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Chinese luxury brands, it started with a broken Durex

Chinese luxury brands, it started with a broken Durex

Last summer viral marketers at Durex posted this wonderful photoshopped image of China’s glamorous First Lady 彭丽媛 Peng Liyuan and president 习近平 Xi Jinping watching a folk dance presentation near the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Southern Mexico. It was uploaded to Durex’s official account on Weibo, Chinese biggest microblogging platform, and was almost immediately deleted by the authors themselves, in fear to get the whole account blocked by the censor. Before becoming the target of Durex viral campaign, this photo was already spreading like a wildfire through Chinese web, because it shows the first lady snapping a picture with a white iPhone 5, just months after CCTV and the People’s Daily attacked Apple for...
In defense of bad education

In defense of bad education

Creativity education in China is a controversial topic. Chinese creative education surely has its pros and cons, like anywhere in the world. A pro is the cheap cost of raw materials and relatively cheap cost of labor that allow Chinese designers and students to take risks and experiment. In Beijing, markets for DIY construction materials are everywhere in the city, and with some bargaining you can get anything you can think about for an unthinkably cheap price. A con is for sure the highly bureaucratic National Higher Education Entrance Examination, commonly known as 高考 Gaokao, the only criterion for tertiary...
Designed in China, a quick anthology

Designed in China, a quick anthology

If you ask a lot of Chinese designers why their design is Chinese, they will say they cannot articulate it. Chinese design doesn’t have a straightforward, cohesive identity yet. It’s not possible to say exactly where Chinese design is heading to, and young generations are still experimenting, leading some to think it will always be undefined. Due to the relatively cheap cost of raw materials and labor, Chinese designers can afford to take risks. As I already said, Fashion has been leading the way in establishing a Chinese design identity. Anyway, we are witnessing an organic movement within the local...
Beijing, electronic music on the rise

Beijing, electronic music on the rise

Just a short forty years ago, China was gripped by the most severe setback and the heavy losses suffered during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which paralyzed social and economic development throughout the nation. However, China‘s rapid economic growth in the last three decades and development of an affluent middle class, set the nation on the crux of a new cultural revolution. With a growing level of affluence, the Chinese people are beginning to explore individual interests in ways never before possible. Just like photography and tattoos, EDM is just an other new outlets for individuals in China to express themselves and establish their...
3 reasons why coworking is booming in China and what’s next?

3 reasons why coworking is booming in China and what’s next?

According to real estate services firm Jones Lang Lasalle, by the end of 2016 there were over 500 coworking sites in Shanghai and Beijing alone, compared to just a few in the end of 2015. As the sharing economy takes root in China with increasing vigour, a growing number of Chinese customers are shifting to a collaborative consumption lifestyle, resulting in a huge boom of co-working spaces in recent years with thousands of operators emerging. Generally speaking this is a mindset change: from owning something to renting something. Since this ‘new’ mindset is not totally a new thing in China, coming from a collectivist...
Why car-sharing is about to explode in China

Why car-sharing is about to explode in China

Disruptive changes in the car-sharing landscape are to be expected from the Chinese market, pushed by an increasing demand for connected vehicles and by the impellent emergency of pollution and cars congestion. On one side, according to estimates from Goldman Sachs, people born between 1980 and 1990 made up roughly 30% of China’s total population in 2015. They are more urban, more affluent almost all digital natives. These connected consumers are now turning their attention to the country’s car market, demanding connected cars at far higher rates than elsewhere. On the other, Chinese officials are seeking to harness the flood of private...
The rise of multi-label and lifestyle brands in China

The rise of multi-label and lifestyle brands in China

In Beijing, it seems that everyone is opening up a vintage shop. From the American, retro-cowboy, rockabilly vintage of the shops in Gulou, to the more European vintage of Sanlitun’s House of Willow, there are so many different vintage boutiques that have mushroomed around the city. Vintage is still a niche market in general. It still has a concentrated appeal—it’s not for everyone. These shops complement their brick-and-mortar shops with E-commerce platforms that serve more for marketing purposes than actual sales. These WeChat platform are more like style blogs where everything it’s about lifestyle. Mainstream luxury vs niche luxury Consumption in...