In December 2018, designer and founder of the online brand K-Beauty Plus Hong Kong Chanel Lu launched her own digital currency called CHNCoin. The coin was supposed to offer a more fair marketplace for consumers than Korean beauty brands that charge high prices on their products in Korea but sell them cheaper abroad. Anyone with an internet connection could buy or trade cryptocurrency for CHNCoin at its starting price of $0.70 per coin.,
The “chanel china official website” is a site that was created to show Chanel’s support for China. However, the site got attacked by Chinese competitors who were trying to trigger a backlash against Chanel. The attack backfired and it has become more popular than ever.
A Chinese rival took issue when Chanel SA began selling a new cosmetics line featuring red camellias earlier this month, accusing the French luxury brand of stealing the Asian flower.
On the Chinese Twitter-like site Weibo, Sun Laichun, the founder of Shanghai-based cosmetics firm Forest Cabin, committed to do his “most to defend the beauty of Chinese women.” Together, comrades-in-arms, we shall win this battle!” The post quickly surpassed 100 million views, capturing the characteristics of an increasingly frequent customer reaction against a Western brand.
This time, though, there was no pushback. Instead, many Weibo users mocked Mr. Sun. Others came out in support of Chanel.
“Stop fighting your fights with netizens,” one Weibo user replied to Mr. Sun’s article. Mr. Sun and Forest Cabin did not respond to requests for comment.
In a statement, Chanel stated, “We admire Mr. Sun’s effort and experience in producing his skin-care products.” The camellia, on the other hand, “has been used in cosmetics for many centuries,” according to the business. “It’s utilized by a number of skin-care companies all around the globe.”
Many Western brands have fallen afoul of Chinese cultural sensitivities, triggering online boycotts that have hit sales. The Chinese government has targeted others for a host of reasons, including for raising awareness of human rights allegations in the country or leaving out Taiwan in maps of China. The makers of H&M, Adidas and Puma apparel suffered steep sales declines last year after appearing to raise concerns about forced-labor allegations in China’s cotton-rich Xinjiang region.
Mark Tanner, managing director of China Skinny, a Shanghai-based marketing consultancy organization, stated, “Foreign companies must be as watchful as ever.” “Even the tiniest blunders may spread like wildfire.”
However, not all Chinese consumer revolts are the same. Mr. Sun presented the French take on the red camellia as an insult to Chinese national pride in his assault on Chanel, hoping to mobilize customers in his battle with the foreign brand. Instead, he sparked an outcry against himself and his organization.
“This concept that you have to purchase Chinese items because you’re Chinese—I reject that,” a 27-year-old property manager from Chengdu said, declining to reveal her full name due to the sensitivity of the matter within China. She watched as Mr. Sun launched an assault on Chanel, a brand she admires. “I don’t agree with what he said,” she expressed her displeasure. “These efforts to exploit nationalism to intimidate customers are repulsive to me.”
In Beijing, there is a Chanel shop.
Thomas Peter/Reuters/Thomas Peter/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters
Many Western companies—luxury brands especially—rely on China for growth and fear alienating Chinese consumers. Chinese luxury sales last year reached about €60 billion, equivalent to $66.9 billion, according to Bain & Co., doubling relative to 2019.
The market has proven perilous for many. In 2018, Italian luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana drew a furious response from Chinese consumers after an ad campaign called “Eating With Chopsticks.” In the spots, an Asian model clumsily used chopsticks to gulp down pizza and other Western foods. Chinese consumers found it insulting, and sales tanked. The company apologized.
After a closed-door presentation by recruiters in China went viral the next year, Christian Dior, which is owned by LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton, apologized. The presentation’s depiction of China removed Taiwan, which Beijing claims is an integral part of the nation.
When Chanel’s president, Bruno Pavlovsky, expressed support for Michel Gaubert, a French DJ who worked for Chanel and other luxury labels producing soundtracks for runway shows, the firm faced backlash. After sharing a video of a meal unconnected to Chanel in which attendees wore slant-eyed masks over their faces and screamed “Wuhan chicks!” the DJ was accused of racism in China. Mr. Gaubert expressed regret and denounced hate speech directed against Asians. Chanel also apologized and said that it opposes racism, although some Chinese observers regarded Chanel responsible as a result of its relationship with prejudice.
Chanel’s near-miss this month occurred as the company was preparing to launch Chanel No. 1, a new worldwide brand. Creams, serums, and lotions produced with red camellia extracts, including oil from the flower’s seeds, are included in the range. According to Chanel and Forest Cabin, the species possesses anti-aging qualities.
In 2020, Mr. Sun’s firm released its own skin-care line based on the same flower. Chanel, he said, was mimicking his strategy.
“‘I’ll continue with Chanel because they’re Chanel, not because they utilize camellias.’”
– A user on Weibo
Chanel has a long history with the white camellia, which was creator Coco Chanel’s favorite flower, but this is the first time the red variation has been utilized. Mr. Sun questioned the cultural authenticity of an Asian flower being used by a European company.
Mr. Sun said that Forest Cabin gathers red camellias in the highlands of Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces, giving its goods a unique local flavor.
Chanel began working on the red camellia line five years ago, before Forest Cabin introduced its red camellia items, according to a company spokesman. The flowers for Chanel are grown on a farm in southern France.
While some individuals online voiced support for Mr. Sun’s effort, many others mocked it.
One Weibo user said, “I can’t quit laughing.” “Are you suggesting they plagiarized a plant?” “Are there now folks that create peanut or sunflower oil knockoffs?” Chanel, which has a large Chinese fanbase, has also received support from certain social media users.
Beijing is beating back international criticism of its treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang with a propaganda push on Facebook, Twitter and the big screen. Here’s how China’s campaign against Western brands is aimed at audiences at home and abroad. Thomas Peter/Reuters/Thomas Peter/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters/Reuters (Video from 4/2/21)
“I’ll remain with Chanel,” one Weibo user commented, “not because they utilize camellias, but because they’re Chanel.” China’s state-run media, which often incites government or consumer resentment of international businesses, also chimed in. It sided with Chanel.
Mr. Sun’s remarks were described as “irrational grandstanding” by China Finance, a news site run by the State Council Communication Office, the government’s information agency. According to the report, his effort was “an attempt to convert a legitimate market rivalry into a reason for inciting nationalistic anxiety.”
—This paper was co-written by Qianwei Zhang.
Trefor Moss can be reached at [email protected]
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Chanel has been a leader in the fashion industry for decades. But, it seems that there is always someone trying to take their spot. This time, it was a Chinese competitor called “Ori”. The company tried to trigger a backlash against Chanel, but it backfired. Reference: chanel us.
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