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A glimpse of China's mid-year online shopping spree

Le 22 juin 2017, 05:29 dans Humeurs 0

 Chinese internet users splurged on the mid-year online shopping spree on Sunday.

 

While November 11, or Single's Day, is the largest online shopping festival in China created by Alibaba's Tmall, June 18 ("6/18") shopping festival was launched by JD.com, Tmall's arch rival.

 

Other companies soon jumped on the bandwagon and began to offer special offers to get more customers.

 

On June 18, JD.com reported its first hour sales more than doubled from the same period last year. Tmall pocketed over 100 million yuan ($14.71 million) seven minutes after its opening. Another Chinese e-commerce heavyweight Suning.com saw its orders more than quadrupled from a year ago.

 

According to iResearch, a Beijing-based consultancy, while demand is high, Chinese consumers tend to be rational by caring more about quality instead of price.

 

The top five items on the shopping list of JD.com consumers are cell phone, air conditioner, flat panel computer, laptop and baby formula. Consumers are more selective in quality.

 

Kaola.com, a cross-border e-commerce platform, found consumers are becoming more critical in selecting big names, but were less interested in popular best-sellers.

 

Cao Lei, director of China E-Commerce Research Center, said with consumer upgrade going on in China, e-commerce market has shifted from "price war" to responding to the demands of the affluent and sophisticated middle class.

 

Putting all those purchases into consumers' hands is a huge task.

 

To make fresh food reach consumers in the shortest period of time possible, Tmall's cold chain service is operating around the clock. Its daily delivery of fresh food totals near 500 tons.

 

By using smart warehouse, it takes only three minutes to move a parcel out of the depot through automated assembly lines.

 

E-commerce platforms are using drones to make speedy deliveries. At this year's "6/18" shopping festival, Suning.com is using drones to get packages directly to shoppers in rural villages.

 

JD.com uses augmented reality and virtual reality to offer interactive shopping experiences and also employs robots, driverless cars and drones for deliveries.

 

Xu Lei, JD Group's chief marketing officer, said retail sales will be driven by changing consumer habits and technology upgrades.

 

The mega-spending spree came as China's economy is slowing down as the world's second largest economy is transitioning from dependence on export and investment to consumer spending.

 

Growth of the property development investment slowed in May for the first time since November, but retail sales grew 10.7 percent year on year in May boosted by strong online sales, signaling continued consumption strength.

 

China is the world's largest online shopping market, with about 467 million online consumers spending about 26.1 trillion yuan last year, up 19.8 percent year on year.

Coffee with ... Pascal de Sarthe

Le 1 juin 2017, 05:29 dans Humeurs 0

French-born Pascal de Sarthe was self-taught and rose among the art dealer ranks in the 1980s to become one of the most recognized gallerists of the 21st century. He made Hong Kong his base in 2010 and today, with one gallery here and another in Beijing, he's clearly lost none of his passion for art

 

What made you decide to be based in Asia?

 

I have been coming to Asia since 1981, doing business first in Japan and Korea, then in the early '90s in Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia - Asia accounted for half of my business and I quickly started spending two weeks of every month in the region. I was approached by new collectors who were interested in both Western and Eastern art, who appreciated my long experience in dealing with artists of the Chinese diaspora such as Zao Wou-ki and Chu Teh-chun. In 2010, staying in Asia and opening a gallery in Hong Kong seemed like the natural thing to do.

 

Why Hong Kong?

 

Even though there was nothing to indicate that Hong Kong would become the center of the Asian art market, there was the geographical location, the tax advantages and the start of the art auctions - everything just came together.

 

Art Basel came to Hong Kong shortly after you did ...

 

There was already Art HK, but Art Basel recognized that the art market in Asia was becoming increasingly important and could possibly overtake the art market in America. For Art Basel, it made sense to take over Art HK and establish themselves here with a solid foundation.

 

Is Hong Kong's art market one of true art lovers or of speculators?

 

Things have changed a lot in the past seven years. At first, the speculators were operating in a market that was tailor-made for them - Hong Kong was a financial hub, with capital flooding in from all over the world, and the art market took advantage of this. Then came a generation of collectors who were interested in art. Collecting is like catching a bug; it's an addiction.

 

A person can initially take an interest in art in order to speculate, but in the long run if he doesn't develop a passion for it, then it's not much fun.

 

Does the gallery owner share the passion of the collector?

 

You can't sell paintings if you don't have a passion for art. Unfortunately, today more and more people are opening galleries as if they were luxury shops. They'll sell artists like fashion trends, which means the life cycle of these artists is limited. When you're representing an artist, he has to come first. You can't turn him into a commodity and then abandon him.

 

It's easy with handbags or clothes, but an artist is a human being. My son has a close relationship with his artists in Beijing, with a dynamic I haven't seen in a very long time. You can't put a price on that. That's how you create genuine art galleries and assume a genuine position in the art market.

 

What will you be exhibiting at Art Basel this year?

 

We'll be showing only postwar Asian artists and new-generation Beijing artists. At the same time, we'll be opening our new gallery in Wong Chuk Hang on the south side of Hong Kong Island fraxel.

 

You're leaving Central?

 

After six years in Central, I didn't want to stay there any longer. The area is an aberration for galleries - we don't have enough space, the ceilings aren't high enough and the rents per square meter are the most expensive in the world.

 

I knew Wong Chuk Hang a bit - I'd been there to visit some galleries - but I hadn't realized how important the place was. Today, with its 30 or so galleries, the artists, designers and architects who live there, the new MTR station and with rents one-fifth what they are in Central, this neighborhood is in the process of becoming the art district that didn't exist before in Hong Kong. I would readily compare it to Chelsea in New York. We've taken a 10,000sqft space with the kinds of volumes necessary for real gallery work, as if we were in New York.

 

What do you think of shows like the Affordable Art Fair in Hong Kong Speed dating?

 

I think it's a very good thing, because contemporary art shouldn't be expensive. The market is manipulated in such a way that works of art are worth this or that amount, with no basis in reality.

 

With a few exceptions, a young artist who all of a sudden is priced at US$300,000 will be forgotten a few years later. I think it's very good for people to be able to buy works of art for a few hundred or a few thousand. It's fantastic - and it's how lots of collectors get started.

 

Any advice for future collectors Night Market in Hong Kong?

 

Don't buy anything just yet - educate yourself first. It's very important to establish a dialogue with a dealer to know what you're going to like or not like about an artist, and to understand the market. Obviously, when you know nothing about a market, you tend to follow the trends. Unfortunately, too many collectors buy with their ears, not their eyes.

Beijing encourages students to be restoration experts at Forbidden City

Le 24 mai 2017, 05:30 dans Humeurs 0

Beijing plans to recruit 30 junior high school students and train them into becoming professionals at restoring cultural relics for the Forbidden City amid a shortage of such talents, according to Beijing Youth Daily reenex facial.

 

Beijing Union University, Beijing International Vocational Education School and the Palace Museum this year jointly launched a pilot education program to train professional restoration experts.

 

The students will study cultural relic reconstruction at the Beijing International Vocational Education School for three years, followed by two years of vocational education at Beijing Union University. After further study, they can be awarded bachelor's degrees.

 

The pilot program is aimed at cultivating more local professional talents. Shan Jilin, the curator of the Palace Museum, once told Chinese media that insufficient career paths for young people had resulted in a lack of professional restoration experts. The hukou, or household registration system, makes it hard for young experts to work in the museum.

 

To restore all of the cultural relics in the Palace Museum with existing experts will take at least 100 years, according to the museum Hong Kong food tour.

 

In order to cultivate more professionals in the field, the museum launched the major in cultural relic repair with the Beijing International Vocational Education School in 2015, and recruited about 20 students in the first year. So far, 35 students have been recruited.

 

Besides general courses including Chinese, math and politics, the students also learn professional knowledge about relic repair, including basic knowledge of cultural relics, the history of arts and the basic methods of relic protection, according to Qian Weidong, the director of the Beijing International Vocational Education School. Teachers were mostly from the Palace Museum, Qian added dermes.

 

Professional restoration experts have attracted widespread attention from the general public after the success of the three-episode TV documentary, Masters in the Forbidden City, which premiered on China Central Television at the beginning of last year.

 

 

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