Barbie bets on Club Med and tech – China’s latest business and technology news

Business & Technology

A summary of the top news in Chinese business and technology for June 15, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.


Mattel, the multinational toy company most famous for its Barbie and Ken dolls, is expanding on two fronts in China:

  • The South China Morning Post reports that Mattel is forming a joint venture with one of China’s most aggressive investors, the Fosun Group, to set up a chain of learn and play clubs for children. The children’s education and entertainment service will be operated by Club Med, the French resort chain acquired by Fosun in 2015.
  • Mattel is also launching a strategy “to create a more-integrated ecosystem of high-tech toys and related services” that will help it boost its China sales by three to four times their current levels by 2020, according to Caixin.
  • Chinese parents tend to invest in their children’s education as early as possible for fear that their children will “lose at the starting line” (不能输在人生的起跑线上 bùnéng shū zài rénshēng de qǐpǎoxiàn shàng). The average cost of raising a child to age 18 is 23,000 yuan ($3,622) a year, which accounted for 43 percent of the average family’s annual income, according to research by Credit Suisse.