18 minutes estimated reading time
Nu Skin Faces Troubles in China – Financial – Beauty – WWD.com – “Investors are waiting for more details on the size and scope of Nu Skin’s troubles in China. During an earnings call on March 3, Nu Skin president and chief executive officer Truman Hunt told Wall Street analysts, ‘We elected to voluntarily suspend business promotional meetings as well as the engagement of new salespeople in China to cooperate with relevant authorities and demonstrate our commitment to our policies.’” – Disclosure: I worked on Nu Skin when I was in Hong Kong. It is a multi level marketing beauty business that tries to position itself as a luxury version of Avon. Today Nu Skin faces a more complex MLM marketplace with Mary Kay, Nerium and Herbalife. Nu Skin faces beauty rivals who would be local brands like FANCL and international brands like SK-II.
Nu Skin faces issues in China over MLM. MLM can make companies like Nu Skin look more like a ponzi scheme. Understandably the Chinese government is being very careful about regulation of MLM businesses like Nu Skin. MLM is popular in China as it is viewed as a side hustle that might bring passive income from Nu Skin.
Looking past MLM, beauty brands including Nu Skin, make bolder claims in China and Hong Kong than would be the case in the UK. Nu Skin and FANCL both have positioned some products, not in the beauty space, but as cosmeceuticals. I thought that this would be a space for greater regulatory risk for Nu Skin. More posts related to Nu Skin can be found here. (Paywall)
Shu Uemura asks bloggers to lead new content strategy | Marketing Interactive – this is the kind of work I wish I had been involved in, such a great programme idea
How Facebook Could Move Beyond Social Media – PSFK – cash cows and searching for the new new things, part of which seems to be being a creative / build shop for brands – think IBM Interactive
At last, a break for Bill Ackman on his Herbalife bet | Quartz – multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme?
Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem – NYTimes.com – culture is a barrier to ‘hard innovation’
The Massive Explosion In Apps In China | BusinessInsider – App usage in China has absolutely exploded in the last year according to data from Umeng, an app analytics firm that tracks Chinese smartphone usage.
DATA POINTS: Chinese put family first – Campaign Asia – emphasis on work life balance and anxiety over food safety pollution and health (paywall)
Danah Boyd Has Message to Adults About Teens Behavior Online: It’s All Your Fault | Re/code – adults use apps and eco-systems for worse things than kids
China’s biggest homegrown gadget is a hit—but not at home | Quartz – Chinese people prefer real cigarettes to e-cigarettes
Meat Market Malaise: Continuing Decline in Fresh Meat Consumption – Euromonitor International – I suspect that its down to economic issues as much as health reasons
The World’s Megacities to Retain Strong Hold in 2014 – Euromonitor International – welcome to William Gibson’s sprawl
China Data Show Economy Cooling – Bloomberg – lowest retail growth since 2004
U.S. China trade deficit: It’s not what you think it is. | Slate – Andy Kessler made a similar argument a number of years ago
China in $23 bn February trade deficit – Figures just released show China went into an unexpected trade deficit of almost 23 billion US dollars in February. This compared with a surplus of almost 15 billion in the same month last year, and a median forecast of a nearly 12 billion surplus in a poll of 13 economists by Dow Jones Newswires. – How? I know Chinese new year would have reduced productivity for the first two weeks of February but don’t understand the jump
China’s inflation rate eases | RTHK – Figures just released show China’s inflation rate eased in February to 2 percent year-on-year
Is Silicon Valley really more efficient than Detroit? | Excapite – deconstructing the economic value of Silicon Valley
Apple, IBM stash more profits overseas to avoid US taxes | South China Morning Post – The largest US-based companies added US$206 billion to their stockpiles of offshore profits last year, parking earnings in low-tax countries until Congress gives them a reason not to (paywall)
New fund exemplifies London’s reliance on banking and dodgy foreign cash | South China Morning Post – The investment vehicle from asset manager London Central Portfolio, which will commit £100 million (HK$1.29 billion) to prime residential property, amounts to a bet that London retains official policies that make it the corrupt rentier’s bolt-hole of choice (paywall)
Europe’s latest bank stress test is working, and it hasn’t even started yet – Quartz – as the sub-head on this article said ‘smell the fear‘
What you’ll find in a Chinese pawnshop: a BMW and a Beijing penthouse – Quartz – props up small business banking and you thought NatWest and RBS were bad…
New Investment Platforms Raise Questions for China’s Banking System | Stratfor – (paywall) – historically Chinese consumers have seen their savings milked to help fund state owned business expansion and have had few financial vehicles with decent returns, hence bubbles around property, gold etc.
Echoes of US subprime seen in China debt ratings | SCMP – competition among China’s credit-rating agencies is intensifying, leading to a slide in standards reminiscent of what happened in the US before the financial crisis, according to Dagong Global Credit Rating. (Paywall)
Nokia X release date, price drive quick addoption in China | BGR – which gives you an idea of how much of a fail the burning platform move to Windows was
HKTV postpones mobile TV launch as proposal falls foul of broadcasting watchdog | SCMP – so the mobile TV channel didn’t manage to run an end game around the regulators?
How to Check if an Email Address is Valid and Exists or Not | Digital Inspiration – I can see Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and this technique being used by spammers to build better lists
10 tips for young Wall Street – CNBC – great advice whatever industry you are in
SMToolbox: Getting the Most Out of HootSuite – An Expert’s View – If you are in social media, you will be aware of Hootsuite. It is arguably the most widely used social media management tool globally, with over 8 million users – I am not a big fan of Hootsuite but used it at Burson-Marsteller, this is interesting reading
Tencent predicts the markets nearing collapse in China | WantChinaTimes.com – the markets slipping the fastest towards collapse ‘collapse’ in China include the mainland and Hong Kong property markets, the mainland’s stock markets and market, China’s stock markets, the renminbi exchange rate – according to Tencent social data
LG Chem to buy clean water startup NanoH20 for $200M – potable water is the new oil?
The power of science lures viewers (and famous people) to NASA’s original videos – the ironic thing is, as interest in space and science in the US takes up, the government has kneecapped the space programme. Bang goes big innovation for the future
Weibo: Baidu, Xiaomi, TCL Leaders On Display At NPC | Young’s China Business Blog – interesting given that these are dynamic and atypical culture businesses in China
Big promises but little reform in increasingly violent China | Little Red Blog – little reform yet, give them a chance
Bordeaux gets Chinese hangover | Business Spectator – and it could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for the social media campaign done to reposition the wine in China, big shout out to my girl Emma – who did amazing work on community management and content for CIVB
o-office turns an abandoned factory into iD town: the creative art district | designboom – an abandoned 550-foot long concrete factory is slowly renovated into a thriving art district complete with studios, restaurants, and hotels in Guangdong, China
Top three Hurun Report self-made female billionaires are Chinese | WantChinaTimes – Chinese businesspeople grabbed the top three places of the Hurun Report’s list of the Richest Self-Made Women in the World this year
Domestic clothing brands find love among wealthy Chinese women | WantChinaTimes – as more and more international designer brands enter China, many wealthy middle-aged Chinese women have expressed a preference for domestic clothing brands
Fictional Characters on Social Media | Social Media Today – it depends but I would be inclined to think that most brands shouldn’t
5 Link-building Linchpins for 2014 | Socialnomics – taking a more content marketing approach
Why customers write online reviews? | Socialnomics – “One day you’ll discover that the opinions of worthless people are worthless.” This quote of Piers Anthony (“A Spell for Chameleon” feb, 2012) is the opposite of the digital reality. 70% of Americans say they look at reviews before taking the next step to conversion.
Gawker’s Nick Denton Says BuzzFeed is ‘Pointless’ | Advertising Age – interesting use by Gawker of their comment system as a brand vehicle that they can monetise
MediaPost Publications TV Viewers Heed Social-Media Buzz, Not Apps 03/12/2014 – not good news for TVTag et al
Daylight saving is the worst thing that happens to television | Quartz – That’s because when the time change arrives, the TV industry must grapple with a corresponding drop in viewership
Facebook Zero: Considering Life After the Demise of Organic Reach | Social@Ogilvy – we all knew this was coming
Get ready for ‘Insta-ads’ — Instagram signs $100M deal with Omnicom | VentureBeat – it will be interesting to see how these are done
Yahoo signs Mourinho to be Tumblr-posting global football ambassador | Battenhall – Yahoo! continuing on with some of its smarter sponsorships
Microsoft is using your data to target political ads on Xbox Live | Washington Post – play Call of Duty? – You must be opposed to defence spending cuts?
点名时间 – 中国最大众筹平台! 支持创新的力量 | Demohour – Kickstarter or Indiegogo but with Chinese sensibilities.
Demohour focuses on innovative household gadgets and designer goods. Some of the new products promoted on the site have been a Bluetooth sound box made from bamboo, an anti-pollution air control system for cars, and an “intelligent wallet” that operates like a global positioning system, telling the user his or her location.Although Demohour was inspired by US crowd funding website Kickstarter.com, Chang said there were huge differences between the US and Chinese markets.
Compared with the US, he said, the mainland has a weaker culture of donations, which is the basis of the crowd funding concept. Angel investors may also provide us with enough funds. But what we can get from a crowd funding platform is more than money
The Paradox of Quality: Why Better Technology Fails — mobileYouth® – sad but true. But then consumers have always flocked towards crap, Amstrad being a case in point
Nowness’ ‘Shoppable Video’ Holds Solid Potential For China Luxury Marketing – A screenshot from Nowness’ new shoppable video. (Nowness) A chic new shoppable video by LVMH’s luxury editorial site Nowness may be a sign of what’s to come for the future of global high-end e-commerce—and that definitely includes China.
China’s Tencent may take 16 percent stake in JD.com: media | Reuters – China’s internet market represents a battle of leviathans unlike anything ever seen outside the country. Imagine if Yahoo! bought Amazon back in the day and Excite had owned Pets.com?
Bits Blog: On Instagram, a Bazaar Where You Least Expect It | New York Times – Though not designed as an e-commerce site, Instagram can offer shoppers the thrill of discovery.
SWIFT boss calls for international standardisation of cyber security requirements – Businesses should not have to comply with a complex set of differing rules on cyber security, the chief executive of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has said.
Malaysia Airlines’ missing flight is the latest sign of a safety crisis in the region | Quartz – yes there is stiff competition and growing traffic numbers in East Asia, but Quartz’ assertion without evidence this crash was due to airline safety is wrong
MasterCard, Visa form group to push for better card security | Reuters – team up to drag US payments system into late 20th century
DataPoint: King.com Takes 25% Of Facebook App Market | AllFacebook – AppData announced Friday that its data are reporting King.com‘s ascendance and where is Zynga now?
Windows Phone Developers in a Tiff Over Lack Of Advertising | Programmable Web – revenue down by 97% and fill rate on ads for applications 2-10%
Yoshida in China: Why ‘WeChat’ | EE Times – Yoshida gets a few things wrong in this article BUT is is interesting that she bothers to cover it at all in EE Times
Asus is reportedly under pressure from Google and Microsoft to shelve its dual-OS PCs – The Next Web – I am reminded of the end passage in Orwell’s Animal Farm: “Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.“
How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing | Ars Technica – I remember the changeover happening with my design friends
Popcorn Time: Open Source Torrent Streaming Netflix For Pirates – over the years BitTorrent has become fairly mainstream, with hundreds of millions of people using torrent clients to download the latest entertainment, but it can be awkward to use
Scale of Chat Apps in Asia | Pixelbits – Mona Nomura on chat apps
elle lee 李文煊 // e l l e i c o n l e e . c o m // 时尚煊言 » Whenever, Whatever – W Taipei – interesting post about user interface design
New Rules to Reshape Telecom in Mexico | New York Times – the country’s recently created telecommunications regulator issued tough new conditions that could break up virtual monopolies in phone service and television broadcasting – is the Mexican government taking on too much: the drug cartels AND Carlos Slim?
Hong Kong viewers turn to Xiaomi boxes, online alternative to local TV | South China Morning Post – Alris Technology, the authorised seller of the box in Hong Kong, is getting through 10,000 of the HK$599 boxes per month (paywall)
Web of no web
NCR sees retail banking upgrades, new services driving ATM growth in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post – banks start to deploy advanced video-enabled systems and upgrade the operating system on their ATM networks (paywall)
Siri needs to get serious | T3 – I can so vouch for the opinion in this article
Twitter Tests a ‘Click-to-Call’ Button for Ads – WSJ – integration of voice which had been done for a while on other platforms, opens up online advertising to offline businesses
UK Govt invests £73m in ‘Internet of Things’ research – Digital Intelligence – China has considered this a priority for years
Tumblr Now Lets You Dial A Toll-Free Number To Post Audio To Your Blog | TechCrunch – I really like this, makes Tumblr much more accessible
Deal with acquisition anger through dialogue – Campaign Asia – as Asian companies buy into western brands (paywall)
Tencent M&A in overdrive with reported handset bid | South China Morning Post – is Tencent really buying a cellphone maker? (Paywall)
Apple Is Finally Figuring Out How It’s Going To Sell iPhones In The Second Biggest Mobile Market In The World (AAPL) – Apple plans to go local with a vengeance, setting up small, neighbourhood shops in big cities and tier II markets, in a bid to get closer to potential buyers as it pushes ahead with an India
Samsung’s Most Famous Spokesperson LeBron James Just Tweeted That His Phone Had A Total Meltdown | BusinessInsider – Oops! Samsung spokesperson LeBron James just tweeted out that his phone had a total meltdown and erased everything that was on it. “One of the sickest feelings I’ve ever had in my life!!!” said LeBron. Just a few minutes after sending the tweet, James realized he’d make a mistake.