Latest news and features on retailing with a particular focus on Hong Kong, mainland China and Asia, covering consumer goods and services, retail strategies, shopping habits, sales results and trends.

Foreigners join China’s live-stream sales army
China’s live-stream retail market is projected to grow to be worth $145 billion in 2020, according to iiMedia Research. The increase has been linked to a surge in online activity during the coronavirus pandemic. But Chinese retailers are eager to expand their businesses beyond the country and are hiring multilingual foreigners living in China to approach customers abroad.  
Why Chinese people use ‘surrogate shoppers’ to buy stuff from abroad
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. A La Mer face cream costs $390 in retail stores in China but, according to a report from equity broker Bernstein, only $240 if one enlists the services of a professional shopper, or daigou.  For years these buyers have provided Chinese consumers with luxury goods at affordable prices, but they have been hit hard in recent months by the Covid-19 pandemic. What is a daigou? The term daigou means “buying on behalf of” in Chinese. It is used to describe professional shoppers who buy sought-after products overseas and resell them in China. Cosmetics, apparel
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