Shopee announces M2030 partnership and pledges commitment to defeat Malaria in the region
 
May 10, 2018
Category:

Thailand, 9 May 2018 - Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, announced its commitment to help defeat malaria in the region as part of a long-term partnership with M2030, a brand created by Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA), and supported by the Global Fund. M2030 brings consumers and companies together in a mission to end malaria in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and in Indonesia by 2030. In support of this cause, Shopee will spearhead a series of campaigns and activations in the coming months. Other M2030 partners include the Tahir Foundation, DT Families Foundation, Yoma and the Dentsu Aegis Network.

Malaria is the world’s oldest and deadliest disease, taking nearly half a million lives every year, of which are mostly children under the age of five and pregnant women. Chris Feng, Chief Executive Officer of Shopee, said, "We are happy to be coming onboard as one of M2030’s pioneer brand partners in support of their mission to eliminate malaria in the Asia Pacific region by 2030. This issue strikes close to home, and as a company that is committed to using technology to improve the lives of consumers across the region, we are determined to play our part to help drive awareness and raise funds to support the elimination of malaria. We hope that all Shopee users can join us in supporting this cause.”

M2030 made its official launch announcement at an international Malaria Summit on 18 April in London, jointly hosted by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Summit brought together major public, private and multi-sector entities announcing their commitments and plans to accelerate the fight against malaria. The summit saw around 700 participants in attendance, including Zhou Junjie, Chief Commercial Officer of Shopee, and keynote addresses from Bill Gates; Hon Penny Mordaunt, UK Secretary of State for International Development; Hon. Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia and other global leaders from the public and private sectors. During the launch conference, M2030 shared its commitment to work closely with its partners to drive awareness across the region and raise USD 5 million by 2020.

"Malaria used to impact millions of lives in Asia-Pacific. However, through smart investments and effective tools, we have halved the number of malaria cases and deaths over the past 15 years,” said Patrik Silborn, co-founder of M2030 and Senior Director Resource Mobilization at APLMA. “Now, for the first time ever, we’re bringing together businesses and consumers in Asia to defeat malaria in the region.”

“We’re delighted to have Shopee come onboard as one of our pioneer brand partners for this cause,” he added. “With Shopee’s extensive reach of over 115 million users across the region, we are confident that together we can make a positive difference.”

For more information, visit -https://shopee.co.th/M2030DefeatingMalaria
Visit the M2030 official website at -https://m2030.org/

About Shopee

Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It is a platform tailored for the region, providing customers with an easy, secure and fast online shopping experience through strong payment and logistical support. Shopee aims to continually enhance its platform and become the region’s e-commerce destination of choice.

Shopee has a wide selection of product categories ranging from consumer electronics to home & living, health & beauty, baby & toys, fashion and fitness equipment.

Shopee, a Sea company, was first launched in Singapore in 2015, and has since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Sea is a leader in digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services across Greater Southeast Asia. Sea's mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology, and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol SE.

For more information, please contact:

Shopee (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Vararat Chevavichavankul
Shopee Thailand
093-956-5563
au.chevavichavankul@shopee.com

Kanokwan Akkaranukul
Shopee Thailand
089-453-5630
katook.akkaranukul@shopee.com

Sikkhawan Chotpradit
Shopee Thailand
087-390-2159
gift.chotpradit@shopp.com
Triple Eight Ideas Co., Ltd

Kanokporn Yaovapongaree (O)
061-942-3635
kanokporn@888ideas.com

Natiprada Kaewmanee (Noon)
092-636-6516
natiprada888ideas.com

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Not afraid of no mosquito
 
May 04, 2018
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While most of us are trying our hardest to avoid the dreaded mosquito, Associate Professor Lok Shee Mei from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School runs right towards them.

The dengue virus expert’s interest lies in studying the structural changes the virus particles undergo when infecting cells to aid in the design and delivery of targeted vaccines and therapeutics.

“I have enjoyed science for as long as I can remember. I was always in awe when people made breaking discoveries or pioneered exciting technologies,” said Assoc Prof Lok, who holds a joint appointment at NUS Biological Sciences.

However, its applications in the real world were not always as apparent to her from reading textbooks as a young girl. Hence, she made the decision to sign up for a biotechnology course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic after graduating from secondary school.

This proved to be the right step. It was not long before Assoc Prof Lok discovered the social benefits her research could provide — the dengue virus infects approximately 100 million people each year and with increased travel and climate change, there is an urgent need to develop safe and effective therapeutics and vaccines — and if her curiosity for science, particularly small flying insects, had been ignited earlier, now it burned brightly.

Her dedication to her work could not have been more evident than when she made the difficult decision to pursue her postdoctoral training at Purdue University in US, while her husband and young daughter remained in Singapore.

“I was torn between pursuing my research interest in the US and staying with my family in Singapore. It was a very difficult decision but I knew that this postdoctoral training opportunity in a very well-known laboratory would enhance my skills and help in my future career. I decided to take the plunge. I missed my family every day; it was the driving force for me to complete my training and to learn as much as possible in the shortest possible time,” shared Assoc Prof Lok, who also holds a PhD in X-ray crystallography from NUS.

She returned to Singapore in 2009, eager to start work on the next breakthrough, all while juggling the demands of raising a young family of her own.

I have enjoyed science for as long as I can remember. I was always in awe when people made breaking discoveries or pioneered exciting technologies.

In 2015, Assoc Prof Lok read about the Zika virus — a similar but more stable mosquito-borne virus — and its connections to microcephaly and thought she could contribute to understanding and tackling the disease. Importing the virus from the US and examining it under cryo-electron microscopy, her team raced against the clock to identify sites on the particle that provide the stability of the Zika virus. Disrupting these sites through the use of antibodies or drugs can help to weaken the virus and limit its spread.

The hard work paid off. The team made history as one of the first in the world to image the Zika virus, their findings published in the prestigious international journal Nature in April 2016, barely four months after receiving the virus samples.

Assoc Prof Lok hopes to investigate other important pathogens such as the chikungunya and hepatitis C viruses in the future.

Touted as “one of the most outstanding scientists in Singapore”, Assoc Prof Lok has been fascinated with science for as long as she can remember

Though the self-professed science geek initially faced some resistance breaking into the field, it was not long before the international scientific community sat up and took notice. In 2013, she was presented with the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Alumni Award for making a difference in science and technology. By 2016, she was featured as one of Asian Scientist’s “7 Scientists from Singapore to watch” and “one of the most outstanding scientists in Singapore” by the National Research Foundation. Today her laboratory is recognised as one of the leaders in the field of emerging infectious diseases.

The accolades motivate Assoc Prof Lok and her team to push themselves further. However, when asked what really makes her proud, she humbly answers that it is when her students are excited about their work and start teaching her things instead.

“The beauty of doing research is that each day is different and can unearth many surprises!” she enthused.

When she is not figuring out what makes insects tick, Assoc Prof Lok spends her hours reading, hiking with friends and family and whipping up a storm in the kitchen.

Optimistic about the changing nature of women in science, Assoc Prof Lok thinks that more women are steadily joining Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields but that it may take some time for them to reach the pinnacle of the hierarchy. “I believe in future there will be more women at the top. We just need to keep our eyes on the target,” she said confidently.

This is the second of a new five-part series by NUS News profiling some of the University’s prominent females making waves in STEM.

SOURCE / National University of Singapore

 
 
Five Tech-Driven Consumer Trends Reshaping Commerce
 
Apr 30, 2018
Category:

29 April 2018 – Rapid advances in mobile technology and Internet accessibility are revolutionising shoppers’ behaviour at a breathtaking pace, with digital-savvy consumers driving fundamental change in businesses and the market. Five key relevant trends and the need for commerce to keep up with them to stay relevant were underlined at a 27 April seminar themed “Top 5 Global Digital Consumer Trends in 2018”, held during the 33rd HKTDC Hong Gifts & Premium Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The seminar was presented by Michelle Evans, Global Head of Digital Consumer Research, Euromonitor International, the world leader in global strategic research for consumer markets.

As the overseer of Euromonitor’s research on today’s digital consumers, she noted there are now 3.6 billion global Internet users, or half of the world’s population, with 53 per cent saying they would be lost without the Internet – a clear indication of “the Internet getting more and more entwined in our daily lives.”

Ms Evans defined three “Internet megatrends” that directly affect commerce: ‘Connected Consumers’, namely tech-savvy shoppers; ‘Shopping Reinvented’, the trend towards seamless shopping by smartphone; and ‘Experience More’, reflected by today’s consumers spending more on experiences than ‘things’.

Technology serves as an enabler of all these megatrends, she said, with 28 per cent of Connected Consumers using a phone to compare prices in shops on a weekly basis.

Ms Evan went on to identify five key trends on how technological advances are reshaping the way consumers shop and spend.

Trend 1: Digital life converges in super apps

The first of these trends is the so called ‘super apps’ – multi-functional, all-in-one apps such as China’s WeChat, combining almost every aspect of a consumer’s world from utilities, lifestyle and finances to shopping and communication into a single mobile platform.

“WeChat is this revolution’s posterchild, giving the world a preview of where the Internet is going,” said Ms Evans.

In the meantime, Western tech titans including Alphabet, Apple and Facebook are “tiptoeing into the area”, with Facebook the closest, she said.

China’s leadership is understandable, she noted, given the world’s most populous nation dominates mobile Internet subscriptions with more than 1.1 billion, approximately three times the number in the United States. With China’s “mobile first mentality”, WeChat is also the top social platform globally, with more than a billion users.

“Old habits die hard in the US, with an established way of doing things,” she said, “while Asia-Pacific consumers have embraced all-in-one super apps, because they offer a cohesive experience.” The implications for businesses is that a “new breed of competitors is emerging”, responsive to evolving consumer expectations.

Trend 2: Data as the new currency

There is a clear reason why tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, along with Chinese counterparts such as Alibaba and Tencent, are valued highest in the world, said Ms Evans – because they possess the most data.

This means they can craft individually tailored experiences for consumers, in high demand because today’s consumers all “want to be seen as distinct from one another, and desire unique experiences and individually-tailored stories”, said Ms Evans, adding this is the second digital-age consumer trend.

Artificial Intelligence can greatly empower this personal touch, illustrated by Netflix recommending films or TV series based on what a viewer has recently watched; or Amazon recommending similar books, she explained.

On the flip side, she said “data privacy issues continue to plague data uptake”, with Facebook hitting the headlines and 50 per cent of consumers considering target ads an invasion of privacy. Empowerment is now shifting to consumers, she noted, as the European Union’s “sweeping new privacy laws” threaten fines of four per cent of global revenue, or €20 million, for infringement. “Even companies exporting to Europe can be at risk,” she cautioned.

Trend 3: Keeping the tab open

The new digital era is also boosting the business model of subscription purchasing, said Ms Evans. While baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Z have been wary of subscriptions, 50 per cent of Millennials are now embracing it – most notably for entertainment, such as movie streaming and gaming. This is another new trend, noted Ms Evans.

The boom in subscriptions like Netflix is now spreading to food and beauty. “Subscription is reinventing consumption,” she said. The day is coming when Artificial Intelligence in the forthcoming Internet of Things era will predict when we are running out of detergent, for example, based on past purchasing pattern, and know when we need to replenish.

But again, there is a flip side. “Machine-led commerce will re-define what brand loyalty means,” she cautioned. “By signing-up to automated orders, such as detergent, subscription locks-out other players, now left on the outside looking in. So it’s a bit frightening.”

Trend 4: Mobile wallets going global

Another consumer trend is the use of the mobile wallet, said Ms Evans. Consumers are in motion, traveling more than ever before, with China a major driver of growth as the world’s fastest-growing travel market – predicted to take 225 million international trips by 2030. Since they expect the same payment convenience wherever they go, the playbook of card networks opens for “global expansion, strengthening the upward trend of digital payments”, said Ms Evans.

Most prominently, Alipay, the mobile-based payment tool of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, is “moving west as Chinese spending power grows”, forging global partnerships to make spending easier on the go. Already supporting payments in 27 currencies across 30 countries, Alipay has even extended as far as Los Angeles taxis.

As such, Euromonitor expects US$3 trillion in payments expected to be made via mobile device by 2022, with China reaching US$2.1 trillion and the US accounting for US$1.6 million, together contributing to 75 per cent of the market. “Mobile payments are a big space to watch,” she said.

Trend 5: Outlets will get their tech injection

Despite the growth in e-commerce, physical outlets – such as shops, stores, restaurants and entertainment venues – will always “remain a critical part of the consumer journey”, said Ms Evans. “But digital is changing a number of competitive realities,” she said, as the trend moves towards outlets utilising various technologies to “reimagine the experience”.

Ms Evans predicted more and more near-field communication (NFC) tags, 3D imaging and virtual and augmented realities in retail outlets, noting that Britain’s Thomas Cook travel agency now enables customers a sneak preview of where they can book holidays with VR headsets. Tottenham Hotspur football club is this year opening a new state-of-the-art stadium promising the “ultimate game day experience”, complete with mobile entry and sales. Self-service pubs are pouring craft beer on tap via mobile, with waiting staff no longer present to serve, but mostly to provide IT tech support.

“Technology is re-inventing the way commerce is unfolding,” Ms Evans added. “Outlets are getting a tech injection, leveraging a plethora of technology re-imagining new spaces. It’s important that business and commerce keeps up with these trends to stay relevant in the future.”

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Singapore Equity Crowdfunding Platform FundedHere Raises Capital for F&B Mobile Ordering and Payments App Waitrr
 
JCN Newswire
Apr 18, 2018
Category:

SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - Local crowdfunding platform FundedHere has raised a significant amount of capital for homegrown Waitrr - a first-of-its-kind 'mobile waiter' app which automates food orders to eliminate users' wait times when dining in restaurants or ordering takeaway food - in an oversubscribed 30-day campaign that surpassed its initial target.

Waitrr's campaign was funded by 12 registered FundedHere investors including reputable Singaporean investors Andy Lim, Founder and Chairman of private equity firm Tembusu Partners, and Steve Kek, CEO of OMG Venture. It is FundedHere's third oversubscribed campaign in recent months, following the platform's raise of S$516,000 for medtech start-up AEvice Health and S$300,000 for clean tech start-up EcoWorth Tech end-2017.

Waitrr speeds up services in restaurants across Singapore by letting diners order food and make instant payments on their smartphone devices. The app contains the full menu of its onboarded restaurants and orders on the app go directly to the kitchen. Staff can focus on preparing and serving dishes to customers instead of taking orders and fetching bills, effectively reducing manual error and slashing processing times. Waitrr also offers a takeaway option for many restaurants - a favourite feature particularly during lunch peaks. Users order and pay for their desired meal whilst still in the office and just pick it up by the time they reach their desired restaurant without the need to queue.

The app was conceptualised by Tim Wekezer for the 2015 INSEAD Venture Competition, where it won first place. It was registered as a company that same year and has since experienced consistent growth. It now boasts a user base of 15,000 customers and 110 restaurants.

Commenting on the campaign, Mr. Wekezer, Founder and CEO of Waitrr, said: "We are thankful for the enthusiasm and support of the community at FundedHere, which both validates our business model and proves that we are on the right track with our product. We will put these investments to good use in our journey to improve restaurant service and create seamless dining experiences for all."

Waitrr will use the funds from the campaign to ramp up end-user acquisition and promotions, develop new features and expand its business beyond Singapore. The company's future plans include leveraging synergies with sectors such as food delivery, e-payments, marketing, tourism and hospitality. Waitrr aims to become Asia's leading F&B mobile payments processor, as well as the industry's preferred point of reference for consumer data.

Mr. Daniel Lin, Co-Founder and Executive Director of FundedHere, said: "Our team's mission is to provide investors in Singapore with opportunities to grow disruptive start-ups in need of alternative funding. We are pleased to have provided Waitrr a platform to reach out to the investor community and very much look forward to its next chapter of growth."

Launched in March 2015, FundedHere is Singapore's first equity and debt-based crowdfunding platform. It obtained its Capital Market Services License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in March 2016. Including Waitrr, it has helped 19 companies raise S$8.1 million in funding to date.

About Waitrr

Waitrr is a mobile ordering and payments solution that aims to create a seamless dining experience for our users and restaurant partners. Users can choose from a variety of over 110 F&B outlets across Singapore and order dine-in or takeaway food. Waitrr enables users to select, order and pay for their food in one go. For more information, visit:https://waitrr.com

About FundedHere

Launched in March 2015, FundedHere is a Singapore-headquartered equity- and lending- based crowdfunding platform targeting startups in Southeast Asia. In March 2016, it obtained its Capital Market Services License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, permitting it to issue shares. To date, FundedHere has raised over S$8 million through 19 campaigns. For more information, visit:www.fundedhere.com

Media Contact
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Tel: +65 6737 4844 | Fax: +65 6737 4944
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Roshan Singh (roshansingh@wer1.net)

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The Impact of Internet on E-Commerce Market
 
Apr 16, 2018
Category:

Internet- the most transforming invention in human history, the most dynamic fragment of technology, evolving ever so rapidly that it has come down to the irony that we humans are catching up with the internet rather than it catching up with us. The advent of technology has opened many doors for us in all spheres. Today even imagining a day without smartphones may crank up our routines. The internet has seeped into our lives to such an extent that now its impact is almost non-reversible.

One hardly can be a part of tech-dominated society without connectivity. Today, everything from grocery shopping to car cleaning has a dedicated online store. Therefore, it is imperative for the enterprises to reach out to millions by connecting with them through the internet.

Internet- The driving force behind E-commerce

The truth of the matter is, Internet sells fast. Selling through websites is the fastest growing method of trading worldwide. There are two main forms of e-commerce:

• Business to business (B2B) trading where companies trade and exchange information using the World Wide Web.

• Business to consumer (B2C) trading where companies deal directly with customers through web pages, and ordering is carried out online.

There are many different types of products and services that are traded on line including books, CDs, holidays, and insurance.

Nowadays, the consumers can purchase goods online too, basically a business to consumer transactions where a consumer can select the product online and order it, the company will deliver it at his/her residence. Everything is done and controlled by the internet.

Expansion of E-commerce through internet

Thanks to the mid-2000 internet boom for online shopping, online trading, businesses online, etc., e-commerce has flourished and spread like wildfire. Now the net has become an indispensable part of the structure of a business. Before the advent of internet, a business model was geographically constrained by the limits of the area of the business. Everything, from socializing to grocery stores and stock markets, has been e-zoned. Ever since the hit of internet, the business has turned into e-commerce, thus opening itself to millions of customers that it could previously not reach out to before.

Internet Generating Employment through E-commerce

The Internet accounts for a significant portion of global GDP. The consumption and expenditure related to internet alone can be comparable to that of agriculture or energy sector.

Being a vast mosaic of economic activity, the internet regularly hosts millions of daily online transactions and communications. Because of this, it generates direct and indirect employment on a daily basis. Millions of people are getting gainfully employed in skilled and semi- skilled jobs through the internet whether it is for programmers or website developers, or freelance writers. The advantage to internet is that it gives the comfort of switching your work space as well; one can work from home too if one wants. Which is a great benefit for new mothers, or disabled persons or people who prefer working in the comfort of their homes.

Results in Cheaper and Better Quality Products and Services

Internet is such a boon in our lives. Indeed, the world has become one tiny global village and this has also resulted in a massive customer base for e-commerce websites. With every website and online store competing against one another for monopolising over the sector, the competition just gets tougher for them. The customers are the real winners in this situation. In a bid to win, these stores work on different strategies like enhancing the quality of products and services, slashing prices, bringing out lucrative offers and schemes for long term investments, etc. At the end of the day, it’s a win-win for the customers as they get massive discounts of products and services. It is the time for customers to make the most of this and shop smartly. There are several websites like Zoutons which offer coupons for other e-commerce websites. One should make use of such coupons to get the best deal possible.

Making Shopping Easier for the Customer

Consumers of today have more places and ways to shop than ever. They are not just limited to their local markets. Today, they can shop, sitting in India, from any store around the world. The e-commerce websites have made things as easy as they can be. Door to Door delivery, customer reviews and added information about the products, multiple payment options, reliable customer services to name a few. E-commerce websites are actually investing in providing comfort to their buyers and giving them the most convenient and relaxed experience, as when the prices cut down on products everywhere, this is many a times, what it comes down to- giving customers a satisfactory experience.

Mobility Emerged as a New Driver of E-commerce

With the increase in numbers it is clearly evident that mobile phones lead the E-commerce market it is crucial for the enterprises to up their game and be a part of the mobile phones to reach bigger numbers in terms of their sales. In this era of smartphone technology and growth in mobile internet traffic, a significant impact can be witnessed in e-commerce sector too. Mobile phone users are slowly moving from desktop version to mobile app usage and this is evident with the changing traffic to few top e-commerce stores in India. 44% of the Amazon traffic is coming through mobile devices as per 2016 Recode statistics. At this time, one can only switch up their game and join the app frenzy.

E-commerce has made huge impact on business culture. Customer can shop online in privacy of their own houses. This has also strengthened small businesses to be completely online or modify their marketing strategies. With the advent of the internet technology, E-commerce has been affected in all spheres, be it retailer picture, or products and services quality or promotions and schemes. Costumer’s approach to spending money and purchasing has also been permanently altered. It is undeniable that this is all to stay and that the dynamic trends on internet will continue to pressure companies to change their marketing strategies.

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

 
 
PCHi Cements its Status as a Choice Global Sourcing Platform in China
 
Apr 15, 2018
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Beijing, 9 April 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Personal Care and Homecare Ingredients (PCHi) concluded its 11th edition on a high note in Shanghai, cementing its status as a choice sourcing platform for the global personal care industry.

Held from 19 to 21 March 2018 at the Shanghai World EXPO Exhibition and Convention Center (SWEECC), PCHi 2018 attracted 21,856 trade professionals (15% increase over 18,972 visitors in 2017) to discover remarkable innovations presented by 544 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions. The event also enabled trade visitors to learn from over 120 world-class industry experts, who shared profound insights on the latest technologies, rules and regulations, packaging, and market trends at the PCHi Conference.

Statista[1] reported that the expected revenue from China’s Cosmetics and Personal Care market will amount to over US$39 billion in 2018, and it is expected to grow annually by 6.5 % (CAGR 2018-2021). The potential of China’s cosmetics and personal care industry remains positive and this healthy potential further underscores the growing importance of the country’s market within the global personal care industry.

“PCHi’s growth — whether in size, attendance, or quality — reflects its firm presence in the global personal care industry,” revealed Joe ZHOU, Vice President/CFO at RSE. “The event’s popularity is representative of China's rapidly developing cosmetics ingredients industry. And as the first major event of the calendar year, we’re honored to set the pace of business innovation for the rest of the year. We look forward to working with even more international industry players to boost not only the domestic market, but the larger global personal care scene as well.”

Quality Exchange Platform

Over the three-day event, attendees had the opportunity to explore the best ingredients, machinery, packaging, and related services that the global personal care industry had to offer. Both exhibitors and attendees walked away satisfied with the quality of the connections forged and content offered.

Returning exhibitor, ZHANG Lei, Chairman of Dauni Research Center of Advanced Science & Technology Co., Ltd (China), shared, “Having attended the last seven consecutive PCHi events, I can personally attest to the fact that the show has improved in quality all around, and I believe it has reached the next level of development. Increasingly, we see more established brands participating, and we’re meeting quality visitors here. In fact, most of our renowned customers send their C-suite executives to PCHi, which is an indication of the show’s success.”

PCHi’s burgeoning importance as a choice sourcing platform for the global personal care industry was also evident in the growing representation of international exhibitors and attendees.

“It’s our second time participating in PCHi and we’re really satisfied with the results,” commented John ROBB, Director of Paradis Floras Pty Ltd (Australia). “We made sure to present our brand’s natural extracts in a creative and fresh way, and those efforts have paid off. It drew the visitors in and we met people from all over the world, including Libya, Bulgaria, South Africa, UK, USA, Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia, amongst others.”

First-time exhibitor, Barbara M. OBERMAYER, Head of RAHN Cosmetic Actives of RAHN AG (Switzerland), said, “Our decision to exhibit was largely driven by the fact that our company had been expanding quickly in China in recent years. This is an important show for us as it helps us grow our domestic customer base, and we will likely be back again next year.”

The PCHi Conference also received glowing feedback from attendees. This year, several new topics were added in response to the latest developments in the market. Attendees reflected that the topics offered accurately captured the needs of the industry, and the sizable turnout was evidence of RSE’s sensitivity to industry trends.

Commenting on her time at the PCHi conference this year, XUE Meng Ying, Director of Hangzhou YingBao Bioscience, shared, “We opted to attend the dermo-cosmetics set of topics at this year’s PCHi Conference, and enjoyed the targeted and relevant content that was presented. The speakers shared really insightful knowledge, and we’re happy with what we gained here today.”

The PCHi Fountain Awards Ceremony, held on 19 March, saw representatives of participating exhibitors and industry associations, as well as VIPs, join in the recognition of the innovation-led developments in the industry over the past year.

This year, RSE received over 100 entries from companies who hoped that their leading-edge developments would receive a nod from the Fountain Awards judging panel. The jurors consist of experts from nine authoritative organizations, prestigious universities, and companies, including International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC), China Food & Drug Administration (CFDA) Cosmetics Standard Expert Committee, China Association of Fragrance Flavour and Cosmetic Industries (CAFFCI), Beijing Technology and Business University, and Shiseido etc. Winners across the categories shared strong sentiments of appreciation and renewed determination to continue in their endeavors towards innovation.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Li Huiliang, Chairman, Cosmetics Science and Technology Innovation Committee, explained, “What sets the Fountain Awards apart is the fact that it is a non-commercial award. That is to say, in the selection process, we select candidates from an extensive range of nominations, and then carefully review each company’s submission and accompanying materials. All our experts on the judging panel independently assess and review the information before coming to a decision. Also, in order to ensure fairness, openness, and full transparency, we chose to withhold the identities of our judging panel throughout the review process, and only revealed these details at the awards ceremony.”

Rejuvenated & Poised for the Journey Ahead

Throughout the venue, RSE prominently communicated three key factors that contributed to the favorable reception PCHi had enjoyed over the last decade.

• PCHi Secret underlines the secret of PCHi’s success and growth since its inception — the latest cutting-edge products and technologies, which never fail to inspire and spur the industry to continue its endeavors to create and innovate. Apart from booths, the New Technology Session and New Product Showcase are two characteristic platforms that PCHi offers to feature such products and technologies.

• PCHi Power refers to the power of PCHi, supported by a panel of authoritative industry experts who share their combined wealth of knowledge and expertise to quench the industry’s thirst to learn. This makes PCHi the choice platform not only for sourcing, but also for knowledge exchange. The solid content delivered by the prolific panel of speakers at the PCHi Conference is a vital part of PCHi’s power-packed offering at each edition.

• PCHi Spirit highlights the spirit of innovation and the quest for excellence and quality, which PCHi desires to imbue in its attendees. This is undergirded by the industry-acclaimed Fountain Awards, which celebrates significant contributions that companies and individuals have made to the personal care industry through their innovations.

Peter LIU, PCHi Project Manager at RSE, shared, “Staying true to its roots is something that RSE firmly believes in, and with the rapid developments in the industry, these core values have become extremely crucial in helping us create and maintain a high-quality event for our valued exhibitors and visitors.”

Going Forward

This successful conclusion of the 11th PCHi also signals the return of the PCHi Technology Summit, which will be held in Guangzhou, China, in Autumn this year. The second edition of the summit aims to provide trade professionals with a specialized platform for key discussions on market trends and issues. The summit also offers deeper insights to domestic market status, industry trends, and technical insights, and promotes closer collaborations within the industry.

With the advent of a new decade in the personal care industry, RSE is expanding its portfolio through a new partnership with the China Cleaning Industry Association (CCIA), to co-organize two events — China International Cleanser Ingredients, Machinery & Packaging Expo (CIMP) and Clean China — later this year. The co-located shows for the home care industry will be held from 20 to 22 November 2018 at Zhuhai International Convention & Exhibition Center.

ZHOU concludes, “By spurring companies towards a greater emphasis on R&D and cutting-edge technologies, PCHi aspires to create a positive impact in propelling the industry forward. We’ll continue to work towards inculcating a stronger spirit of innovation and excellence through a myriad of professional trade platforms.”

The 12th edition of PCHi will be held from 26 to 28 February 2019 at the Guangzhou Poly World Trade Center, China.

For more information, please visitwww.pchi-china.com/en, or connect with PCHi on social media.

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About PCHi

The Personal Care and Homecare Ingredients (PCHi) trade show is China's #1 Sourcing Platform for the Global Personal Care Industry. As an innovation-led event, PCHi provides cosmetics, home and personal care manufacturers, ingredients suppliers, cosmetics packaging, machinery and product testing providers from all over the world with a quality platform for ingredients sourcing, gaining insight into global trends, and networking with world-class experts.

Editorial Contact
Ms Gena Ang 洪贞贞 | e: gena@redbugpr.com | t: +65 6222 7376

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More than 1,200 Marketers Converge Upon Inaugural MarketingPulse
 
Mar 22, 2018
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22 March 2018 – MarketingPulse, Asia’s premier conference for marketers and brands debuted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), was held yesterday (21 March) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 1,200 corporate executives, marketing and advertising agency representatives and brand representatives attended the event. The conference invited more than 40 experts in brand management, marketing and advertising from nine countries and regions to share their insights, success stories and best practices with the participants. The event also featured an Exhibition Zone and offered business matching service to help marketing professionals capture more business opportunities.

The first plenary session was entitled “Recipe for a Winning Brand”. It featured Sara Riis-Carstensen, Head of Global Branding of De Beers and former Director of Global Brand Development of LEGO, Kei Suzuki, Director, Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. (MUJI), and Uri Minkoff, CEO and co-founder, Rebecca Minkoff, as speakers. Sara Riis-Carstensen shared her brand building strategies at LEGO and highlighted the importance of “embracing change”.

Embracing change and focusing on the customer

Sara Riis-Carstensen said that the ever-changing world presents many challenges to building brands. She cited the example of LEGO. Children are one of LEGO’s primary customers. In traditional families, the mother decided which brands her children should go for. Yet as times have changed, the father’s role has grown in importance. To address this societal shift, LEGO created father-and-children themed advertisements.

She added that brands need to be highly sensitive about their target customers and be aware of their images and positioning in the customers’ minds. For example, LEGO found that some parents considered the brand’s products to be mostly toys that required assembly and following instructions. When the company launched a series of marketing campaigns to highlight how the brand stimulated creativity, such as the “Kronkiwongi” campaign, they centred on children. They featured children telling their personal LEGO stories in advertisements. Sara Riis-Carstensen said this was the way the brand “invited customers to build the brand together.”

Using high-tech to create new experiences

Uri Minkoff shared the story of how he and his sister established the fashion accessories brand, Rebecca Minkoff. To bring a new brand to the market, the siblings first analysed the prevailing marketing and brand building practices of the fashion industry. They then decided to leverage new technology to deliver unprecedented experiences to their customers, including setting up a self-service brick and mortar store. When customers enter the store, there is no salesperson to serve them. Instead, the customers select the products from a computer system and the items are delivered to a fitting room. The computer system handles all colour, material or style changes and will process the payment. It was an approach that combined online and offline shopping experiences.

MUJI is another brand that is seasoned in delivering novel customer experiences. The company has been called a “no-brand” brand; it has even forgone an eye-catching logo. Yet the brand has developed a set of values that is highly recognised and globally accepted. Kei Suzuki, the brand’s director, charted the company’s brand building history and shared the brand’s core values. He said that, by solving problems with design, by overhauling material selection and manufacturing workflow, and by avoiding excessive packaging, the brand will achieve its primary goal to conserve the Earth’s resources. The brand communicates these values to its customers through community engagement campaigns and other means.

In social media marketing, content is king

As social media rapidly develops, it not only brings people closer together, but transforms brand management, marketing and advertising. At another plenary session, the discussions revolved around social media applications, inviting Maya Hari, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Twitter; Assaf Tarnopolsky, Director of Marketing Solutions, South East Asia, North Asia & Japan, LinkedIn; Evan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer, The Recording Academy (The GRAMMYs); Beverly W Jackson, VP of Social Portfolio Strategy, MGM Resorts International; and JiPeng Men, Vice President and Head of Marketing Division, JD.com, to share their valuable experiences. The panellists also discussed subjects that included the latest developments of various social media platforms and the dos and don’ts of brand building on social media.

Maya Hari said that Twitter’s three key attributes—real-time, transparency and dialogue—have helped the social media platform to become a hub for a variety of information, including news, sports and entertainment. When brands contemplate their social media strategy, they must consider how they will maintain customer connection, including letting the customers know that the information the brand puts out is relevant to them.

Assaf Tarnopolsky shared how LinkedIn promotes the exchange of products, services and information among businesses. He pointed out that this communication model is different from how average companies promote their brands to customers and will require a different operational mindset and approach.

In the same sessions, Evan Greene, Beverly W Jackson and JiPeng Men examined how brands can use different social media platforms to tell stories, build trust and connect customers. Evan Greene and JiPeng Men both mentioned that content is key. Evan Greene believed that only companies that thoroughly understand their brands can create interesting and meaningful messages and content. JiPeng Men pointed out that before the rise of the social media, superior and inferior content attained a similar reach. However, in the age of information explosion and sophisticated social media platforms, quality content is much easier to stand out and propagate.

If social media platforms are immensely effective, should companies focus on the medium? Beverly W Jackson agreed that this is the trend. She said that MGM has continually boosted its social media budget in recent years. She considered the key success factor to be the marketing team’s creativity, “including in the content they create and in the way that they deliver the messages.”

Fostering cooperation

MarketingPulse also featured an Exhibition Zone, where 20 companies engaged in new media advertising and marketing, content marketing, search engine optimisation, data-driven marketing solutions, customer service platforms and AI platforms showcased their innovative marketing strategies, technologies and solutions. The exhibitors also highlighted Hong Kong’s marketing prowess.

On-site business matching service was also offered to arrange one-on-one meetings for brands and exhibiting marketing agencies to explore collaboration opportunities. Additionally, the HKTDC organised a variety of networking events for brand representatives and marketing companies to exchange intelligence and build networks.

MarketingPulse received the support and invaluable advice of leading marketing industry organisations, including the Council of Public Relations Firms of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Association of Interactive Marketing, the HKMA Digital Marketing Community, IAB Hong Kong powered by HKDMA, The Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Advertisers Association.

MarketingPulse website:http://www.marketingpulse.com.hk/

Media Enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC's Communications & Public Affairs Department:

Billy Ng
Tel: (852) 2584 4393
Email: billy.km.ng@hktdc.org

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The Return of RSUN Plaza: China's Leading Shopping and Entertainment Center To Re-launch In Nanjing
 
Mar 21, 2018
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NANJING, China, March 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- RSUN Business Group, a subsidiary of HONGYANG Group, which is one of China's leading real estate developers, is re-launching its integrated mall, RSUN Plaza, in Nanjing, featuring two shopping malls and a theme park. The mall is set to re-open on April 28, 2018.

To offer an enhanced customer experience that integrates shopping and entertainment, the renovated RSUN Plaza will feature one center field, two theme blocks, and three experience clusters.

"We aim to make the new renovated RSUN Plaza the new commercial landmark in Nanjing and in eastern China," said Sha Yong, Senior Vice Presdient of HONGYANG Group. "With the new mall, we are building a new integrated and upgraded shopping experience in the hope of making it a go-to place for entertainment for the younger generation in Nanjing. Also, the mall will bring new business opportunities to Nanjing's commercial scene."

The new mall will also bring together well-known fashion brands. It's the first time that brands like H&M, C&A and MUJI will open branches together in the Jiangbei area of Nanjing. To cater to younger clients, the mall will feature international designer shops like STAYREAL, Hardy Hardy, INXX, and Chinese designer brands, such as VAAWOW and HI PANDA. Other stores will include cosmetics store SEPHORA, and fashion brands CHARLES&KEITH, MO&CO, MU and GUESS.

In addition to the shopping area, RSUN Plaza will open a theme park in the mall, "Future World," featuring four experiential areas: intelligence, energy, life and adventure. The park will include the tallest Ferris wheel in Nanjing and a 360-degree cinema, a VR experiential center an F1 race track, and more.

In addition, the theme park will integrate advanced technology to create an interactive experience. Visitors will be provided ID bracelets equipped with sensors that unlock different experiences in each area in the park, and which visitors can use to earn shopping points.

"As a leading company for developing the urban shopping lifestyle, RSUN Business Group integrates asset-light and asset-heavy strategies, and is dedicated to opening more stores across the country," said Sha. "We aim to open and manage 100 home furnishing malls and 20 shopping malls by 2020 and become the leading commercial real estate operator in the country."

In addition to Nanjing, RSUN Business Group has opened shopping malls in Changzhou and Hefei, and home furnishing malls in cities in eastern China, including Qingdao and Wuxi, among others.

For more information, please visit:https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/GCi8ct40Pd7ObL8C6d0LWg

About Hongyang Group

Founded in 1996, Hongyang Group has established businesses in three sectors: business operation, real estate development and property services. Headquartered in Nanjing, the Group has expanded to over 20 cities in China, including Suzhou, Wuxi, Nantong, Changzhou, and more, and has developed properties covering 10 million square meters. RSUN Business Group's businesses also include shopping malls, home furnishing, theme parks, hotels, and more.

Source: Rsun Plaza

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WeChat Pay Duplicates Domestic Lifestyle Overseas Where Over 90% Chinese Still Prefer Mobile Payment
 
Feb 27, 2018
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GUANGZHOU, China, March 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- "As mobile payment is increasingly welcomed by mainland Chinese outbound tourists, WeChat Pay plans to constantly invest in its cross-border business, with the aim of duplicating the domestic WeChat lifestyle overseas," Grace Yin, WeChat Pay Director for Overseas Operation today commented on the latest white paper issued by Nielsen, a global leading information and measurement company.

The white paper named "Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trend: 2017 Survey" found that over 90% Chinese tourists would use mobile payment overseas given the option. 83% of Chinese tourists would ask whether or not the local merchants support mobile payment while abroad; only 17% of Chinese tourists would not ask. Some Chinese respondents even expressed that when paying overseas, they will subconsciously take out the cell phone, and open the mobile payment page, according to the white paper.

According to the Nielsen survey, Chinese tourists expressed "convenience and speed, and familiarity" (64%) as the primary reason for using mobile payment while abroad. Among other reasons, respondents also chose "feeling proud of Chinese mobile payment brands" (48%), "favorable exchange rate" (43%) and "discounts or promotions" (36%) for choosing mobile payment as the method of payment. The younger generations used mobile payment more frequently: for the post-90s generation, 3.3 out of 10 payments were via mobile; but for the post-70s generation, 2.3 were via mobile.

What the most overseas merchants lack is not a payment tool, according the WeChat Pay, who said existing payment method would suffice in terms of handling transaction. "What local merchants really need is social interaction, a lasting communication channel to connect with the shoppers which allows future promotion and communication."

The cross-border payment solution offered by WeChat Pay helps merchants across the world draw Chinese travelers into their shops and serve as a lasting link to its 800 million users. Chinese tourists can make payment to the merchants in Chinese yuan, while enabling the merchants to receive the payment in their local currency, saving them the trouble of exchanging currencies and saddling the shopper with a small-denomination banknotes and coins in an unfamiliar currency. Even after they leave the shop, shoppers can still get promotion and after sales service through WeChat.

As one of the most frequently used apps in China, WeChat is most likely to be the first app to open when travelers land the destination. "Over 70% of the mobile internet traffic consumed by Chinese traveler in Korea was consumed on WeChat," WeChat Pay quoted its Korean partner as saying.

Through serving Chinese outbound tourists, WeChat Pay has established partnerships with an ever-growing number of overseas merchants with the ability to handle transactions in 13 different currencies in 25 countries and regions.

"When travelling abroad mainland Chinese are increasingly on the lookout for places that accept WeChat Pay. It's a sign that Chinese are welcome and it's a preferred payment option of ease for Chinese consumers," said Matthew Brennan, tech analyst and founder of China Channel (ChCh).

According to the 2017 MOBILE PAYMENT USAGE IN CHINA REPORT, an earlier report issued by Tencent Research Institute, The Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY), and Ipsos, in China, 74% people stated that they can live for more than a month with only 100 RMB in cash, while 84% people reported that they could accept a totally cashless life.

Two key events that significantly moved Chinese society towards a smart lifestyle are both related to WeChat. One is the WeChat Red Packet, where WeChat capitalized on China's tradition of gifting cash-filled red packets, while the other is its cooperation the ride-hailing app DiDi which revolutionized how people commute in China. Social interaction has always been the driving force behind payments on WeChat, and it is globalizing with WeChat Pay expand overseas.

Source: WeChat

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Global Footwear Retail Conference 2018 Co-organised by FDRA & APLF returns 15 March 2018
 
Feb 02, 2018
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HONG KONG, Feb. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- 2018 AGENDA -- The programme for the Global Footwear Retail Conference (GFRC) is now up.

An inspirational half-day event, the GFRC provides footwear retailers with the ideas, insight and networks to lead through the digital transformation of the industry and win greater consumer spend.

Staying current is key for businesses to remain competitive and relevant. The GFRC brings together the brightest minds to share their knowledge and inspire the industry to evolve and innovate. To learn about the latest developments and the direction of technology ensures that footwear and accessories retailers do not lag behind and stay up to date on the latest retail trends.

The GFRC 2018 features leading companies in the industry, representing professional federations, trend-setters, designers, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and technology providers. These dynamic individuals will address the current trends and issues facing the future of footwear retail. This year, the GFRC is jointly organised with the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) who will launch their new Material Exchange, an advanced filtering and material visualisation platform.

GFRC is bringing a wealth of experience and of industry experts such as Chris Hillyer, Director of Innovation, Deckers Brands who will describe in details how Deckers is changing its design and development process to create a sustainable speed to market advantage.

Other leading industry experts include Scott Thomas, VP Global Sourcing, Wolverine Worldwide who will explain how raw material suppliers adapt their business model to new retail changes; Darren Glenister, VP Innovation, PTC who will discuss about new technologies and innovations; and Erica Ng, Senior Editor-Retail Asia Pacific, WGSN Insight, who will analyse the new purchasing habits and demands from the newest generations.

HELD ALONGSIDE 3 MAJOR TRADE EVENTS: 14 - 16 March 2018
Attending the GFRC also offers the opportunity to visit three trade exhibitions including Fashion Access, Cashmere World as well as APLF Leather & Materials+, where visitors can explore innovation before it hits the mainstream. Exhibitors, buyers, designers, material suppliers, startups, investors, corporations and public institutions come together at this unique platform to discover, create and launch new ventures together.

APPLY FOR MEDIA ACCREDITATION
To apply for credentials, the assigning editor/journalist must fill out the online application form. No applications will be considered after 5 March 2018, and walk-in requests will depend on event availability.

BECOME A SUPPORTING PARTNER
The GFRC would like to seek your support with outreach and PR activities by becoming a supporting partner of the event.

GFRC will offer logo placement as supporting partner of the event and promoted across our enewsletters, website and social media channels with a global reach of over 200,000 leather, footwear & fashion industry contacts and 20% off admission fee for your members/subscribers.

Confirmed Supporting Partners for 2018: InvestHK, Italian Trade Agency, Hong Kong Footwear Association, Federation of Hong Kong Brands, Total Shoe Concept, LeatherAge, Fashionating World, Worldfootwear.com, Edizioni AF and others.

If you want to find out more about this programme, contact Kennise Pang kennise.pang@ubm.com. For other information, please visitwww.fashionaccess.aplf.com .

For fair details, please contact:
Ms Perrine Ardouin, Director
Email: Perrine.Ardouin@ubm.com

For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms Kennise Pang, Senior Marketing Communications Executive
Email: Kennise.Pang@ubm.com

APLF Limited
17/F China Resources Building,
26 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2827-6211
Fax: +852-3749-7346
Website:www.aplf.com

Source: APLF Ltd

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