Tesla China tripled its sales in 2016 to over $1 billion with over 11,000 deliveries and they continued their streak during the first quarter 2017 with a record quarter.
In order to support its growth, the company is expanding in the country with new Supercharger stations and new stores.
The automaker announced yesterday that it opened three new stores and completed the expansion of Asia’s largest Supercharger station over the last week alone.
They wrote in a press release (translated from Chinese):
“In the fourth year since our introduction in China, Tesla continues to strengthen its commitment to investing and expanding the service network and facilities in order to allow more Chinese customers to join us and to experience intelligent, convenient and environmentally friendly pure electric mobility.”
One of the new stores they opened last week is located at the ‘Galaxy COCO Park’ in Shezhen:
It’s the fourth store in the Shezhen region. They are also adding 3 more Supercharger stations around the city.
Finally, Tesla is also continuing its Supercharger expansion in the country.
Last month, the automaker announced a greater than anticipated expansion of its fast-charging network, which especially involves installing more charging stalls per station.
Tesla’s Supercharger stations had an average of 6 stalls per station and the biggest ones had between 8 and 12 stalls. A few had up to 20 stations, but now Tesla is planning stations with dozens of Superchargers – even some with between 50 and 100 stalls.
In China, they have 530 Superchargers at 110 different stations. Last week, Tesla expanded the Supercharger located in Beijing Huamao Center to 20 stalls – making it the largest in Asia.
It looks like China remains an important market for Tesla in the short-term, especially since the recent success that they have been having the country. In the long-term, it will likely involve local production, which has been rumored for years, and the introduction of the Model 3.
With bulging eyes and mouths agape, they were the very picture of new arrivals in a city they had underestimated. Buyers from a well-known Japanese department store stood waiting for a show to start at the latest edition of Shanghai Fashion Week. Still stunned from their encounter with a mob of ticket touts selling black market invitations outside, they appeared flummoxed but reflective.
“Power,” whispered one surprised retailer to her colleague. “That’s what it is. I couldn’t put my finger on it before, but now I get it. You can literally feel the power in the atmosphere here.”
Surveying the scene at the lively venue in the heart of China’s commercial capital, the Japanese buyer declined to share her name but she was clearly captivated by what she saw as Shanghai’s ambitious march on her hometown of Tokyo. And faintly protective too.
After listing off Japan’s many strengths — its long legacy of producing master fashion designers, unrivalled street style, sophisticated consumers and cutting edge apparel industry — she stopped abruptly mid-sentence.
“Wait, do you mean Tokyo as an international hub? Like, Asia’s fashion business capital? Hmmm, that’s tricky,” she paused, turning in vain to her colleague for some reassurance. “We won’t lose that chance to Shanghai — will we?”
While Tokyo’s fashion scene is incredibly vibrant, diverse and influential, it is also insular and conservative when it comes to the way the industry operates. Shanghai, on the other hand, is in its honeymoon period with the global fashion industry. Bounding full-throttle ahead, the city’s fashion leaders seem happy to experiment at every juncture — and supremely unfazed when things go a bit wrong.
“People here have a can-do attitude which means things can be surprisingly efficient even though they’re sometimes guilty of being inconsistent or even chaotic,” says Shaway Yeh, group style editorial director at Modern Media. “Anyway, Shanghai has the weight of China behind it. It’s that simple. That’s precisely why Hong Kong and Singapore are not in the running as Asian fashion capital.”
Confident in its position as the gateway to Asia’s powerhouse economy and the region’s largest consumer market, Shanghai Fashion Week is now able to attract niche and contemporary brands to China from around the world. And those most eager to join the event’s 25,000 square metres of selling space often hail from other Asian nations.
Beacon for Asia and broker for China
As vice secretary-general, Lv Xiaolei is the power broker behind Shanghai Fashion Week. “Madame Lu,” as she is deferentially called by almost everyone in the city, chooses her words very carefully — especially when talking about competitors in Asia.
“Well, South Korea’s institutions are willing to promote their local brands in China,” she offers, keen to focus on the relatively new and still fragile spirit of cooperation with her Asian counterparts. “And Masahiko Miyake, chairman of the Japan Fashion Week Organisation, he came to us during this Shanghai Fashion Week to sign a strategic partnership with us too. We’ve been talking for a while, you know. From rivals to friends.”
When asked directly what her ambition is for Shanghai Fashion Week in the Asian context, Madame Lu spends a long time ruminating, responding obliquely and changing the subject before she finally concedes: “OK, we’re trying to build the most influential fashion trade platform in Asia,” she sighs. “Is that ambition enough?”
Without doubt, Shanghai Fashion Week is a work in progress and has much to prove. It may lack the rigour of Tokyo and the pizzazz of Seoul but, make no mistake, it overshadows them both in terms of chutzpah. If for no other reason than the strength and scale of its market, China is in a league of its own. Not even India, with its own vast fashion industry in Delhi and Mumbai, comes close. No wonder Shanghai’s fledgling designers can seem so dangerously overconfident.
“I think sooner or later Shanghai will become the top fashion week in the Asian-Pacific region and I think eventually even Europe will need to buckle up,” says Moto Guo, the Malaysian designer shortlisted for last year’s LVMH Prize.
“Everybody’s working hard to break the Shanghai market. But even so, I was surprised to learn we had almost nine or 10 young brands from Malaysia participating at Shanghai Fashion Week this time.”
The Autumn/Winter 2017-18 collection was Guo’s second selling season at The Tube, a tightly curated Shanghai showroom founded by Zemira Xu who has developed a knack for spotting some of China’s more progressive designer talent such as Xiao Li and Xu Zhi.
“The whole industry here is moving so fast,” Guo continues. “It’s so competitive and so aggressive. But at the same time, people here are getting more and more open-minded. They’re willing to listen to young voices and even spend money to buy our work, which is definitely a great advantage for us as a young label.”
China’s mainstream brands like Reineren and young designer “repats” like Shushu/Tong, Deepmoss and Andrea Jiapei Li may dominate the runways here, but stroll through any of the official trade shows hosted by Shanghai Fashion Week and you can hear dozens of foreign languages spoken by designers, sales agents, showroom reps, and distributors manning the exhibitor booths.
Shanghai Fashion Week’s sales floors have become so international, in fact, that brands from abroad now outnumber those from China at the four official trade shows. A tally of the brands at Mode, Ontimeshow, Showroom Shanghai and Dadashow revealed that international brands make up 58 percent of the 1,000-plus brands exhibiting this season. Just under half of those are from other Asian countries.
The World Book Fair 2017 attracted greater a footfall this year as people from all walks of life attended it in New Delhi, India. Writers and publishers from around the world are participating in the event. The fair has also witnessed new and emerging publishers and writers from South Asian countries. Nepal is a land of vibrant culture. The literary scene in the country is highly celebrated as Nepalese literature has flourished, soaking in all the diversity and vibrancy of the nation.
Yuyutsu Sharma writer and publisher from Nepal said “I am representing Nepal and we have brought over 100 books here. Various genres in culture, art, history and ethnography can be found in our collection. Nepal is a very vibrant place and there are over 80 book stores in Kathmandu itself. Book culture is huge in Nepal, so probably that’s why e-books and the internet are not affecting this culture as much as it has in the Western world”
Due to the advent of new media technologies, the habit of book reading has declined over years. Youngsters prefer to read from Kindle devices, tablets and consume online content in comparison to book reading. But in some south Asian countries like Nepal, books are equivalent with traditional values as people read them to each other and so their value is never going to fade.
“I don’t think that book culture is going to fade because in Nepal we have a big oral tradition in which people recite poetry or read books to others and it’s a century-old practice. And because of all these social networking sites and internet services like Amazon etc., we can spread the word about our books, events etc. so I think it is actually complementing it in a way” Sharma described. South Asia is known for its varied ethnicity, history, indigenous democracy and culture. In few places like Bangladesh, however, freedom of writers is restricted.
Sri Lanka is known as the land of multiple languages, castes, ethnicities and culture has emerged as one of the countries where writers and publishers are very independent in terms of expressing their views. A renowned writer and publisher from Sri Lanka, Vijitha Yapa, expressed his opinion regarding the freedom of writers in South Asia. Vijitha Yapa the former president, Sri Lanka book publishers association said “I think everybody should have the freedom to write. I myself am the founder editor of three national newspapers in the country so I also feel that freedom of expression is a very important thing.
I think some countries where there are problems and especially when it comes to political problems, because politicians are a very sensitive crowd, they don’t like criticism and want everybody to show how great they are. So, if something is written about them which they don’t like, then problems arise. Other than that, I think that freedom of expression is advancing in south Asia”. Along with the courtiers of Nepal and Sri Lanka, Pakistan too participated in the World Book Fair under the publishing banner of Manshurat, which operates from Lahore and have branches in India and other Asian countries. Books in English and Urdu languages were available in the stall in a wide variety of genres.