The Week in China: Iron Man Arrives, Disney 8, Fake Kitty and Memes Of 2012


China is the second latest economy in the world, every significant brand’s future is impacted by its growth (or collapse!); but who’s got the time?!  A weekly potpourri of ten reads that will make you look like a keen China observer during any conversation about China.

This week, Iron Man, Disney’s Luck 8, Adidas woes, fake Hello Kitty, KFC woes, Brand Beijing, Cadillac’s China ambitions, when a VW Jeets is a Santana, memes of the year and more.[more]

Fake Hello Kitty Couple Bust
“The couple bought fake Hello Kitty products in Shanghai and Guangzhou at low prices and sold them for a 10 percent price markup through their shop on, China’s biggest online retail site, between July 2008 and December 2010, the court heard. Their price was still only one-fifth of the market price of genuine Hello Kitty products, the court said.” [Shanghai Daily]

Disney Hotel a Lucky ‘8’
“Shanghai Disneyland will have a hotel in the shape of a flat ‘8,’ which is an auspicious figure that means prosperity, wealth, and success in China, according to an environmental evaluation report posted on the environmental authority’s website for public discussion.” [Shanghai Daily]

Nobel, No Endorsement
“Clarifying her father did not accept any commercial endorsement offer, Mo’s daughter Guan Xiaoxiao posted on the Twitter-like microblogging website of Tencent, “My father did not, does not, and will not endorse any tobacco products ever. Guan Moxin, a brother of Mo, said he had no idea of any commercial endorsement.” [People’s DailyRelated Reading: Man makes RMB10m from Mo Yan liquor trademark

Adidas Makes a Deal With China Suppliers
“German sports wear giant adidas AG said Wednesday that it will continue to work with more than 300 supplier factories in China despite a recent contract dispute.” [China Daily]
Related Reading: Adidas workers dissatisfied with compensation

Shanghai Food Watchdog Gives KFC Raw Deal
“The report has triggered nationwide concerns over the safety of KFC’s chicken. The chain has about 300 stores in Shanghai, which receive a great deal of raw chicken from Shandong.” [Xinhua]

Fresh China Chill for Japanese Companies
“Jetro said it attributes the ebb to China’s shrinking economy and the changing business environment there that has made the neighboring Asian power a less attractive manufacturing destination, such as swelling labor costs. In fact, more than 80% of respondents in China – as well as Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar – said increased wages was the most serious management problem. But conducted in the midst of the heated anti-Japan protests in China over the territorial dispute flare-up, Jetro added the hesitation to expand could also be linked to the ongoing squabble over the contested islands in the East China Sea. The last time the survey recorded a drop in expansion interest among Japanese businesses in China was in 2008, when the financial crisis was in full swing.” [Wall Street Journal]

Finally Iron Man has Came to Beijing
[MIC Gadget]

Cadillac’s China Ambitions Eye Younger Crowd
“However, GM may be getting ahead of itself, as the brand still has a full plate of marketing strategies to consider. First, as Jing Daily noted last month, Cadillac’s bold and edgy design aesthetic has been a harder sell in China to date, as the country’s older car-buyers have tended to stick to more rounded, elongated designs. However, it is possible that Cadillac’s greatest potential for success in China could come by targeting younger buyers from China’s ‘post-80s’ generation.” [Jing Daily]

Xiaomi Teases Phone Launch in Hong Kong
“China’s young phone-maker Xiaomi has teased a possible expansion into Hong Kong. That’s what’s implied in a tweet from the official @XiaomiChina Twitter account, which just said: “Xiaomi is going to launch a new market in [blank] on [blank].” The image that accompanied the tweet lists a few of the key specs of its newest Xiaomi Mi2 Android-based phone, all written in traditional Chinese script, which is used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but not in mainland China.” [Tech in Asia]

Volkswagen Names Cars In China, Blowing Your Mind
“Volkswagen in China is famous for still selling the 1984 Mk.2 Jetta as the Jetta. Soon, they will be replacing the old Jetta with the new Jetta. Only VW isn’t replacing the Jetta, and it’s not with the Jetta, it’s with the Santana, which isn’t a Santana or a Jetta. Don’t worry, this gets more confusing.” [Jalopnik]

Establishing Brand Beijing

“When the Beijing school opened seven years ago it had 60 students, and now it has 250, Gerault says. Its main courses are fashion design and pattern making, and a year’s study costs 92,000 yuan ($14,700).” [China Daily]
Related Reading: Billions for Beijing’s 798

At top, one of “The Top 10 Chinese Internet Memes of 2012.”