Business

Business

Make it rain: Chinese entrepreneurs turn snow into hot commodity
As temperatures plunge in China’s north this week, enterprising people have gone online to monetize blankets of snow covering their neighborhoods. For a price, you can ask someone to write a message in the snow and send you a photo or video of it.  On the e-commerce platform Taobao – owned by Alibaba, which also owns Inkstone – customers can order messages for about 5 yuan (71 cents) for six words. A heart or an image costs extra. Demand for this unusual service has the south to thank.  A Taobao shop owner in the northern province of Heilongjiang said most of the 100 orders she received in the last few days came from people from southern China who had never seen snow.  To beat the competiti
Make it rain: Chinese entrepreneurs turn snow into hot commodity
Chinese internet giant Alibaba gets greenlight to sell shares in Hong Kong
Chinese internet giant Alibaba has gained approval to raise as much as $15 billion dollars in a November share sale in Hong Kong, several sources told the South China Morning Post. Alibaba, which owns Inkstone, is already listed in New York. This secondary listing in Hong Kong would bolster the company’s capitalization and finally give investors in mainland China the chance to participate in the growth of one of the country’s most profitable technology giants. Investors in mainland China are expected to be able to trade Alibaba shares in Hong Kong through the Stock Connect program upon regulatory approval. The program allows investors to trade stocks listed on each other's markets through br
Chinese internet giant Alibaba gets greenlight to sell shares in Hong Kong
Kim Kardashian West didn’t break the Chinese internet
Kim Kardashian West didn’t manage to break the Chinese internet in her first attempt to connect with online consumers in the country. Kardashian West showed up for about an hour from New York during a live stream hosted by marketplace Tmall on Wednesday night to promote her perfume line KKW Fragrance. (Tmall is owned by Alibaba, which also owns Inkstone.) The live stream got about 30,000 views on KKW Fragrance’s channel and 189,000 views on an official channel of Tmall.  By comparison, Kardashian West’s live-streaming partner of the night, a Chinese influencer called Viya, got 12.6 million views, though she was streaming for six hours.  The comparatively lukewarm response to the reality TV
Kim Kardashian West didn’t break the Chinese internet
Will China embrace plant-based meat? We’re about to find out
If anyone wants to convince Chinese people to eat less pork, the country’s favorite meat, now is a very opportune time.  Over the past four months, pork prices have more than doubled in China, due to an outbreak of African swine fever that has wiped out more than 30% of the country’s pig herd, which experts say will take years to rebuild.  Green Common, a plant-based food company based in Hong Kong, is hoping the pork crisis means more people are in the market for alternatives.  “There is a market for this product in China,” said Casey Hall, a Shanghai-based writer who’s been covering Chinese consumers for over a decade.  Chinese people are certainly opting for other kinds of meat, as risin
Will China embrace plant-based meat? We’re about to find out
Kim Kardashian to peddle perfume on Chinese internet
Kim Kardashian may be an internet-breaking reality TV mogul with a net worth of $350 million. But in China, she is still struggling to connect with fans. To crack the Chinese market, which has the world’s biggest base of internet users, Kardashian will personally pitch her perfumes on an online shopping channel.  The US reality TV star will appear live on the online marketplace Taobao on Wednesday night to promote her KKW Fragrance line. (Taobao is owned by Alibaba, which also owns Inkstone.) She won’t be selling on her own. Kardashian will be a guest on the channel of a top Chinese shopping influencer, as part of KKW’s sales campaign for the upcoming November 11 “Singles’ Day,” China’s ann
Kim Kardashian to peddle perfume on Chinese internet
Pet food maker behind Pedigree, Whiskas says it’s betting big on China
With a history of dog eating, especially in lean times, China hasn’t always been a haven for pets. Pet keeping was branded as bourgeois after the communists swept to power in 1949. But in the past few decades, as Chinese citizens have become wealthier, pet ownership has soared. In fact, China has the second-largest pet market in the world, behind only the US, says Cai Xiaodong, general manager of Royal Canin in China. The pet food producer is a unit of Mars, an American global food giant that also produces the Pedigree and Whiskas brands of dog and cat food. Cai told the Shanghai-based online news site Thepaper.cn that Mars planned to invest more than $100 million in a new pet food factory
Pet food maker behind Pedigree, Whiskas says it’s betting big on China
Most high-speed railway lines in China are losing money
China is extremely proud of its growing high-speed railway system, with state media often calling it a “speed booster” for the Chinese dream.  But recent financial disclosures showed that more than 60% of the country’s high-speed railway operators have each lost a minimum of around $100 million in 2018 and continued losing money into the first half of 2019. The least profitable operator, based in the southwestern megacity of Chengdu, reported a $1.8 billion net loss in 2018. Operators based in the northern cities of Shenyang and Harbin each reported losing more than $1.5 billion last year. The state-owned China State Railway Group owns all 18 high-speed railway operators in the country, as w
Most high-speed railway lines in China are losing money
Big name fashion labels move manufacturing out of China
Since the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, famous brand names such as Uniqlo, Levi’s, Crocs, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger have moved their entire manufacturing base out of China. Politics is not the only factor – rising labor costs and an increasing reluctance in China to produce low-cost goods were prompting the sourcing caravan to move on even before the trade war began. But there is no doubt Trump sped up their departure. “There is a real sense of panic,” says Sean Coxall, the president of solutions at Hong Kong-based supply chain manager Li & Fung. “We have been working with key customers on a backup plan since Trump came into office, and any company that did not do this in advance
Big name fashion labels move manufacturing out of China
Chinese vapers upset by online sales ban of e-cigarettes
Chinese vapers are defending the health value of e-cigarettes, after the government further tightened sales of vaping devices in the country.  On Friday, the country’s tobacco regulator announced a ban on online sales and advertising of e-cigarettes as part of a campaign to prevent minors from accessing vaping products.  The new rule brings e-cigarettes under a sales and advertising ban similar to tobacco. With more than 300 million smokers, China is seen as a potential growth driver for the e-cigarette industry. But the online sales ban could deal a blow to vaping start-ups that have flourished over the past few years.  Similar to other parts of the world, e-cigarettes in China have gained
Chinese vapers upset by online sales ban of e-cigarettes
A Hong Kong fashion brand comes full circle
Founded in 1994 by the late Sir David Tang, the Chinese-inspired luxury brand Shanghai Tang has seen its fortunes rise and fall under several owners. Now the brand has come full circle. In December the company’s latest owner, Shanghai-based firm Lunar Capital, announced it had hired Tang’s daughter, Victoria Tang-Owen, as the brand’s newest creative director. “I don’t think my father ever thought about [Shanghai Tang] as his legacy. Personally I don’t want to make the brand my only legacy – I want to be part of many things – but it’s important that my father is still very connected to the brand’s story. And by default, that means it is part of my story too – back then and now,” says Tang-Owe
A Hong Kong fashion brand comes full circle