Business

Business

Fashion brands no longer see Hong Kong as bridge to 1.4 billion consumers
Make it in Hong Kong and you might just break into China. This unofficial business plan has served international fashion brands well for the last decade. But in a shift that could prove seismic for the city’s fashion industry, brands with little to no presence in Greater China are increasingly bypassing Hong Kong and making Shanghai or Beijing their first port of call. As a city that European and American brands identify with in terms of culture, language and shopping habits, Hong Kong has long benefited from its reputation as a China-light launch pad. Lane Crawford, which is headquartered in Hong Kong, has long been the first stop for foreign designers hoping the crack the China code.  The
Fashion brands no longer see Hong Kong as bridge to 1.4 billion consumers
Mastercard can finally set up shop in China
Mastercard has won Chinese government approval to enter China’s payments market. It’s a major step in the American company’s decades-long effort to reach the country’s 400 million middle-class consumers. China’s central bank on Tuesday said it had approved an application from Mastercard’s joint venture to set up a business to settle payments in yuan, the official Chinese currency. Beijing has long insisted on state control of key financial infrastructure despite Washington’s insistence on giving American companies wider access to the Chinese market. The approval by China was granted three weeks after Beijing and Washington signed their initial trade deal, in which China promised it would fur
Mastercard can finally set up shop in China
China wants people to get back to work. That may not be happening
China is facing a dilemma. The country is trying to get back to business after the extended Lunar New Year holiday amid fears that a mass movement of workers across the country will worsen the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has infected over 31,000 people. Allowing the workforce to return to their jobs is crucial both for sustaining economic growth and providing support to fight the outbreak, according to Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at the Industrial Bank in Shanghai. “It’s obviously desirable for employers who are now paying rent, salaries and social welfare for their employees, for nothing in return,” he said, adding that most small and medium enterprises in China could only last a
China wants people to get back to work. That may not be happening
Chinese retail is getting a nationalistic boost
In China, nationalism sells. Months of a grueling trade war with the US and geopolitical spats with Asian neighbors have stoked nationalistic fervor among millennials, who are flexing their spending muscle, splashing out on Made-in-China brands at the expense of foreign icons. Dr Yu, a skincare business unit of the century-old Shanghai Jahwa, is one of the top names among the “patriotic” brands that Chinese consumers are gravitating toward to counter Western brands.  The unit, whose products are co-developed with local doctors, saw a seven-fold increase in sales to $8.6 million in December.  “The millennials are more faithful to Chinese brands which are capable of delivering equally good qua
Chinese retail is getting a nationalistic boost
China’s belt and road: What happens after the gold rush
In the late 1990s, Islamabad-based entrepreneur Sheikh Ejaz Asghar heard rumblings from his recently established Chinese contacts in the Pakistani capital.  Beijing was going to finance several major infrastructure projects and its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) would need local service providers, both to help navigate their new operating environment and procure the vast volumes of materials that would be needed. Acting on this timely tip-off, Asghar began visiting China in 2000 to establish relationships with SOEs and manufacturers of materials he would need to import. He also learned Chinese, to facilitate his new-found business relationships and strengthen his hand in negotiations. “It wa
China’s belt and road: What happens after the gold rush
Designing clothes for China’s working women
When Alicia Lee launched her own fashion label, more than seven years ago, it was something of an uphill struggle. In many ways the design part was the easiest. Finding distributors and factories prepared to commit to smaller production runs was the trickiest part. It was particularly difficult for the Beijing-based designer, who was located some distance from where most China garment factories are. Being in the capital, however, did offer one huge advantage – the concentration of media organizations there made it easy to cultivate contacts from fashion and lifestyle magazines. “When I launched in 2012, the designers here got a lot of attention,” recalls Lee. “It was easy to get exposure wi
Designing clothes for China’s working women
Chinese tech boss won’t hand out cash gifts amid coronavirus concerns
Many Chinese workers can expect their bosses handing them a red packet stuffed with cash during the Lunar New Year celebrations. But this year, employees at Tencent, one of China’s biggest tech companies, won’t be getting the packets directly from company founder Pony Ma. It will be the first time in nearly two decades that this has happened at the company, as China deals with the spread of a deadly coronavirus. The virus has killed nine people in the central Chinese city where it originated and infected 440 others across the country. Tencent, based in the southern Chinese megacity of Shenzhen, has canceled the handout of these red packets, also known as hongbao or laisee, on the first worki
Chinese tech boss won’t hand out cash gifts amid coronavirus concerns
Hit by unrest and recession, Hong Kong remains king of unaffordable housing
Hong Kong has been ranked yet again as the world’s least affordable housing market with social unrest failing to make any meaningful dent on home prices for most of 2019. It is the 10th straight year the city has held that dubious honor and is unlikely to be toppled in the near future. A family in the city would need to save up for 20.8 years to afford a home in the city, according to the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Study, which ranks 92 major markets across the world based on median affordability scores. That has barely changed from 20.9 years in 2018. Vancouver came in a distant second at 11.9 while Sydney took third place at 11. Melbourne at 9.5 and Los Angeles
Hit by unrest and recession, Hong Kong remains king of unaffordable housing
China’s growth falls to 29-year low. Official says progress ‘unstoppable’
China’s economy grew by 6.1% in 2019, the lowest annual growth rate for 29 years, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. The gross domestic product (GDP) figure came in a year in which the Chinese economy was hammered by US tariffs as a result of the trade war. The new data comes a day after China and the United States signed an initial trade deal on Wednesday, marking something of a ceasefire in the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. However, despite falling to a new low since 1990, when political turmoil drove economic growth down to 3.9%, the 6.1% rate met the target range of between 6.0% and 6.5% set by the central government at the beginning of last year
China’s growth falls to 29-year low. Official says progress ‘unstoppable’