Ged Carroll

Lipstick Brother + more news

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Lipstick Brother

China’s ‘Lipstick Brother’ Livestream Has Record $2 Billion Day – BNN Bloomberg – Beauty livestreamer Li Jiaqi aka Lipstick Brother sold $1.9 billion worth of products in one twelve hour show on Taobao. That’s slightly less than the total sales from all four Selfridges stores during 2019. Lipstick Brother is one of a number of live-streaming sales stars like Mr Bags aka Tao Liang. There are clear parallels between Lipstick Brother and informercial stars on US shopping TV. The reason why live-streaming commerce happened was because of the historic iron grip that the Chinese government has held on TV station. This drove audiences online because the content was that bad and there wasn’t a QVC analogue for the likes of Lipstick Brother to appear on. The key difference is in the breadth of products that Lipstick Brother and his peers sell, Lipstick Brother and Mr Bags work with topline luxury brands in their respective categories rather than mid-market brands. It is interesting that Lipstick Brother has managed to survive the communist party’s purge from public life of sissy men across off-line and online media.

Economics

Twenty years on, the Brics have disappointed | Financial Times – Jim O’Neill reflects on his now 20 year old paper on the BRICs and what’s happened since publication

China’s population is shrinking, fast | Financial Times – which explains why Xi Jingping has been moving policy forward with urgency across a range of areas

MI6 boss warns of China ‘debt traps and data traps’ – BBC News

China cuts finance pledge to Africa amid growing debt concerns | Financial Times – Chidi Odinkalu, senior manager for Africa at the Open Society Foundations, said the reduced financial pledge showed that Beijing no longer had to try so hard in Africa. “China’s strategic objective was to get a foot in the door. Now that it’s in the door, it can choose to dictate the terms,” he said. He criticised some African governments for relying too heavily on loans from Beijing. “The volume of credit that some of them have binged on makes them dependent beyond any sensible notion of sovereignty,” he said.

Finance

Green bonds face new questions over authenticity | Financial Times 

China property bond fears remain as house prices fall | Financial Times 

FMCG

Nappy manufacturers shift focus in China from infants to elderly | Financial Times – this signals that the Chinese government’s move on demographics isn’t working

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam vows to ‘plug loopholes’ in internet regulation, and ‘supervise and manage the media’ – Hong Kong Free Press HKFP 

Hong Kongers chafe under ‘inhumane’ quarantine regime | Financial Times – its expats, hence the quotes around inhumane

Young Hongkongers drawn to UK under British National (Overseas) visa scheme | News | The Times – surprised that the UK came ahead of Canada in particular for wealthier young people

Innovation

Metasurface enables salt grain size camera | EE Times 

Next generation energy harvesting secure microcontroller for biometric cards 

Europe shows 2nm, quantum technologies at IEDM 

Benchmarking critical technologies | Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Rules of war need rewriting for the age of AI weapons | Financial Times 

Korea

South Korean presidential hopeful plays down reunification with north | Financial TimesSouth Korean ruling party’s candidate for president has downplayed the prospect of the future reunification of the Korean peninsula, as the country’s voters tire of decades of fruitless diplomacy with the North. Lee Jae-myung of the progressive Democratic party, whose manifesto includes a commitment to “seek unification through peaceful measures”, told reporters on Thursday that competition between the two Koreas in terms of ideology and efforts to prove the superiority of each system “has no meaning” and did not offer the prospect of “real gains any more” – potentially a big move from the Moon regime position, also probably linked to a more hawkish position on China

Luxury

British designer Roland Mouret enters administration amid Covid hit | Vogue Business

Meet the Chinese millennials rejecting luxury labels | Financial Times 

China, Captured: How Chen Man Redefined Fashion 

Why China’s elite tread a perilous path | Financial Times – interesting implications for luxury brands whose customers might suddenly disappear

Better than most of of the obituaries for Virgil – The Virgil Abloh Oral History: Kanye, Off-White, Louis Vuitton, and the Rise of a Designer | GQ

The Deep Dive: “Luxury Brands Need To Develop A Whole Digital Ecosystem For China Alone.”

Nike, Patagonia, C&A named in Dutch criminal filing on Chinese forced labour in Xinjiang | South China Morning Post – The filing by a non-profit group says the companies’ use of Chinese suppliers frequently accused of using forced labour breaks Dutch law. It is the third such filing in Europe, after complaints in France and Germany

Canada Goose draws fresh fire in China for return policies | Reuters 

Macau

Macau casinos gamble on relations with Beijing | Financial Timescasinos increase the shareholdings held by Macau permanent residents. A speedy public consultation has ended and business is waiting for the final law to be put to the legislature, a process that is also expected to determine how many of the casinos have their licences renewed, and for how long. The situation is particularly troubling for the three Macau casino groups that are largely US-owned: Las Vegas Sands, founded by the late Sheldon Adelson, MGM and Wynn operate nine resorts in Macau, and their local subsidiaries are listed in Hong Kong. Local operators Galaxy Entertainment, the late Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings and Melco, which is dual-listed in the US and Hong Kong, also hold concessions – guessing that this adds pressure on gaming operators to try and put pressure on the US government rather like Wall Street does for China

Macau casino stocks tumble after arrest of junket executive | Financial Times 

Security

MI6 needs tech sector’s help to win AI race with China and Russia – spy chief | MI6 | The Guardian

China surveillance of journalists to use ‘traffic-light’ system – BBC News – it confirms what I would expect in China (or other countries for that matter)

Finland Battles ‘Exceptional’ Malware Attack Spread by Phones – Slashdot 

MI6 chief warns of security threat from China ‘miscalculation’ | Financial Times 

Taiwan

Beijing targets Taiwanese companies with operations in China | Financial Times 

Technology

Japanese chip inspectors combat flood of fakes amid shortage | Financial Times 

Telecoms

NASA and industry embrace laser communications | EE Times