WWD Digital Daily
Beauty Outperforms Luxury At China Int’l Import Expo
Product drops and tech innovation are more attractive than luxury houses’ narrative on heritage and sustainability.
SHANGHAI — Some 910,000 people visited the second edition of China International Import Expo (CIIE), and $71.13 billion worth of deals, up 23 percent from last year, were signed during the six-day event, running from Nov. 5 through 10 in Shanghai.
More than 3,000 top companies from more than 150 countries and regions participated in the expo. At least 391 new products, technologies or services were released.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping gave a firm speech with a promise to ease market access, counter protectionism and goals to boost economic globalization at the opening ceremony.
CIIE was conceived last year as a key component to Xi’s one belt, one road initiatives, with the purpose of replacing U.S. products with products from other countries, and to ultimately upgrade Chinese products with technology imported from other countries.
“China will follow the new development approach and the strategy of innovationdriven development and redouble our efforts to foster new growth drivers by shifting the growth model, improving the economic structure, and creating new growth momentum,” he said.
Fashion giants such as LVMH, Kering, Tapestry and beauty conglomerates like L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, Shiseido, Kao and Amore Pacific showcased a full range of brands and products for visitors, buyers and press from around the world.
LVMH is a major partner in CIIE. After signing a deal to bolster its presence at CIIE this March, 13 brands from the company participated within a pavilion focused on heritage and innovation, spamming 5,380 square feet.
Each brand has its own area to showcase its history and traditions. Dior, for example, re- created the facade of its 30 Avenue Montaigne headquarters in Paris, while Louis Vuitton erected a replica of the Eiffel Tower made from trunks and suitcases.
Frédéric Arnault, strategy and digital director at TAG Heuer, and the third son to Bernard Arnault came to Shanghai to represent his family. “We are honored to participate in CIIE. This will further strengthen our deep, rich and longstanding relationship with China,” he said.
Although nothing is for sale at the expo, Andrew Wu, LVMH group president of Greater China, said their participation is a gesture of support to China’s reform policy. “CIIE represents a spirit that China will become more and more open. The participation of our group in it shows our determination to provide better products and services to Chinese consumers,” Wu added.
While LVMH bet on heritage, its rival Kering showcased its commitment to sustainability with a swanky 3,230 squarefoot pavilion, designed by Ole Scheeren, who is also the mastermind behind the CCTV headquarters in Beijing.
Cai Jinqing, president of Kering
China said, “The success of the CIIE is