China is intensifying efforts to check the “chaotic” power of online celebrity fan clubs – Asian fans are something else, so this is not surprising. Asian Fans will spend a fortune on their favourite bands records. They will take out full page newspaper advertisements or billboards wishing their favourite artist happy birthday. In China, the party is always first, not pop stars. Fans will be clamped down on, unless they’re fans of Xi Jingping. More on what Asian fandom here.
‘Heavy’ versus ‘Light’ business philosophies in Chinese tech – Chinese Characteristics – really interesting idea to describe culture. Heavy is a business that relies on people to make to ‘make’ the product. TikTok would be heavy. Deepmind would be a light business. Heavy businesses tend to do soft innovation
Chinese ecommerce site Shein hit with trademark disputes | Financial Times – “As long as they have the audience that they do, they’re going to determine that it’s worth their time and energy to move products as quickly as possible — even if some of those products violate intellectual property norms.” – business as usual in Chia then (paywall)
Farewell, Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy – The New York Times – Uber journeys subsidised by VC money. I was reminded of the ludicrously low prices of dot.com era e-tailing sites
Hong Kong star Karen Mok comes under fire in China for wearing Dolce & Gabbana in music video | South China Morning Post – The studio of Hong Kong pop singer Karen Mok has been forced to issue an apology after she prompted controversy on Chinese social media for wearing Dolce & Gabbana in her latest music video. The brand has been seen in some quarters as anti-Chinese following a 2018 controversy over an advertisement that showed an Asian woman trying to eat pizza and spaghetti with chopsticks. The adverts were criticised by mainland audiences for “publicly insulting China” and the crisis escalated after an online leak of screenshots from a private conversation showed Stefano Gabbana, the brand’s co-founder, making insulting remarks about the country. Gabbana and the brand’s co-founder Domenico Dolce eventually issued a public apology. – how fragile is the Chinese collective ego? This makes China look weak.
The Telegram Billionaire and His Dark Empire – DER SPIEGEL – interesting if dramatic profile of Telegram messaging platform
Japan’s Perceptions of Otaku: Then and Now – The Tokusatsu Network – interesting change in media and consumer attitudes to otaku. More people self identify as otaku, so the media has had to change. More Japan related content here.
Retail Could Have A Bigger Comeback Than Expected. Here’s Why. – Robb Report – interesting US estimates – the National Retail Federation revised up its annual outlook: It predicted that retail sales will now grow between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent to the range of $4.44 trillion to $4.56 trillion. That compares with $4.02 trillion in retail sales last year
Brown Thomas and Arnotts could be changing owners – I wouldn’t be surprised if LVMH’s DFS business didn’t bid for Brown Thomas. Ireland is too small a market (even with tourists) for single brand boutiques
Wikipedia’s Surprising Power in Shaping Science: A New MIT Shows How Wikipedia Shapes Scientific Research | Open Culture