May 27 2013 

Baidu, the Chinese search engine will be in France, June 27, to explain it all

Since 2009, Baidu is an essential pillar of China’s web. Until 2009, Baidu was largely outdistanced as search engine in China by Google who get around 80% of the search requests.. In june 2009, Google refused to obey  censorship by Chinese authorities, and exits the Chinese market by moving to Hong Kong. The following month, Baidu becomes the search engine of more than 80% of Chinese Internet users, for lack of anything better. Baidu gradually learns to cope with the demand of international brands such as French luxury brands, which enter the chinese market, and professionalizes its algorithms and its research processes and ad words.

Today, it’s inconceivable for a brand, having a Chinese website targeting the Popular China, not to be registered on Baidu. When it’s not the case, it’s like not existing on the Chinese web. However, it’s not an easy job to be well positioned on Baidu, because some of your distributors also have websites in Chinese with your name on it, competing with your name, without mentionning distributors of your counterfiets…who, them, will have the advantage to get a website with the .cn extension, as not necessarily you, or will be hosted in China and will appear in a better position than you Chinese website. Brand Key words are jammed in China, and it’s not easy to be recognized. On the other hand, it’s not easy to obtain a website in “.cn”. You need a company in China, and yet it’s not the case of companies being only distributed or franchised. Baidu is complicated and the chinese internet is a headache.

You will say “if it’s not easy to be the first, let’s buy adwords which Baidu must “. Well yes, Baidu does, but it’s extremely complicated to buy Baidu adwords from France, because it can’t be bought directly to Baidu, and there are few authorized agencies abroad. Sometimes there is just one agency per country, and one not necessary wants to work with this agency which can eventually be very costly for a small brand, or a company such as a castle from Bordeaux, or a small ready to wear brand. Now, this purchase of key words must be considered by each company operating in China physically and virtually, so how to do it when one’s a small player. And how to optimize if one’s is bigger…

This is what Baidu , will explain us,with top level executives including  Sino American internet golden boy Kaiser Kuo, and in the end a group of 6 people. Baidu accepts China Connect invitation that will provide a full day training session. A day to explain, train, and dialogue with the Chinese giant and other participating expert speakers to challenge to Baidu will be at  Chinaconnect InTheCity the whole 27 of June, at la Maison de la Chine, Place Saint Sulpice.

Sign up and meet Baidu, the errors on the Chinese internet are always much more expensive to fix than a training day…;-)

By Nathalie Omori. Filed under Media | Comment

Apr 29 2013 

A Franco-Chinese business club in Paris to meet the top Europe-based Chinese bosses

Last February, I discovered Harold Parisot’s Chinese Business club, where one can meet up with the European heads of the reputed Chinese companies such as ICBC bank, Huawei, Chinese credit card Union Pay and many others. You could see it as an offshoot to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce (would this organization exist in China, which is not the case).

The concept is based on a cocktail and business lunch at the Shangri-La Paris, once every quarter. The goal : hardcore networking. The stars: the top management of large up-and-coming Chinese corporations, Chinese and Hong Kong investment funds, French politicians (former minister Michele Alliot-Marie was there in December, finance minister Pierre Moscovici may come soon), and then French companies either in luxury or in heavy industry. The idea is to emphasise parity, with as many French as Chinese …

What’s in it for the luxury companies?

-        On the one hand, these top bosses are themselves rich and regularly host delegations of Chinese businessmen coming from the homeland. They are known as “great influencers”.

-        In addition, the quality of attendance and surroundings make this a “branded” event that some luxury companies already use to service their major Chinese VIPs visiting from China. It is always useful to introduce your Chinese VIPs to French politicians or renowned businessmen. The Chinese love this.

-        For those not yet established in China, it is also a good place to meet with investment funds  and discuss establishing a presence through joint ventures

-        Others will benefit from discussing Chinese strategy with native Chinese companies who are also subject to tough profitability objectives …

-        Finally, and most importantly, this is a great opportunity to make Guangxi, ie business relationships. The guanxis are give-and-take/win-win relationships between individuals which result from networking. Getting the right relationship at the right time, that’s the idea …

The Chinese Business Club was founded by real estate specialist Harold Parisot, who uses it as a service to his Chinese business customers. It is an astonishing economic model … which enabled Harold to introduce high level Chinese with high level French players.

If you think your company should be represented, please let us know, we can follow up  and defend your case with Harold Parisot.

By Nathalie Omori. Filed under HNWI, Tourism | 4 Comments

Mar 03 2013 

Christie’s China Head of Wine will speak at China Connect on March 28 and 29

Next China Connect seminar will welcome Simon Tam , Head of Wine for China at Christie’s, a character devoted to Luxury Goods, Wines, Art…

We offer you a preview of the coming discussion :

1. People living in the North of China don’t like Cognac, but they do in the South of China. Is it possible to establish an equivalent “simplistic typology” for Wine? Can you please provide some details?

We can’t make generalizing conclusions about regional differences because every individual wine buyer has his/her own tastes and opinions, and rightly so. There is one thing that most Chinese wine collectors share in common, though, and that is their keen focus on the quality of wine. Therefore Christie’s Wine department is dedicated in sourcing and providing top-notch wines for our Chinese buyers.

2. How do you establish contacts with HNWI in the “Lower Tiers”?

For Christie’s Wine, there is no “higher” or “lower” tiers of clients or consignors—we value all of them and make the best effort to provide them with top-quality service and wines.

As for establishing contacts, we are constantly creating opportunities to make new connections via our auctions, private sales, events and educational programs. And an array of our recent online initiatives has made it more effective for us to reach out to an even larger and more diverse group of wine lovers and collectors.

3. How do you compete with Chinese Auction Houses like China Guardian?

History proves that the market grows faster and larger when there are more players involved. So we welcome competition in the industry, and believe it is a positive development for the wine and auction market, as it brings more wine collectors and buyers into the arena.

In Asia, the wine auction market has evolved to become more sophisticated and selective as buyers become increasingly experienced and knowledgeable. Like collectors from other regions throughout Asia, Chinese collectors tend to respond to wines of rarity, appropriate pricing and provenance, and pass over bottles of lesser quality. So it’s not hard to imagine that they are particularly interested in seeking “best of the best” wines. This phenomenon can be attributed to a steady rise in global awareness and interest in wine and connoisseurship.  

By Nathalie Omori. Filed under Brand | Comment

Nov 30 2012 

Attracting High Net-Worth Chinese tourists to your Parisian point of sale.

Since the launch of visas for individuals (as opposed to groups) a year and a half ago, the pattern of Chinese tourist flows to France has changed considerably.

There are now approximately 5% of Chinese tourists travelling as individuals. This maybe be a small absolute number, but it is the « creme de la creme » of Chinese travellers. In a very short time, these individuals could be seen buying dozens of Patek Philippe or Breguet watches, pairs upon pairs of Roger Vivier shoes, and so much more … These 5% are like the Arab sheiks and their petrodollars, spending lavishly and hunting out the new, limited series or products not available in China.

How can you attract them?

There are a few venues in Paris specializing in premium luxury and caring for this type of VIP. But these require having exceptional products to offer. Another solution is to open a « weibo » – which may include an online appointment system – offering a direct channel to contact and prepare the tourist. This is an excellent way to gain visibility on the internet and to promote the Chinese appeal of one’s store. Indeed, in China there will be no Facebook, no YouTube, no Twitter (all of which are blocked by censorship), while Weibo offers the equivalent of Facebook and Twitter combined.

There is also the media.  

By Nathalie Omori. Filed under HNWI, Tourism | 1 Comment

Oct 27 2012 

Pairing Chinese Food and French Wine with Shangri-la Palace Paris Chef Franck Xu.

Food and wine pairings between our French wines and Chinese cuisine are a real challenge to overcome, especially for those wines that want to enter the Chinese market and maintain a sustainable position there.

Indeed, with the multitude of wines now available to the Chinese – Bordeaux, Burgundy, New World wines, Italian or Spanish wines, and now even good Chinese wines such as Silver Heights, it is very important to demonstrate that:
- the wine is suitable for Chinese cooking
- for each specific dish there is a specific wine. For the Chinese, the food is more important than the wine. It is therefore essential to take each classic Chinese dish and associate it with this or that specific wine reference, so that the wine itself becomes a classic « Chinese » reference. This is how the marketing process works.

Dim Sum Siu Mai with

Making good food and wine pairings is very complex and requires skills which are as hard to find in France as in China. Indeed, one must combine a good Chinese restaurant with a strong Chinese sommelier, who understands the tastes of the Chinese but also masters the large offering of French wines. While it is difficult to find a good Chinese restaurant in France, it is at least as difficult to find a Chinese sommelier who knows the intricacies of all our French « Grands Crus », and can distinguish between two Médoc or two Saint Emilion. Once the pairings are selected and prepared, it still takes a specialized photographer and food stylist to present the food.

Chateau Cheval Blanc 2006 and Peking Duck

We thought long and hard about the question. A comment often made by the winemakers: as we are expensive « Grands Crus », we are often associated with expensive dishes such as shark fin soup and other endangered animals. Yet, on the one hand, these dishes are not necessarily good, and on the other they are rare and expensive but appeal much more to notions of medecine than to the talent of a culinary Chef. This dish may bring happiness and a long life, that dish may guarantee sexual pleasure … Such types of pairing food and wines are limited to matching the price of wine and food, and have little concern for the quality of the gastronomy.

Beggar's chicken with Pichon Longueville le Baron 2000

In addition, we needed to decide whether the food and wine pairings should be made in China, or in France with Chinese cooks, even if it meant a lower quality cuisine. The issue was resolved by the Shangri La, which opened its Shang Palace restaurant in early 2012, with a real chef – Frank Xu of Shenzhen – who came to the restaurant with his Chinese brigades. At last, we had found a Chinese restaurant worthy of the name in Paris.

The Shangri la also provided us with extraordinary competence in the person of its sommelier Zi, who was trained in France with the greatest French wines, practices them daily thanks to the menus of the prize-winning Shangri-la restaurants, and has an instinctive knowledge of Chinese cuisine.
Finally, we called on photographer Yoshi Omori to magnify the work of the Sommelier and of the Chef through iconic photos of the dishes, assisted (with regards to food styling) by The Last Supper Club in the person of Theophile Playoust.

Braised lobster with Corton Charlemagne 2006

Here are some wine pairings to illustrate this article:

Dim Sum Siu Mai with Taittinger Cuvée Prestige

Peking Duck with Château Cheval Blanc 2006

Beggar’s Chicken with Pichon Longueville le Baron 2000

Braised Lobster with Corton Charlemagne

By Nathalie Omori. Filed under Brand | 1 Comment