And now for something completely different: in honor of Chinese New Year (Kung Hei Fat Choi!) this week's Brand Bites round-up is all China, all the time:
• Coach is targeting mainland consumers with limited edition Spring Festival e-card collaboration with artist Zhang Lan. And some nifty Year of the Dragon themed accessories, above.
• Is the Apple iPhone 4S launch in Shanghai one of the signs confirming the Mayan-predicted world end in 2012? If you were in the scrum, you might think so. MIC Gadget has the full wowza story of how resellers hired 200 people to wait in line, and gave them little hats and everything. And then an Apple store in Beijing got egged (watch below) and Apple halted iPhone 4S sales altogether:
Not all Apple China news is so "rosy." NPR's This American Life delved inside Apple's embattled China supplier Foxconn with a self-described former "worshipper in the cult of Mac." Meanwhile, a brewing labor dispute with a Taiwan supplier following an explosion may delay delivery of the iPad 3. And more woes for Apple in China, writers are suing the brand for allowing the App Store to offer pirated book downloads.
• Nike's 11th annual Chinese New Year collection includes these awesome dragon kicks:
• Piaget produced only eight of these "Dragon and Phoenix" watches, priced at up to $376,000:
• Shanghai Tang and Nespresso collaborated on 3,000 of these $500 coffee sets:
• In other news, mainland officials are expanding the "use your real name on social media" policy.
• Italy’s Ferretti Yachts is now China's Ferretti Yachts.
• Luxury should heed Dolce & Gabbana’s Hong Kong PR disaster.
• The eBay of China, Tmall.com, is changing its name… kind of. Service will now be marketed as Tianmao (天猫), meaning "Heavenly Cat." The site will, however, keep the Tmall.com URL.
• China's Twitter-like social media site Weibo called "People's Republic of Rumors" and taken to task for fraud after 'citizen journalist' was discovered to have never left his living room.
• Speaking of citizen journalism and social media-sourced content, that media empire of sex, drugs, rock n roll and general monkeywrenching, Vice, plans a massive push into China. But how will that work with censors?
• People’s Daily Online Co. to sell shares in initial public offering. Probably a good investment as the site "lists its biggest client as China’s Ministry of Finance."
• California agency Zambizi sets up in Shanghai. But will the ad shop continue to call its employees "sharks" and risk confusion with the city's pro-basketball franchise the Shanghai Sharks?
• China toy manufacturers not looking forward to a 2012 pinch. (via)
Hong Kong watch maker Solvil et Titus goes back to a tactic that supposedly boosted sales in the 1980s: Romance. (via)
Montblanc opened its largest store ever, in Beijing, to serve world's biggest luxury market.
Converse China skateboard team ventures north to shred Mongolia. (via)
& China's luxury economy is on a Roll(s Royce):
... while Rolls-Royce is considering expanding the availability its limited-edition Year of the Dragon Phantom model (interior details below, via):