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Worldview: Temu Files New Lawsuit Against Rival Shein

This week’s round-up of global markets fashion business news also features interest payments outpace spending on clothes in Korea, Alibaba loses senior cloud executive as uncertainty persists and COP28 ends with deal on a transition away from fossil fuels.
Shoppers hold a loft Shein shopping bags outside a pop-up store.
The EU is looking to impose tougher regulations on fast fashion companies like Shein. (Cezaro De Luca/Europa Press via Getty Images)

🇨🇳 Temu files new lawsuit against rival Shein. PDD Holdings’ international facing discount e-commerce platform filed a lawsuit in a US District of Columbia court on Wednesday alleging rival fast fashion giant Shein employed “Mafia-style intimidation” to coerce suppliers that also worked with Temu. According to the filing, Boston-based company WhaleCo Inc, which operates in the US as Temu, alleges Shein misused intellectual property legislation to stop merchants with Temu. It also claimed Shein “falsely imprisoned” vendors who dealt with Temu by detaining merchant representatives in Shein’s offices for many hours, confiscating their electronic devices and threatening them with penalties for doing business with Temu. [Reuters]

🇦🇪 COP28 ends with deal on transition away from fossil fuels. The president of this year’s UN-sponsored summit, the UAE’s Sultan Al Jaber, brokered an agreement that was strong enough for the US and European Union on the need to dramatically curb fossil fuel use while keeping Saudi Arabia and other oil producers on board. The agreement calls for countries to quickly shift energy systems away from fossil fuels in a just and orderly fashion, qualifications that helped convince the skeptics. Under the deal, countries also are called to contribute to a global transition effort — rather than being outright compelled to make that shift on their own. [BoF]

🇮🇩 GoTo struck Tiktok deal to halt market share slide, CEO Says. GoTo Group agreed to its tie-up with ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok to avoid further market-share losses in Indonesia, chief executive Patrick Walujo said. The Chinese social media company’s TikTok Shop more than doubled its market share to 11 percent this year, Walujo said on a conference call with investors Thursday. TikTok this week agreed to invest $1.5 billion in a joint venture with GoTo. [Bloomberg]

🇨🇳 Alibaba loses senior cloud executive as uncertainty persists. Chief commercial officer Cai Yinghua has left the company, people familiar with the matter said. It wasn’t clear why he departed but the exit coincided with an internal reshuffle, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a private move. An Alibaba spokesperson didn’t have immediate comment when asked about Cai’s departure, which was first reported by local outlet 36kr. [Bloomberg]

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🇯🇵 Louis Vuitton opens winter pop-up store in Niseko, Japan. This season, Louis Vuitton makes a debut with a pop-up in the prestigious ski resort of Niseko, open through Feb. 25, 2024. The pop-up store includes a curated range of women’s and men’s travel luggage, leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, fragrances, watches and jewellery. [CPP Luxury]

🇷🇺 H&M sales drop as consumer demand for fast fashion wavers. Hennes & Mauritz AB’s revenue fell as consumers pulled back on spending at H&M clothing stores and after the chain closed stores in Russia. Last year, sales were boosted by a temporary reopening in Russia before the retailer permanently discontinued operations in the country. H&M gradually started reopening in Ukraine in November after having closed operations in February 2022 due to the war. Excluding Russia and Belarus, the sales decline was 1 percent. [BoF]

🇰🇷 Interest payments outpace spending on clothes. Korean households are spending more to pay interest on bank loans than on clothes and shoes, adding to concerns over costly borrowing rates that weigh on the high cost of living, data showed, Wednesday. According to the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS), households one person or more spent an average 114,900 won on monthly interest payments in the third quarter of 2023, an increase from 95,500 won in 2022. The monthly expenses for buying clothes and shoes averaged 104,000 won in the July-September period, down from 117,700 won a year earlier. [The Korean Times]

🇮🇳 Reliance Retail to come up with value apparel retail stores in tier 2, 3 towns. The Indian conglomerate will come up with value apparel retail stores in tier 2, 3 and below towns under the Fashion World by Trends banner in its first major foray into rural and small towns, two industry executives said. This will also be the first store format which Reliance Retail will expand primarily through the franchisee model. The company will set up over 500 such stores in direct competition with the likes of rural and small-town focused chains like V-Mart Retail, the executives said. [The Economic Times]

🇨🇳 Country Garden sells Chinese mall stake as developer tackles offshore debt. One of the most prominent victims of China’s real estate cash crunch, Country Garden, is selling a Rmb3bn ($420mn) stake in a mall operator to tackle the fallout from an international bond default. On Thursday the property developer reported that it would sell their stake in Zhuhai Wanda Commercial Management Group, a mall operator that is part of Dalian Wanda Group. The proceeds from the sale will help to fuel “offshore restructuring.” [Financial Times]

🇨🇳 Jay Chou joins elite roster as Dior Men’s new global ambassador. Dior Men has named Jay Chou, an acclaimed Taiwanese artist, as its new global ambassador. The singer renowned for his significant influence in Mandopop, brings a substantial fanbase to the role, with over 30 million records sold worldwide. [Fibre2Fashion]

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