“Chinese consumers powered a stronger than expected increase in sales and a return to profits growth at Swatch last year,” reports the Financial Times (paywall).
- Swatch, which owns Omega and Tissot, “as well as the eponymous plastic watches, reported net sales rose 5.8 per cent to SFr7.99 billion [$1.07 billion]… with sales accelerating in the second half of the year.”
- Swatch “bore the brunt of sliding Swiss watch sales in 2015 and 2016,” says the FT, when weak economic growth, competition from smart watches, and China’s anti-corruption campaign seriously weakened sales.
- Watch exports to China rose almost 19 percent in 2017 — much of that volume was from Switzerland.
- Artificial intelligence
Google China 2.0 and the ethics of AI engagement / Macro Polo
Google’s “new AI center opens fresh ethical questions, this time about engaging China on technologies that will both save lives and empower the world’s most sophisticated surveillance state.”
- Gray rhinos (?)
China’s Wanda to sell Beverly Hills development / Deadline Hollywood
“China’s Dalian Wanda Group is to sell its Beverly Hills development that was once pegged to become its Hollywood headquarter.”
China seeks to broker sale of stake in insurer Anbang / Bloomberg
“China’s government, which has been probing alleged financial wrongdoing at Anbang” is trying to arrange the sale of “a stake” in the troubled insurance company.
- Big Four Banks
Goldman Sachs cancels bearish bets against China’s biggest bank / FT (paywall)
“Goldman Sachs has cancelled bearish bets against shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China after the bank’s stock price has risen sharply in recent weeks. “
- The business press
China’s top business magazine editor Hu Shuli ‘steps aside, not down’ / SCMP
- Cashing in on Chinese tourists
Targeting Chinese diners abroad, Ctrip partners with Opentable / Jing Daily
- Internet companies — the snakepit
Toutiao is suing Baidu for unfair competition after (alleged) biased search results and security warning / TechNode
- Cryptocurrencies and blockchain
Guangxi wants to become China’s blockchain hub / TechNode