Worldview: China’s US Exports Register Biggest Decline in Decades


🇨🇳 China’s exports to the US register biggest decline in three decades. The value of exports across all categories fell 13 percent in 2023 to $500.3 billion, the largest contraction since the Chinese customs office started keeping records in 1995. Preliminary figures released by the US commerce department suggest that Mexico could overtake China as the leading source of imports as American companies reduce their exposure to China because of deteriorating trade relations, geopolitical tensions and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. In the fashion category, “even though fewer finished garments are coming from China, US fashion companies admit that China will continue to play a critical role as a textile raw material supplier as no immediate practical alternative is available,” said Sheng Lu, associate professor of fashion and apparel studies at the University of Delaware. [Sourcing Journal]

🇮🇳 India’s Reliance Retail Ventures reports Q3 profit rise of 31%. Net profit reached 3,165 crore rupees ($380 million) for the third quarter ending Dec. 2023 while revenue from operations surged 23 percent to 74,373 crore rupees ($8.9 billion) at the apparel-to-groceries retail arm of Reliance Industries Ltd, a conglomerate with holdings spanning everything from telecoms and energy to fashion and textiles. [Business Standard]

🇰🇪 Manufacturing giant CherryField acquires Africa Apparels in Kenya. The multi-national textile and garment sourcing company supplying brands such as Marks & Spencer and Calvin Klein currently operates in nine countries across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Established in April 2007 in Nairobi, denim clothing producer Africa Apparels will now be rebranded as CherryField Apparels. [Fibre2Fashion]

🇻🇪 Zara stores return to Venezuela after hyperinflation is tamed. Grupo Futura, the local franchise operator of the global fast fashion major, is reopening three years after shuttering in the capital Caracas amid a consumer spending recovery in the South American country triggered by the recent taming of hyperinflation. [BoF]

🇰🇷 Korean and Thai celebrities dominate Milan men’s fashion week shows. Many of the Autumn/Winter 2024 season front row attendees with the highest earned media value on social media hailed from the two Asian countries, including Lee Ji-eun, Enhypen, Aespa’s Karina from the former and Nattawat Jirochtikul, Norawit Titicharoenrak and “Win” Metawin Opas-iamkajorn from the latter. [Jing Daily]

🇯🇵 Japan’s Uniqlo sues Shein for allegedly copying viral shoulder bag. The Fast Retailing-owned brand has sued the Chinese e-tailer in Japan, accusing it of copying its popular round mini shoulder bag. [BoF]

🇮🇳 India’s Shoppers Stop sees net profit decline 41.2% in Q3 FY24. The fashion and beauty retail chain reported consolidated net profits of 36.85 crore rupees ($4.4 million), down from 62.74 crore rupees during the same period in the previous fiscal year, according to a BSE filing. [Economic Times]

🇨🇳 Cartier owner Richemont sees third-quarter sales surge in China. The luxury goods group reported 13 percent sales growth in the Asia Pacific region, driven by a 25 percent sales growth of the China business, including the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau markets. [Inside Retail]

🇦🇪 UAE’s Azizi Developments is building a $1.5 billion ‘vertical mall’ project in Dubai. The real estate developer released details of the Burj Azizi tower, which will reportedly be the second tallest in the city, comprising a vast shopping centre, luxury hotel, residences and restaurants. [Arabian Business]

🇮🇳 Venture-backed wellness platform Gabit launches in India. Gurugram-based entrepreneurs Gaurav Gupta (co-founder of food delivery company Zomato) and Aparni Shahi have created the platform, which combines AI-powered fitness coaching with meal plans and skincare recommendations. [BoF]

🇷🇺 Police search head office of Russian e-tailer Wildberries over warehouse fire. The country’s largest multi-category e-commerce platform reported that police were investigating the cause of the fire which tore through a 70,000 square metre warehouse in St Petersburg earlier this month. The authorities have opened a criminal investigation. [Moscow Times]

🇨🇳 Sephora China CEO Maggie Chan steps down after five years with the firm. No successor has yet been named to lead the Chinese market which has struggled for years amid rising competition from local multi-brand beauty retailers. [BoF]

🇨🇳 Lisa Ou resigns from Chinese athleisure label Maia Active. Ou, a co-founder, has announced her departure but co-founder Mia Wang remains on board of the brand which was sold to Anta Sports in October. [BoF Inbox]

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