Luxury Brands in China, Other News, 4th Anniversary Week 15 Update

What China's reopening means for luxury brands  (The China Project)

Luxury brands’ confidence in the Chinese market is shown by their investments moving into new cities, and creating more unique spaces. Louis Vuitton opened its first restaurant and museum space in Chengdu last year. Meanwhile, others are investing heavily in destination pop-ups, such as Dior’s ice sculpture building in Lake Songhua Resort in Jinlin province.

Although China’s post-COVID opening will make the Chinese market even more competitive, it remains a land of opportunity for leading luxury houses who continue to innovate, localize, and stay on top of the trends.


Top searches on Douyin: West-to-east green hydrogen transmission pipeline, Return of the panda (

Welcome back to the Top Searches newsletter! Over the past month, we've been heavily focused on China's "Two Sessions," but today we're shifting gears to bring you the latest trends and searches on Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok.

China plans to build its first west-to-east hydrogen pipeline to transfer clean fuel more effectively, which will provide Beijing with a direct supply of green hydrogen.

In other news, the long-awaited return of Ya Ya the panda to China is finally about to happen. While some may consider this a minor event, the Chinese government's response demonstrates their serious commitment to the well-being of their “national treasures” and their desire to prevent further escalation of tensions with the US, at least on this issue.


Alibaba, TikTok, and the changing landscape of Chinese tech in the US – views from Ivy Yang (

This week on Ginger River Radio, Jiang Jiang welcomes Ivy Yang, who writes an op-ed column called “Discourse Power” or 话语权时代 for FT China and has written for The China Project. Ivy shares her insights into the recent restructuring of Alibaba and TikTok's dilemma in the US. Ivy has worked in strategic communications and in corporate comms for more than a decade, including two years at Alibaba Group. She follows topics from TikTok to cross border e-commerce to the effects of the CHIPS Act and much more.


China's latest official labor survey findings (

The survey shows that the total number of workers in the country is about 402 million, with 84 million workers in new employment forms and 293 million rural migrant workers. The average age of workers is 38.3 years old, and the average years of education are 13.8 years.

Over the past five years, in response to the rapid development of new technologies, business forms and models , the structural composition, education, technical skills, and aspirations of the workforce have taken on new characteristics.


China as an International Lender of Last Resort (

This paper shows that China has launched a new global system for cross-border rescue lending to countries in debt distress. It builds the first comprehensive dataset on China’s overseas bailouts between 2000 and 2021 and provide new insights into China’s growing role in the global financial system. A key finding is that the global swap line network put in place by the People’s Bank of China is increasingly used as a financial rescue mechanism, with more than USD 170 billion in liquidity support extended to crisis countries, including repeated rollovers of swaps coming due. The swaps bolster gross reserves and are mostly drawn by distressed countries with low liquidity ratios. In addition, we show that Chinese state-owned banks and enterprises have given out an additional USD 70 billion in rescue loans for balance of payments support. Taken together, China’s overseas bailouts correspond to more than 20 percent of total IMF lending over the past decade and bailout amounts are growing fast. However, China’s rescue loans differ from those of established international lenders of last resort in that they (i) are opaque, (ii) carry relatively high interest rates, and (iii) are almost exclusively targeted to debtors of China's Belt and Road Initiative. 


Pranab Bardhan on India, China, universal basic income, and more by Pranab Bardhan - Project Syndicate (

The sources of China’s economic resilience have more to do with internal factors than external ones. China has a large domestic market and skill base, a relatively efficient bureaucracy, and world-class physical infrastructure. Moreover, its tech sector benefits from both direct government support and an abundance of available data. …

While few developing economies can benefit from scale on par with China’s, they should be working to replicate some of the aforementioned sources of resilience, such as strong infrastructure, a robust skills base, and a merit-based system for assessing bureaucratic performance. As I describe in my book, the Chinese system of economic decentralization also holds many lessons for other countries, particularly as they work to build up their infrastructure and support regionally competitive local-business development. 

As I note in my book, there are many examples of devolution leading to better decisions – from the point of view of efficiency, equity, and fitness to specific local conditions and challenges – in both rich and poor countries. But it is in projects that rely largely on the use of local information and initiative – for example, managing the local commons – that local communities excel. Devolution of power can also help ease social and political tensions and ensure local cultural and political autonomy.

But there are limits to local communities’ advantages. For many types of projects – from the construction of large irrigation systems to the development of school curricula – supra-local expertise and coordination are essential. Furthermore, local communities can be more vulnerable to “capture” by local oligarchs and vested interests – especially in contexts of high social and economic inequality – than central entities, which tend to be forced to balance the interests of more groups.


Ranked: The Largest Bond Markets in the World (

In 2022, the global bond market totaled $133 trillion.

As one of the world’s largest capital markets, debt securities have grown sevenfold over the last 40 years. Fueling this growth are government and corporate debt sales across major economies and emerging markets. Over the last three years, China’s bond market has grown 13% annually.


ABCF 4th Anniversary luncheon, Sunday May 21, 2023, 1-4pm

Our association celebrates its fourth anniversary with a luncheon featuring Chinese cuisine at Maxwell del Mar Hotel and Restaurant, Maxwell, Christ Church on Sunday May 21 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The three course menu will feature familiar favourites and authentic Chinese specialties. The entertainment will feature music and information from and about China. 

Plan to attend and invite your friends. Look out for details, coming shortly.


Consider joining the ABCF

If you share our conviction of the importance of a deeper understanding of China and building ties of friendship with the Chinese, please consider becoming an active member of the ABCF. The annual membership fee is BDS$100, which goes entirely to the maintenance of our website and supporting our ongoing work. Information on membership may be found on the ABCF website at this link.

This compilation is put together by DeLisle Worrell, President of the ABCF. Previous updates may be found at commentary | Association for Barbados China Friendship (