tiny white porcelain cup, decorated with a colour painting of a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, was made during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor between 1465 and 1487.

Nicolas Chow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, described the cup as the “holy grail” of Chinese art. “There is no more legendary object in the history of Chinese porcelain. This is an object bathed in mythology.”

The chicken cup represents the pinnacle of Ming-era porcelain production. That period in terms of porcelain production was really the peak of material refinement. Emperors of later Chinese dynasties were so enamoured by the design that the chicken cup was copied extensively.

“When you buy a chicken cup… you don’t just buy the object, you’re buying centuries of imperial admiration for these objects,” he said.

China’s most popular watches are European

Omega Store Causeway Bay

According to the World Watch report, a new survey from the Digital Luxury Group, China’s most popular watch brands are all European.

Omega, Cartier and Rolex come top in the survey of the watch market in the Asian powerhouse, which boasted 59 percent market growth in the luxury watch category.

The top three models are Omega’s Constellation and De Ville models, and Cartier’s Ballon Bleu (from €3,410 up to over €50,000).

The report was based on data shared for the first time by Baidu, China’s leading search engine. According to Baidu Vice President, Liang Zeng, “Watches are part of the fastest growing luxury segments in China right now.”

It’s luxury watches which get the most attention, with prestige category brands leading with 23% of global interest, as well as accounting for 41.5% of total demand in China. Baselworld 2014 takes place March 27-April 3.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Tourbillon watch

David Beckham teams up with Jaguar

David Beckham is Jaguar ambassador

Jaguar has announced football icon David Beckham will be joining the British manufacturer as a brand ambassador for China.

David Beckham teams up with Jaguar

David Beckham will become the face of a high-profile marketing campaign, including print ads shot by renowned fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh.

China is fast becoming Jaguar’s most important and competitive market and the choice of Beckham, arguably the most recognizable British star across the Asian continent, could prove to be a very shrewd move.

David Beckham in China

“David Beckham is a Briton whose achievements mean he has global popularity and he is someone who embodies contemporary British style and sophistication. He is a truly modern, British individual with a genuine passion for design, innovation, performance and driving,” said Jaguar Land Rover China managing director Bob Grace.

David Beckham for Jaguar XJL

Described as a long-term partnership, the deal will see Beckham appear in a series of print and TV ads screened exclusively in China, starting with the campaign to launch the Jaguar F-Type Coupé in the country.

Range Rover Evoque Special Edition by Victoria Beckham

It’s not the Beckham family’s first brush with Jaguar Land Rover. In 2012, Victoria Beckham designed and launched in China a special limited edition Range Rover Evoque at the Beijing Motor Show.

Nahm restaurant Bangkok

Asia’s best restaurant 2014 is …

San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna have published their list of the top 50 restaurants in Asia for 2014, with top honors going to David Thompson, the chef of Nahm in Bangkok, Thailand.

Nahm restaurant Bangkok

Lauded for reviving centuries-old Thai recipes with a contemporary and sophisticated flair, chef David Thompson doesn’t shy away from the punchy, bold flavors that characterize Thai cuisine — garlic, shrimp paste, chilies and lemongrass — but rather distills the flavors into elegant and memorable curries, salads, soups and relishes.

The list is compiled by a group of 900 international leaders in the restaurant industry, that includes food critics, chefs and restaurateurs.

Here are the top 10 restaurants in Asia:

1. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
2. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
3. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
4. Amber, Hong Kong
5. Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo, Japan
6. Restaurant Andre, Singapore
7. Waku Ghin, Singapore
8. Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China
9. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong
10. 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong

For the full list, visit www.theworlds50best.com/asia/en.

Shanghai Tang Spring Summer 2014 Campaign

Shanghai Tang debuts a new campaign for its splendid Spring/Summer 2014 collections against the backdrop of a luxurious white villa in the hills.

Shanghai Tang Spring Summer 2014 Campaign

The contrasting colours of picturesque environment accentuate the story of a jet-setting couple on a sophisticated summer vacation.

Shanghai Tang Spring Summer 2014 Campaign

The eroded cliffs, luscious plants and gleaming white architecture provide the perfect setting for Shanghai Tang’s latest collection, resonating with its sheen textures, refined tropical print and bold contours.

Shanghai Tang Spring Summer 2014 Campaign

Inspired by the golden age of Hollywood, the campaign features Chinese supermodels Bonnie Chen and Zhao Lei with perfect styling and vivid lighting.

Shanghai Tang Spring Summer 2014 Campaign

Through the lens of photographer Richard Bernardin, they bring to life the elusive glamour and sophistication of modern Chinese aesthetic with Shanghai Tang’s collections for Spring/Summer 2014.

Shanghai Tang Spring Summer 2014 Campaign

The Spring/Summer 2014 collection will be available at all Shanghai Tang Boutique outlets in Hong Kong from February 2014 onwards.

Find out more about this year’s campaign: www.shanghaitang.com

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Chinese drinking wine

China drinks the most red wine in the world

China has surpassed France and Italy to become the biggest consumer of red wine in the world, a new study finds.

Chinese drinking wine

China drank 1.865 billion bottles of red wine last year (or 155 million nine-litre cases), contributing to a 136% increase in consumption over 5 years.

For comparison, France consumed 150 million cases, while Italy consumed 141 million cases, according to new research released this week.

The report was commissioned by Vinexpo, a Bordeaux-based wine industry conference, and conducted by the International Wine & Spirit Research, an independent research firm for the liquor trade.

What’s more, red wine consumption in China almost tripled between 2007 and 2013, while it decreased 18% in France and 5.8% in Italy.

Experts attribute the interest in red wine in China not only to the purported health benefits of red versus white but also to the color’s cultural significance.

In China, the color red represents good fortune, strength and luck, making it the ideal drink to serve at banquets and parties, the report points out.

More than 80% of the wine consumed in the country is also produced domestically, placing China as the fifth largest wine producer in the world.

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

Model S

Tesla unveils pricing strategy for China

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors said its flagship vehicle will have the same pre-tax price in China as in the US, after Chinese media criticised foreign companies for charging higher prices in the country.

Model S

The Tesla Model S sells for $81,070 in the US and the company will receive the same sum for it in China, the world’s biggest auto market.

Nonetheless the sticker price for the premium car will start from 734,000 yuan ($121,370), with the difference accounted for by $36,700 in taxes imposed by the Chinese government and shipping costs of $3,600, it said.

Tesla said the Chinese market could have absorbed a higher price for its cars and attacked rivals for charging more.

“We know that our competitors will try to convince Chinese consumers that our relatively lower price tag means the Model S is a lesser car, when the real reason their car costs more is that they make double the profit per car in China compared to the United States or Europe,” Tesla said.

Foreign brand vehicles have performed well in the China market, helped by perceptions of higher quality and better recognition, making the country a critical market for global automakers.

Tesla has received more than 200 pre-orders for its Model S and Model X in China, state media reported, but analysts say the company will face challenges from the slow development of the country’s electric car market.

Chinese clients hotel

Chinese tourists crave personalized hotel services

Tourists from around the world seem to be increasingly demanding when it comes to what they expect from their hotel, and many are looking for their experience to come with personalized treatment.

Chinese clients hotel

And according to an international survey carried out by Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), tourists from emerging countries are among the most exacting.

In a survey of 7,000 travelers, IHG found that in addition to demanding the high quality amenities typically offered by a global hotel chain, guests also expect their hotel to be relevant in terms of local lifestyles and customs.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that a majority of guests expect hotels to provide personalized services tailored to their individual preferences.

Overall, 59% of travelers surveyed say that their stay will be “significantly more comfortable” if personalized services are offered, while more than one out of two people say that such services make them feel more respected.

Expectations vary by age group. While the 18-34 set would like to be offered personalized content during their stay, traveling seniors (aged 65 and up) expressed a desire for healthier food and drink options.

The survey indicated that travelers from emerging markets have a stronger desire for personalized services than travelers from more developed nations.

Over 60% of Chinese (64%) and Brazilian (62%) travelers expect a hotel to customize their experience according to their personal needs, compared to just 43 percent of Americans and 42 percent of Britons surveyed.

Limousine service

For travelers from emerging markets, which IHG refers to as the “new global explorers,” this form of personal attention is seen as a sign of respect.

“62% of Chinese travelers, 54% of Brazilian travelers and 46% of Emirati travelers agree that personalization makes them feel respected compared to 39% of travelers from all countries surveyed,” states IHG’s report.

Finally, the survey also revealed some preferences according to nationality. British travelers are fond of surprises, Americans would like to be able to choose their check-in and check-out times, while the Chinese are keen on interactive applications for finding local points of interest.

Russians, meanwhile, expressed a desire for tourist guides in their language.

chinese yuans

Top luxury brands for China’s millionaires revealed

China’s super-rich might have cut back on spending by 15% last year, but the country has not lost its appetite for luxury brands.

chinese yuans

According to the Hurun Report Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2014, Chinese millionaires prefer to wear Cartier jewelry, Patek Philippe watches and Hermès accessories, while the wardrobes of the wealthy are stocked with Armani outfits for the men and Chanel for the women. Burberry was the children’s clothing brand of choice among the privileged demographic.

When it came to choosing a car, the Rolls Royce Phantom and the Mercedes-Benz S-class are the top choices for executive vehicles, while the Audi Q7 and the Land Rover Range Rover are deemed the best SUVs.

Top sports cars are the BMW M3 and the Porsche 911 Carrera, and the most popular ‘roadster’ is the Mercedes SLK.

Around 40% of the super-rich now own a yacht — a 10% increase since last year. The favorite brand is Ferretti. Meanwhile Gulfstream, the Embraer Legacy 650 and the Dassault Falcon 7x are the most popular business jets.

Chinese millionaires are most likely to drink Royal Salute whisky, Martell or Hennessy Cognac XO, although Macallan is the single malt whisky of choice and Louis XIII is the most popular imported spirit.

Moutai is the Chinese spirit of choice amongst luxury consumers. When it comes to champagne they’ll take a glass of Perrier-Jouët over Moët, and smokers will opt for a Chunghwa cigarette or a Davidoff cigar.

The top choice of private members’ club is the Chang’an Club in Beijing and the preferred luxury hotel brand is the Shangri-La. When flying business or first class, the country’s millionaires chose Air China for domestic trips and Singapore Airlines for international travel.

The Hurun report surveyed 393 mainland Chinese millionaires between June and December 2013 with a wealth of RMB 10 million or more ($1.6 million).

Gold Coast Queensland

TOP 10 tourist destinations for China’s millionaires

Australia has become the international luxury destination of choice for wealthy Chinese tourists, according to a recent report.

Gold Coast Queensland

The tenth annual edition of the Hurun Report Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2014 has revealed that France has been knocked off the top spot and into second place for the first time in three years by the Australasian country. Meanwhile, luxury destination Dubai jumped from eighth place last year to become the third favorite holiday spot.

The USA and Singapore, ranked second and third favorite luxury destinations last year, have fallen to sixth and ninth places respectively, while the UK is no longer in the top ten. Japan and New Zealand are becoming increasingly popular, reaching seventh and tenth place respectively.

When it comes to ‘staycationing’, China’s wealthiest tourists continue to prefer to stay in Sanya, a coastal town in Hainan Province, followed by Hong Kong. Tibet, Yunnan and Macau make up the top five, with Macau becoming particularly popular with the nation’s elite super-rich circle.

Burberry Lunar New Year 2014

Burberry prepares for the lunar New Year

Once again Burberry is bang on trend with a special collection of ready-to-wear clothes and exclusive accessories designed to celebrate the Chinese New Year, this time around the Year of the Horse.

Burberry Lunar New Year 2014

Items include wallets, scarves, tote bags, key charms and coats, many in the lucky red color associated with the Asian festival. Prices start from €150 upwards.

The brand has also released a video soundtracked by Eliza and the Bear’s “The Southern Wild.” The pieces are available at the brand’s flagship locations around the world.

red check raincoatcrimson leather clutch

Maçka Residences Istanbul

Armani Casa announces first residential project in China

Giorgio Armani’s interior design studio Armani / Casa has announced plans to work on its first Chinese luxury residential project in the city of Chengdu. L’Art Residence will be situated in the center of Chengdu and will consist of two 222–meter-high buildings, each containing 65 apartments.

Maçka Residences Istanbul

The fashion mogul’s brand will work in partnership with the Chinese cultural body Mind Group for the design and development of the project.

Each apartment block will feature a heated rooftop swimming pool, whilst the living spaces themselves will be furnished with pieces from the Armani / Casa, Armani / Rocca and Armani / Dada ranges.

The apartments will be sold in the second half of 2014. The development period is slated for 2016.

Mumbai World Towers

Armani/Casa’s interior design service was launched in 2003 and the group, under the artistic direction of Giorgio Armani, is directly involved in the selection of all materials, colors and finishes in the furnishings chosen as well as the conception of bespoke furniture.

Recent projects include the Maçka Residences in Istanbul, and the World Towers in Mumbai.

The Mercedes-Benz Class S 400

Mercedes S Class is China Car of the Year

The Mercedes-Benz Class S 400

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class scooped the top honor at the inaugural award ceremony held during the Guangzhou Auto Show.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class was chosen from the initial entry list, the shortlist of seven, and the three finalists: the Land Rover Range Rover, the Chang’an Ford Mondeo, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Of receiving the ceremony’s top honor, President of Mercedes-Benz China Mr. Nicholas Speeks, said: “the decision reaffirms the model’s stature and position in China, its top market worldwide.”

As well as the overall winner, there were prizes for different car categories with Porsche’s hybrid hyper car, the 918 Spyder, becoming the first China Performance Car of the Year.

What’s more, the same company’s Panamera E-Hybrid GT car was named the China Green Car of the Year, leading Chief Operating Officer of Porsche China, Mr. Michael Kirsch, to say: “it makes us humble that Porsche has won two awards tonight. I’m surprised a luxury sports car can win a green car award. That means our effort in developing green technology has paid off.”

The final award, for outstanding design, went to the Citroen DS5, or, as it is known in China, Chang’an PSA DS5. It was chosen for “breaking the rules of a conventional design with its unique style.”

The awards were open to any new car that went on sale in China between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013 and winners were selected and voted on by a panel of 10 independently appointed automotive magazine editors.

Robert De Niro invests in Shanghai property complex

179 East Nanjing Road shanghai

A US consortium that includes famed actor Robert De Niro plans to develop a huge property project in a historic area of China’s commercial hub Shanghai.

“Project 179” near the city’s waterfront Bund district will transform four vacant buildings into an 850,000-square-foot complex. The four existing buildings mainly date from the 1920s and 1930s.

Set to open in 2016, the complex will include a boutique hotel, retail stores, a cinema and a performing arts centre, the statement said. The project will also construct a new building.

“By ensuring a design that reflects the vibrant history of Shanghai, Project 179 can serve as a jewel in its crown: ushering in a bright future while paying homage to its rich and storied past,” De Niro said.

Shanghai’s Bund is a strip of land along the river that cuts through the city, lined with grand buildings that once housed the city’s biggest banks and companies.

The project participants include Tribeca Enterprises, a diversified global media company set up in 2003 by De Niro and two other partners. Commercial terms were not disclosed.

The US consortium is cooperating with the government-backed Shanghai Bund Investment Group, which won the right to develop the property in 2011.

project 179 shanghai

Galeries Lafayette returns to China after 15 years

 Galeries Lafayette China

France’s luxury department store Galeries Lafayette Friday launched a new shop in Beijing, seeking to tempt China with the “art of French living”, 15 years after a failed attempt.

The entrance to the 47,000-square metre (506-square foot), six-storey shop, intended as bridgehead in the world’s second-largest economy, is emblazoned with an Eiffel Tower.

The name the store has chosen as its Chinese transliteration — “Laofoye” — was historically a title of respect for the mother of the emperor during the Qing Dynasty.

Galeries Lafayette is targeting China’s middle class, with the economy the fastest-growing in the G20 and demand for luxury goods rising, despite a knock from a government crackdown on corruption.

The chain’s showpiece outlet on Paris’ Boulevard Haussmann is a top target for Chinese tourists visiting France — their favourite European destination — and the Beijing version includes a reproduction of its trademark glass dome, made up of LEDs.

With oak floors and distinctive French-style mouldings, the Beijing version looks to distinguish itself from the Chinese capital’s many malls and offers “a whole range of products with prices going from accessible to premium”, Philippe Houze, chairman of the Galeries Lafayette group, told reporters.

“Above all, we are a fashion retailer, and we want to reach customers who are not necessarily hugely rich, as well as fashionistas and the wealthy,” he added.

Its first attempt at establishing itself in the Chinese capital, a franchised outlet, opened in 1996 but closed less than two years later.

Galeries Lafayette has invested 42 million euros in the new joint venture with Hong Kong fashion distributor IT, and they are aiming to open around 15 outlets in China. The Beijing store is Galeries Lafayette’s fifth shop outside France, following Berlin, Casablanca, Dubai, and Jakarta.

Galeries Lafayette beijing

shenzhen

Mandarin Oriental to open luxury hotel in Shenzhen

shenzhen

Mandarin Oriental has chosen mainland China’s Shenzhen, a popular shopping destination located just across the border from Hong Kong, as the site of its new hotel.

Scheduled to open in about three years’ time in a 400-meter tower near downtown Shenzhen, the hotel will offer 190 rooms and suites. Among the facilities planned are a rooftop restaurant and bar and a 1,600 square meter spa offering traditional Chinese beauty and relaxation treatments.

The new hotel will not be the first in China to offer luxury accommodations among the clouds. The Jin Jiang Hotel, for one, welcomes guests atop the 632-meter Shanghai Tower, China’s tallest high-rise.

The high-end Mandarin Oriental hotel is part of a large-scale development project for the Shum Yip’s Upper Hills area, which will be home to office buildings as well as new apartments and retail outlets.

There are already three Mandarin Oriental hotels in nearby Hong Kong, including the group’s very first establishment. The brand has a strong presence throughout the rest of Asia as well, with hotels in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Japan.

shanghai tower thumb

China’s skyscrapers to offer luxury hotels

Shanghai Tower construction

China has recently seen an exponential increase in towers of over 500 meters, all designed to house apartments, offices, shopping malls and luxury hotels.

Standing at 632 meters (2073 feet), the Shanghai Tower, the main structure of which attained its highest point in early August, is now the tallest skyscraper in Asia. Set to be finished in 2015, a luxury hotel is scheduled to open in the tower that year.

The 258 rooms of Jin Jiang group’s Shanghai Tower J-Hotel will occupy the 84th to 110th floors of this skyscraper, set to feature 125 storeys. Though taller than any other skyscraper in Asia, the Shanghai Tower has not unseated the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which remains the world’s tallest structure.

In addition to Shanghai, the city of Wuhan is making a name for itself with the Greenland Center, whose 119 floors stretch 606 meters skyward. The tower is expected to open to the public in 2017, offering 186 apartments and a 4,200 square meter five-star hotel with an impressive 292 rooms.

In Tianjin, the Goldin Finance 117 is scheduled to open in 2016. At 597 meters, this skyscraper in the city’s business district will also include a five-star hotel, whose 350 luxury rooms and suites will accommodate well-heeled guests. The 530 meter CTF Tianjin Tower, also known as the Chow Tai Fook Binhai Center, will also open its doors in the city in 2016 and include a prestigious hotel.

Finally, in Guangzhou, the Chow Tai Fook Centre, with its 111 storeys and height of 530 meters, will also be home to a high-end hotel.

ShanghaiTower

AOTT Shanghai

Burberry Celebrates Art of the Trench in Shanghai

Art of the Trench Shanghai

Burberry will unveil on August 29 the latest edition of its “The Art of the Trench” exhibition with two installations hosted at the brand’s K11 and L’Avenue store locations in Shanghai.

Emerging supermode Cara Delevingne will be heading over for the event, which features work by Chinese photographer Trunk Xu. Xu has shot some of the most sartorially minded Shanghainese in the city, all wearing distinctive Burberry raincoats and styled with a personal twist.

First launched in 2009, The Art of the Trench sees the London brand take its iconic outerwear garment out on the street, to be captured in the wild, worn by individual fashionistas.

Previous editions of the event have taken place in Chicago, Sao Paulo and New Delhi. China is a major focus for the label: Burberry has 71 stores in the country (two of them in Shanghai) and the brand is growing rapidly in the Asian superpower.

There will be more editions of the “The Art of the Trench” in Paris, Seoul, Kiev and Istanbul before the end of the year, with the French event also coinciding with the launch of a “Burberry Loves PRINTEMPS” capsule collection and a permanent pop-up space at the Parisian department store.

Du Juan

Beijing International Airport

Chinese are world’s biggest travel spenders

Beijing International Airport

According to the second annual Chinese International Travel Monitor released by Hotels.com, China has now overtaken the US and Germany to become the world’s biggest travel spenders.

The survey was conducted among 3,000 international Chinese travelers and 1,500 hoteliers around the world in June 2013. It found that Chinese travelers spent US$102 billion on international travel in 2012, an increase of 40% from 2012, making them bigger spenders that both Germany and the USA.

In addition, 75 percent of the hoteliers reported that Chinese travelers accounted for up to five percent of their business and 45 percent of hoteliers reported that over the previous year they experienced an upsurge in the number of Chinese guests. The greatest increase in the number of Chinese tourists in terms of area was seen in the Asia-Pacific region.

The survey also found some interesting trends among the Chinese travelers themselves: 62 percent of Chinese travelers reported that they preferred to travel independently, rather than in a group.

Leisure was the primary reason why Chinese were traveling, with 96 percent reporting they did so for leisure, although Chinese travelers did have some complaints.

The biggest issue Chinese travelers had was with the provision of translated materials, such as “welcome literature,” websites and newspapers from hoteliers, with 75 percent of Chinese travelers surveyed stating that this was an area that needed improvement. Language was also an issue among hotel staff, with 42 percent stating that they “would like more Mandarin speaking staff in hotels.”