Tag Archives: China

China Duty Free Group

China to open ‘world’s largest duty free complex’

China Duty Free Group

The popular Chinese holiday destination of Sanya is set to boast the world’s largest duty free complex, according to reports.

Sanya, on the island of Hainan in the South China Sea, is the southernmost city in China and a booming holiday destination for Chinese tourists, boasting an ever-growing number of resorts aimed at both Chinese and international tourists.

Now, it will also be home to the world’s largest duty free offering, some 350,000 square meters of duty-free retail space. Phase one of the two-stage project is due to open next year.

Situated in Haitang Bay, Hainan International Duty Free City will feature a massive retail complex, a luxury brand exhibition area, a designer hotel and a major food and beverage area,.

Hainan province became in 2011 a duty free area for both domestic and international tourists, a bid to make it more competitive with neighboring Hong Kong.

The province currently has two duty-free shops. One is located in the provincial capital of Haikou, and the other is in the resort city of Sanya.

Sanya Beach

Chinese guy destroys his own Maserati – Why?

Maserati Destroyed China

A wealthy Chinese Maserati owner has hired four sledgehammer-wielding men to smash up his $420,000 supercar in protest at poor customer service, the Qingdao Morning Post reports.

The car owner, identified only by his surname Wang, had the group attack the Maserati Quattroporte at the opening of an auto show in the eastern city of Qingdao in Shandong province.

Video images showed the men going about their task with gusto, leaving the vehicle with a shattered windscreen and mirrors, the grille broken and dents to the bodywork. It was draped in a banner accusing the Italian manufacturer of poor decision-making.

Wang bought the luxury car in 2011 for 2.6 million yuan, the report said — around 100 times the average income of Chinese urban residents last year.

But problems first arose when he took it back to the dealer for an unspecified repair, with staff charging him for new spare parts despite using used ones. It later failed to fix a problem with a door and scratched the vehicle, he added.

“I hope foreign luxury car producers acknowledge clearly that Chinese consumers are entitled to get the service that is commensurate with the brand,” Wang said.

Maserati’s China arm said the company and its dealer in Qingdao had responded to the customer’s complaint and it regretted his decision.

“We deeply regret that the customer decided to terminate bilateral talks in such a sudden manner,” it said in a statement read to AFP by an employee.

In 2011 a businessman also in Qingdao destroyed a three million yuan Lamborghini after failing to get problems with the engine and other car parts repaired properly.

General Motors to Build Cadillac Plant in China

Cadillac SRX Shanghai

US auto giant General Motors will build a $1.3 billion Cadillac plant in Shanghai after China approved the project, it said Tuesday as it seeks more luxury sales in the world’s biggest car market.

Construction of the plant — which will have annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles — will start in June, GM said in a statement.

The factory, the first in China dedicated to making Cadillacs, will come under Shanghai GM, a joint venture with China’s SAIC Motor.

“Shanghai GM has received the NDRC’s (National Development and Reform Commission’s) approval to build a Cadillac plant,” the statement said.

The huge investment marks a bet that GM, the largest US auto maker, will be able to win a larger piece of China’s rapidly-growing luxury vehicle market, in which German brands hold a 80 percent share.

Analysts say GM is a laggard in the segment, one of China’s fastest growing and most profitable given rising incomes in the country.

“GM needs to build a relatively high-end brand in China in order to improve its overall product line,” said Jia Xinguang, managing director of industry group the China Automobile Dealers Association.

“It also sees the growth potential in China’s high-end car market, so the establishment of the plant will allow it to enter the market and win a bigger share,” he told AFP.

China’s luxury car sector is dominated by German automakers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen though other European, Japanese and US brands are bringing greater competition.

China’s market for what the industry calls “premium” cars — costing from $32,000 to $190,000 — was 1.25 million vehicles last year, second only to the United States, according to consultancy McKinsey.

Premium car sales in China grew at an average 36 percent a year in the last decade, though that would slow to an annual 12 percent through 2020, McKinsey said in a report in March.

GM launched a Cadillac sedan, the XTS, in China earlier this year as it seeks to make inroads into the sector. That vehicle, priced from $56,800 to $92,500, is produced in China.

The firm plans to introduce one new Cadillac model a year through 2016 to boost annual sales of the marque from around 30,000 vehicles last year to 100,000 by 2015, a GM official said last month.

In the first four months of this year, GM sold 11,571 Cadillacs in China, according to figures previously released by the company.

“Our longer-term goal is to take Cadillac’s share of the luxury car market to 10 percent by 2020,” GM China president Bob Socia said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show, Socia also played down concerns of production overcapacity in China, saying GM plans to add four more plants by 2015 to meet demand.

GM has 12 joint ventures in China, producing passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and light trucks with Chinese partners. Its total China sales for all types of vehicles rose 11.3 percent last year to a record 2.84 million units.

yves saint laurent rouge pur couture

Yves Saint Laurent beauty expanding to China

 yves saint laurent rouge pur couture

YSL cosmetics owner L’Oréal Luxe is pushing ahead with expansions plan to meet the booming demand for luxury skin care in China.

This May, China’s first ever YSL beauty counter will open in the Shanghai branch of high-end Japanese department store Isetan on Nanjing Road, the city’s busiest shopping street.

“We want to keep innovating and surprising the Chinese consumer. Yves Saint Laurent is a beautiful brand that belongs to French haute couture. Chinese consumers, they want the best,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, president of L’Oréal Luxe, reported WWD.

By 2015 the company is expecting China to be its biggest market: “In this country, the sky has no limit because the Chinese have such an appetite for luxury that we can only be excited for the future,” Hieronimus added. “This is just the beginning.”

As more and more Asian customers flock to the brand, special YSL fragrance, makeup, and skin-care lines will be launched specifically for the region.

Brands from the L’Oréal Luxe stable are currently sold in 972 department stores, 140 Sephora stores and 68 airport retail spaces throughout China. Big L’Oréal Luxe players in the market include Lancôme, which first entered China in 1993, Kiehl’s, and Chinese luxury skincare label Yue-Sai.

mercedes benz gla front

Mercedes Debuts New Compact GLA SUV

Mercedes GLA

Mercedes has confirmed that it will be taking the wraps off its latest premium SUV concept, the GLA, at Auto Shanghai, the doors to which officially open on April 21.

Conceived to help owners “escape the everyday” at 4.38 meters long and 1.97 meters wide, the GLA is small enough to negotiate busy city centers but thanks to permanent four-wheel drive should make for a willing leisure-time companion too.

Under the hood is a four-cylinder, 2-liter turbocharged petrol engine capable of pumping out 211bhp via a seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission.

The inside of the cabin benefits from prodigious use of leather and aluminium. Other interesting interior touches include light-emitting air vents that shine blue when the air conditioning is set below 22°C and start to glow a brighter red as the heat is turned up.

Mercedes GLA interior

The car also boasts externally mounted 3D/HD cameras that give the driver a clear, birds-eye view of everything surrounding the car, but that can also be removed and mounted on a helmet or mountain bike so that families can record their adventures.

The cameras can also be operated to make films or take still photos while the car is in motion and, thanks to an integrated, front-mounted lens, can project those images directly on to a wall or any other vertical surface, essentially turning the car into a mobile drive-in cinema.

“The Concept GLA marks a new approach for us in the compact SUV segment — this is a sporty and more coupé-like evolution of this category of vehicle,” commented Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing.

Christie’s to start auctions in mainland China

shanghai tower

Auction house Christie’s has annouced plans to hold auctions in China’s largest city, Shanghai, from fall 2013, after having recieved a license to operate independently on the mainland.

“This development makes Christie’s the first international auction house able to directly conduct auctions in China under its own brand,” said Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy. “The art market continues to grow at a tremendous rate due to the burgeoning interest in art particularly in Asia and China.”

Fellow auction house Sotheby’s had gained access to Chinese art lovers by partnering with Beijing GeHua Art Co in September 2012, while Bonhams maintains an office in Beijing and, like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, operates a saleroom in Hong Kong.

Dior Fashion show Spring 2013

Dior hits Shanghai for haute couture show

Dior Fashion show Spring 2013

Famed French luxury brand Christian Dior is set to re-stage its Spring 2013 haute couture show for buyers and press in Shanghai, China on March 30.

For the first time since Belgian designer Raf Simons took over as creative director, the brand will be returning to mainland China and the country’s couture customers will be hurriedly booking appointments in the days following the show to place their orders.

The move isn’t a particular suprise: back in January Christian Dior CEO Sidney Toledano noted that China was the “big market of tomorrow” as the brand looks to expand its haute couture client base.

vera wang wedding dress photo

Vera Wang cancels fitting fees following criticism

vera wang wedding dress

From Wednesday onwards, customers at the American designer’s Shanghai bridal store will no longer have to stump up a 3,000 yuan (nearly $500 US) non-refundable deposit to try on wedding gowns.

Earlier this month reports first emerged that Vera Wang’s Chinese store was practicing an unusual (and country-specific) new policy for its bridal customers: a ‘trying fee’, payable in advance, that secured a 90-minute session with the gowns. The 3,000 yuan charge would be deducted from the final cost of the dress, or could be used as store credit on other Vera Wang items, but would otherwise be lost.

After news of the charges hit the media this week, negative press began to build. Wednesday, in an email to the Reuters news agency, a spokesperson for Vera Wang announced the end of the policy:

“Please kindly be informed that Vera Wang has abolished appointment fees at her bridal salons worldwide starting from March 27, 2013”.

The policy was apparently designed to deter counterfeiters from producing copies of the brand’s pieces, which regularly appear on the Taobao site, China’s largest online marketplace.

The ‘trying fee’ is a feature of some Hong Kong-based retailers, but has not been seen in mainland China, and was not applied at any of Vera Wang’s other global locations.

vera wang wedding dress photo

Vera Wang charges $500 to try on dress in China

vera wang wedding dresses

A store policy in the Shanghai bridal boutique of Chinese-American designer Vera Wang, which sees potential clients charged 3,000 yuan ($482) to try on a dress, has prompted accusations of bias.

The amount is payable in advance in order to book a 90-minute appointment at the store. The non-refundable deposit is deducted from the eventual cost of the gown but if a customer chooses not to buy one of the brand’s wedding dresses, then “the fee can be used toward other items in the store.”

There’s some upset that Wang’s Chinese customers are being treated differently to her clients elsewhere around the world. While the practice of ‘trying fees’ has been present in a number of Hong Kong stores, it’s a new trend for a global brand, and the first time that Wang’s bridal customers have been asked to set down deposits before even trying on a piece.

The brand explains the move as an attempt to “protect the copyright of the designer”. The Vera Wang release “also states that customers will be barred from taking photos or filming at the store.”

vera wang wedding dress

Chinese Bowl

$3 tag sale find sells at Sotheby’s for $2.23 million

Chinese Bowl

A $3 tag sale buy has turned into a massive windfall for the lucky bargain hunter: the Chinese bowl sold for $2.23 million at an auction at Sotheby’s on Tuesday.

The small pottery bowl, finely crafted with an ivory glaze, turned out to be a thousand year old “Ding” bowl, dating from the Song dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1279. The only other similar bowl from the period known to exist has been on display at the British Museum for more than 60 years.

After picking it up for a few dollars down the road in 2007, the buyer displayed it the living room. More recently, they became curious about its value and brought it to experts for an appraisal. Sotheby’s had estimated the bowl would sell for between $200,000 and $300,000.

But four bidders battled over the rare find, and it ultimately sold to renowned London art dealer Giuseppe Eshenazi for $2.225 million.

China Spring Airlines

Chinese airline to start selling cars in the sky

China Spring Airlines

China’s Spring Airlines Co., the nation’s biggest privately-owned carrier, is planning to start selling cars onboard its aircraft, Bloomberg reports.

To complement the other items already on sale, the discount airline is in talks with several automakers about offering their cars at prices starting at $16,000. Flight attendants will be trained to provide information on the vehicles, and special discounts for fliers may apply.

“Car sales are very popular in Shanghai and our passengers can have time during their flight to study details of the models available,” a company spokesperson told Bloomberg.

It is not clear how the car would be delivered to the buyer. It is also not clear what brands and makes will be available and if flight attendants will get commission on the cars that they sell.

Analysts said the decision to launch in-flight car sales may not result in profits for the airline but will more likely serve as an in-flight advertisement for carmakers.

Burberry says ‘Happy New Year’ to Chinese fans

Burberry Chinese New Year 2013

British luxury brand Burberry has released a new video wishing fans Happy New Year in Chinese alongside a line of special red products.

The limited edition line in different shades of red includes the Blaze Bag, one of the highlights of the 2013 Spring summer collection. Other leather goods and scarves also feature.

Burberry Chinese New Year wallet

From Feb. 10, Burberry will also be celebrating Chinese New Year across all digital platforms and on the Chinese social networks Sina Weibo, YouKu and Douban.

The new products are available on Burberry.com, which now has a dedicated ‘Chinese New Year Gifts’ section, and will appear in Burberry stores alongside traditional lucky red envelopes which will be given out to customers.