The Week in China: Versace Wallpaper, Horse Meat, NZ Milk Scandals and more

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Above, a Coke and a smile are still the right stuff for the brand during China’s Lunar New Year holiday. 

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand’s future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who’s got the time?! Here’s 10 reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Dwayne Wade visits the Bird’s Nest… VW bump… stealing Coke’s recipe… McDonald’s… Versace wallpaper… poisonous fake mutton vs. horse meat… lobster… coffee beaneries… New Zealand’s Chinese New Zealand milk… and more. [more]

China bump boosts VW sales 15 percent
“Sales in China, VW’s biggest single market, totaled 298,300 vehicles´┐╝, up 43 percent over last January, which included the Lunar New Year holidays that reduced the number of selling days. This year, the Lunar New Year fell in February, and this month’s results will take a hit, VW sales chief Christian Klingler said.” [Detroit News]

Related Reading: Volkswagen to build low cost car for India and China

Versace wallpaper, Chinese walls
“Versace plans to introduce its wallpaper business to the China market in March 2013, when Versace products will be showcased at the China Wallpaper Expo in Beijing.” [Buy Buy China]

In China, Horse With a Side of Poisonous Fake Mutton
“Despite poisonous fake mutton being a far more disgusting, dangerous and — at the moment, at least — Chinese problem than European horse meat disguised as beef, CCTV has run only one story (on Feb. 17) about the domestic mutton scandal. Other state-run news organizations have also been one-sided in their coverage of horse meat versus poisonous fake mutton, though the ratios are not nearly as skewed.” [Bloomberg]

Li-Ning Releases Dwayne Wade “Make Your Own Way” Ad
The Beijing “Bird’s Nest” cameo is the only hint in Wade’s new ad that would let you know he’s partnered with a Chinese shoe company. Well, except the name Li-Ning of course.



A Handy compilation of McDonald’s China ads for Lunar New Year (Translated by Food Dragon)

Keeping the brand full of beans
“Costa Coffee, from the United Kingdom, also has ambitious plans in China. It intends to have 500 cafes in the country by 2016. Hong Kong-based coffee chain Pacific Coffee also said earlier that it aimed to expand and overtake Starbucks in the mainland.” [China Daily]

Baijiu Makers Take 449 Mln Yuan Shot for Price-Fixing
“The fines come as the industry is dealing with government efforts to curb spending on liquor and a scandal over harmful chemicals found in one brand of the popular, throat burning Chinese liquor.” [Caixin]

NZ’s Fonterra milk powder ‘not culled’ in China
“Initial worries that New Zealand milk powder had been destroyed weakened the New Zealand dollar on Tuesday. The safety of the country’s milk products is a sensitive issue for the local currency as dairy products account for around one-third of the country’s exports.” [China Daily]

Related Reading: Infant Formula Marketing Scam Unravels in New Zealand
Related Related Reading: Milk ad control plan a formula for disagreement

China getting hungry for N.S. lobster
“‘It is at least as large as Europe at Christmas,” Wolthers said. “China is by far a bigger market than Europe is now.’ His company, which moves about 30 percent of the province’s lobster, has already shipped about 300,000 kilograms of lobster to China this year.” [Chronicle Herald]

Nobody’s take on the China hacking scandal is better than Taiwan animation gremlin NME’s:

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