November 2022 Issue: Tigers, Teslas and Teachers

Tigers, Teslas and Teachers

Welcome to the NZCTA Young Associates Newsletter: a monthly-ish digest of happenings and articles for young people interested in the NZ-China space.

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We’re getting close to Christmas, and not only is the festive spirit ramping up, but also the festive shopping. In November, we had Singles Day and Black Friday which experienced a high amount of traffic, both online and in person. Stores have been ramping up their user experiences with art installations of tiger tails, and various retail strategy shifts to accommodate for changing habits due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

The YA had a similarly busy month, albeit with slightly less shopping, as we won "Partner of the Year Award" from the UoA Chinese Student Association! Additionally, NA Cape is hosting a teacher collaboration event that you won't want to miss!

We hope you're getting excited for the festive season and enjoying the warmer weather coming into December!

#1. Louis Vuitt-iger

Louis Vuitton (LV) celebrates the Chinese Year of the Tiger by incorporating a plush tiger tail design into a century-old historic building built in the traditional Chuanxi style in the city of Chengdu in southwest China. It has attracted attention both online and offline, with news outlets reporting that the tiger tail has been very warmly received by social media users and retail consumers. This is the first time that LV has incorporated an entire historic building into a design. The open courtyard, spanning over 10,700 square feet functions as a retail, cultural, and lifestyle experience.

When you’re not busy following the massive tiger tail that leads you to nowhere, you can discover artworks and furniture crafted by local artists. LV’s ambition behind this design highlights their appreciation for Chinese culture.

Look here to explore the store and tiger tail.

#2. UoA Chinese Students Association - Partnership Award

In April of this year, the NZCTA YA and the Chinese Student Association collaborated on the Tsingmiao 2022 Careers Lab. The YA assisted in connecting companies to be showcased at the event, allowing students to network with industry experts. The companies the YA facilitated were Samsung and the Ministry of Social Development.

Many students struggle to begin their professional career as a result of lack of knowledge and advice from industry experts. As a result, the Careers Lab strived to create a formal networking atmosphere for students to develop connections, job-search, and explore other career choices. The event welcomed an incredible 3000 attendees who made the most of the companies present!

As a result of our collaboration, NZCTA YA was honoured to have received the Partner of the Year Award from the UoA Chinese Students Association! Our Chair David Robertson, and Technology Director Shannon Lu accepted the award on behalf of the YA (pictured above). We look forward to many more collaborations in the future!

#3. An Evening of Language Teacher Collaboration and Innovation - NA CAPE

Does an evening with discussion from selected international and local guest speakers on language teaching, pedagogical innovation in language teachers, and more sound of interest to you? Come along to the event this Friday that NZ CAPE are co-hosting alongside Tui Tuia | Learning Circle. It will be an evening of discussion with selected professors of language, and specialists in global citizenship education.

Join them in person or online for their hybrid event, featuring a panel of presentations and networking.

Date: Friday 2 December
Time: 5:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: University of Auckland - Faculty of Education and Social Work Epsom Campus

Simply click the link here, to sign up for this FREE event!

#4. China's Retail Climate

Singles Day

Single’s Day or Double 11 (光棍节) is an unofficial Chinese holiday to celebrate those not in relationships, and is known as an unofficial anti-Valentines day. Since its evolution, Singles Day has grown to be the largest trading event globally, and outspends both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The holiday originated in the early 1990's as “Bachelors Day” with four single male students of Nanjing University's Mingcaowuzhu dormitory, who were discussing how they could break away from the monotony of being single and agreed that 11 November would be a day of celebration in honour of being single. This idea eventually spread to various other universities around China, with single men and women coming to celebrate the holiday.
A contraction in the global market has seen economies slowdown post COVID-19, which is no exception for Singles Day. Singles Day sales were still expected to top more than 1 trillion yuan, for the first time since its inception. However despite this momentous statistic, it still recorded only a modest growth of 5% from the previous year, while the 2020-2021 year marked 13% growth, showing signs of slowing consumer spending and declining consumer confidence.

In addition to the decline in consumer spending, it was stated this year by CNBC that 15% of China’s delivery areas for Singles Day were disrupted due to the resurgence of Covid-19 and internal logistics capability on Alibaba. Thus limiting the number of sales that were possible.

Tesla Retail Strategy Shift

Slowing growth and slowing consumer spending is at the forefront of many minds, and not just for those who reap the benefits of holidays such as Singles Day. Big brands such as Tesla have been conscious of the global shift, and are working on a retail strategy shift of their own. This month Tesla closed one of its flagship stores in Parkview Green, Beijing. This closure was due to an expiry of the lease, but also to lower retail costs. This move was influenced considerably with many brands experiencing less foot traffic due to Covid-19 restrictions.

To improve customer experience Elon Musk has stated that Tesla is looking to improve service for customers with greater emphasis on regional city stores. In turn, it also allows greater investment into their digital experience. Even with the move to shut down the glossy flag ship stores in prime mall locations, Tesla makes no move to succumb to slow foot-traffic, as a result of their strategy shift, sales in China have increased by 55% from a year earlier, with electric vehicles in general experiencing an increase in overall sales of 113.2%. Despite the closing of stores, there is still a lot of demand for electric vehicles and hybrids in China, Tesla’s second largest market.

Have a piece you’d like us to feature or share? Or an idea/opportunity you would like us to offer? Do you have general questions/comments? Let us know through our socials below!

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Editors: Melanie, Allan, Mia and Milly

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this newsletter are the sole opinion of the NZCTA Young Associates and do not represent the opinions of the wider New Zealand China Trade Association or any of its executive committee.

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