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.
Apple, Björn Borg, Scotland and Australia, Ford, Hermes, brand colors, Bentleys, deleted photos of China's leader riding a Taiwanese bicycle and more...
Ford: No separate Chinese brand
"Ford Motor Co. is developing a lower-priced small car for the Chinese market but has no plans to start a separate, cheaper brand in China as rivals General Motors and Volkswagen have.
Ford executives discussed their plans during a three-day tour that ended Wednesday at the groundbreaking of a new assembly plant in the eastern city of Hangzhou. The $760-million plant, which is Ford’s first plant on the populous east coast of China, is expected to open in 2015."
Related Reading: Lincoln To Enter China Market It Clearly Doesn't Understand
Apple buying back iPhone 4S in US but not in China
"According to Apple's US website, the company agrees to buy back the used iPhone 4S 16GB (gigabyte), if it has no scratches or water damage, at US$285, 44 percent of the retail price of the new model's cost of US$699. The price paid for a used iPhone 4S 64 GB is US$349.
On its Chinese websites, Apple agrees only to recycle used devices 'free of charge.'"
Related Same-Day Apple Press Beating In China Reading: Apple repair policies 'unfair' to consumers
Tesco closes stores as expansion stutters
"'Online retailers' booming business has also taken customers from physical supermarket retailers,' Hua said.
Many supermarket chains' profit margins have fallen to 6 percent from 12 percent a decade ago, and are being further squeezed by surging rents and rising labor costs, said Huang Wenjie, managing head of Guangdong Circulation Chamber of Commerce."
Related Reading: Walmart slows down expansion in Chinese market
Bentleys and wine swell China inventory overhang
"Chinese auto dealer Dah Chong Hong Holdings amassed so much inventory this year that it would take 63 days to sell all of its Bentleys, Toyotas and Isuzus, up from the 42 days' supply it carried in December."
Björn Borg Expands to China
"On Shanghai's West Nanjing Rd, the luxury-shopping street that houses flagship stores of numerous global brands, Swedish Fashion brand Björn Borg is now launching a shop-in-shop in fashionable Sogo Department store. At the same time, the company introduces their range throughout the whole of China through collaboration with e-tailer Taobao - a Chinese equivalent to eBay or Amazon."
Don’t Be Caught Wearing The Wrong Color In China
See the full spectrum of no-nos at Jingdaily.com.
China’s Luxury Appetite A Boon For Scotland
"As with French wine, which many middle-class Chinese equate with sophistication and 'the good life,' premium aged Scotch is developing a reputation (particularly among middle-aged men in China) as a drink that connotes history, heritage and cultivation. This has also been instrumental in the growing popularity of golf, which has fueled an explosion in golf course construction despite an official ban. Between 2006 and 2010, the number of golf courses in China surged from 170 to an estimated 600, though the actual number may be even higher. At the moment, industry observers now estimate there to be anywhere between 300,000 and 5 million regular mainland Chinese golfers, who — following their counterparts in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea — often see the links as their preferred spot for business meetings and deal-making."
Chinese language crisis for Australian businesses
Coca-Cola, Adidas and McDonald’s lead Olympic perception in China: R3 (subscriber only)
"Coca-Cola has scored 15 per cent higher on awareness for the 2012 London Olympics than it did four years ago, the highest recall among Olympic athlete endorsement campaigns, according to a new study by marketing consultancy R3."
Hermes Raises Growth Target as China Demand Boosts Sales
"Hermes International SCA (RMS), the French maker of silk scarves and leather goods, raised this year’s sales-growth target after first-half earnings beat estimates on Asian demand for luxury products.
The maker of Birkin and Kelly bags’ annual sales growth excluding currency shifts 'could be around 12 percent,' it said today in a statement. The Paris-based company last month said it targeted annual revenue growth of 10 percent."
Finally, an exceptional endorsement for Taiwanese bike brand Giant from China's Premier Wen Jiabao. Photo was immediately deleted from Weibo.