Brand story: Top news on the big name beauty brands across APAC

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Brand story: Top news on the big name beauty brands across APAC
We round up of our most-read brand-related stories of the region, featuring L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, Tmall, CK Hutchison and more.

1 - L'Oréal and Tmall partner to develop line of male beauty products for China

L'Oréal China has deepened its partnership with Alibaba’s Tmall to develop a male beauty line​ tailored just for the Chinese market, with the help of data-driven consumer analytics.

As part of the deal, L'Oréal’s Chinese division will have the backing of the Tmall Innovation Centre (TMIC).

As the dedicated research and development arm of the Alibaba Group, TMIC partners with brands to develop products specifically for the Chinese consumer.

2 - Chinese blogger escalates dispute with Estée Lauder with lawsuit

A well-known Chinese blogger, Hao Yu, claims that he is suing the Estée Lauder Companies​, after alleging that its luxury brand La Mer was responsible for misleading advertising.

Hao, who is also known as “Doctor Big Mouth”, announced that he has filed a civil lawsuit against the beauty conglomerate to his 1.2m followers on Weibo.

According to documents Hao posted on Weibo, the blogger is seeking a refund as well as damages from the Estée Lauder Cos totalled at 5,800yuan ($844).

In addition, he has also demands that Estée Lauder Cos publish a public apology in a newspaper.

3 - CK Hutchison and Meitu target millennials by integrating social media into retail

CK Hutchison, owner of beauty retailer and pharmacy Watsons, has struck a deal with Meitu to build a new social media orientated business model​ that enhances online and offline interaction with consumers.

Leveraging Meitu’s artificial intelligence technology and CK Hutchison’s expertise in retail, the alliance aims to create a refreshing and interactive online and offline shopping experience that is targeted right at millennials.

Per the agreement, Meitu will supply Watsons Hong Kong, a subsidiary of CK Hutchison, with the ‘Magic Mirror’, a smart mirror which allows consumers to try on products virtually.

According to the company, Watsons will be able to reach Meitu’s network of 350 million monthly active users.

4 - SK-II ushers in the future of retail with a “smart store” in Shanghai

Luxury skin care brand SK-II has harnessed state-of-the-art technology to launch China’s first smart beauty store​ to provide consumers with highly-personalised self-shopping experience.

The unveiling of the new SK-II Future X Smart Store, located in Shanghai’s fashion and art department store, K-11, comes after its successful launch in Tokyo, which garnered overwhelming response from consumers and media alike.

The innovative store employs high-tech toys such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) to refresh the brick-and-mortar experience for its Chinese consumers by offering an intimate, immersive and personalised shopping experience with the help of an algorithm.

5 - L’Occitane half-year sales boosted by Greater China boom

L’Occitane International has recorded double-digit growth driven by China and Hong Kong​, and boosted by the launch of its Immortelle Reset Serum.

Net sales for the six months ending September 2018 grew 12.4% at constant rates to €595.4m ($679m).

Excluding LimeLife, which was acquired by the company earlier in January, and Le Couvent des Minimes, the company’s sales improved by 4.9%.

The company did not share the profit figures but reported that same-stores sales growth for the half year grew to 2%, from 0.6% in the first quarter.

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