2012 Highlights & 2013 Challenges in China

December 18, 2012

China Connect asked top China based professionals their thoughts about 2012 and what’s next in 2013.

1/ It has been important for your business/industry in 2012

Kaiser KUO, International Communication Director, BAIDU: “The dramatic fall of Bo Xilai and all the events surrounding it (Wang Lijun’s flight to the Chengdu US consulate, the Neil Heywood affair, etc.). For the Internet industry in China, the huge surge in smartphone usage and access to the Internet via mobile devices has been most significant”

Alexis PERAKIS-VALAT, CEO L’OREAL China: “The rising importance of the post 80’s and the post 90’s generation and everything that goes with it.”

Laura LAI, Managing Director VAN CLEEF & ARPELS China : « Van Cleef & Arpels ‘Timeless Beauty’ heritage exhibition held at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Shanghai during May 20 – July 15.Spanning over 100 years of history. It was the first heritage exhibition of the Grand Maison, showcasing over 370 creations”

Seth GROSSMAN, CEO VIZEUM Asia Pacific: “2012 has been a year where the world has come to rely on China more than ever. Where the scale caught up to the growth. Where quarterly earning reports seemed incomplete without a mention of China and where retailers from London to Shanghai and New York to Nanjing too notice. Ironically, in a year where budgets tightened, where growth slowed, and where efficiency ruled the day. “

Lena YANG, Publishing General Manager HEARST Magazines China: “Two important facts have shown great changes in Chinese lifestyle – the quick growing Chinese tourists (the desire to enjoy life, experience the world, express oneself, motivate the Chinese market but at the same time bring in new challenges – what the local luxury business can offer as outstanding services to attract the most critical and mature consumers?)and the booming of E-commerce (challenges traditional marketing and sales). Across all category advertiser have started to invest in OnlineTV”

Thomas BOUILLONEC, Managing Director PIAGET China: “As of 2012 mainland Chinese become number one customer for high end luxury goods and will remain for long if not forever”

Yirong XU, CEO MEILISHUO.COM: “User base of smart phones in China grows to 300M+. The value of social medias are better recognized by advertising clients.”

Sam FLEMMING, Founder & President CIC China:Social media becomes ‘mainstream’ for communications for brands; WeChat takes hold as a new ‘facebook’ of China with strong CRM potential. »

Donna LI, General Manager, Strategic Marketing & Media Planning RENREN: “speed is life »

Thibault VILLET, CEO GLAMOUR SALES : “2012 has been another exceptional year of growth for Glamour Sales as we extended our  direct cooperation to over 400 international luxury and fashion brands in China  and delivered customers in over  900 Chinese cities.”

Mykim CHIKLI, COO ZENITHOPTIMEDIA China:“The raise of Online TV and the merge of Youku & Tudou”

Thomas Reemer, CEO 88tc88: “Growing Chinese consumer confidence and the resulting market segmentation has been the biggest change in the musical industry. Also content platforms starting to charge for their services (Baidu Music, etc)”

Tom DOCTOROFF, APAC CEO J.WALTER THOMPSON : Consumer confidence has taken a hit due to both global uncertainty (not a new thing) and increasing lack of confidence in the central government to implement gradual reform. There is no panic, but more nervousness than in the past. This has affect both multinational corporationsand local enterprise investment robustness When confidence is down, procurement departments become more powerful within client organization.  Pitch results and retainer fees become increasingly competitive and price-driven, and this is one things that has affect margins for many agencies in 2012.

2/ It will be challenging and exciting for your business in 2013

Kaiser KUO :“The most exciting and challenging issue is clearly the shift to mobile.”

Alexis PERAKIS-VALAT :“The rising importance of the post 80’s and the post 90’s generation and everything that goes with it (again!)”

Laura LAI: “Keep growth from a Maison to the Grand Maison in China as well. Van Cleef & Arpels regards China market as one of our priorities. We will have large investments in the expansions in 2nd tier cities in China in the following years”.

Seth GROSSMAN: “The chance to work with media partners in far more creative ways than ever before. We need to think ever more deeply about bringing content into people’s lives that they welcome in at a time of their choosing. Digital will be at the forefront of this but there are brilliant writers, producers, and editors in print and television who can guide when it comes to the content proposition, regardless of where and when it might be delivered.”

Lena YANG: “For media industry, the digital platform will become from now the most important new field to exercise the expertise of media. Digital and traditional are no more counter parties but united as one. Media shall act as multimedia platform content producers and offer constantly a global solution to consumers (users and readers) and its partners (advertisers, media associates).”

Thomas BOUILLONEC: “Keep the mainland Chinese to buy in China!”

Sam FLEMMING: “Growing brands/business in a (relative) slower growth market in China »

Yirong XU: “We have more than 30M users, who are Chinese white collars women, and this number keeps growing. We began to cooperate with many famous brands such as Lamer and Estee Lauder.”

Donna LI: Mobile monetization »

Thibault VILLET: “2013 will be an exciting year as we will also focus on the growth of  a new  luxury e- commerce platform,,  a full price platform offering a curated assortment of in season luxury and fashion designers. »

Mykim CHIKLI: “The emerging Chinese middle class is the most interesting we need to understand. The raise of new consumers will change the market and the media consumption across China.”

Thomas REEMER:”Launching our mobile musical content platform Paishouba in January and growing it into a success.”

Tom DOCTOROFF: “2013 is likely to be much the same as 2012: by international standards, continued growth but no longer heady. And digital creative will become even more mainstream, an opportunity for the advertising agency if they structure their operations correctly. The key thing to look out for, is consumer confidence, which could swing either way depending on whether or not the new President, Xi Jinping, outlines a credible reform agenda. More micro, group chat (Weixin/WeChat) will explode ».

3/ 2013 in ONE word

Kaiser KUO “Mobile”

Alexis PERAKIS-VALAT: “Exciting”

Laura LAI “Enchanting!”

Seth GROSSMAN “Evolving”

Lena YANG “Innovation”

Thomas BOUILLONEC “In 4 words: China and Chinese again”

Yirong XU “Challenging but exciting”

Sam FLEMMING “Social CRM”     

Donna LI “Invent”

Mykim CHIKLI “Energetic! “

Thomas REEMER “Market share (it’s two words, I know)”

Tom DOCTOROFF “Anxious”

First published in French on And in english on Luxury Society




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