What Happened: Make-up brand L’Oréal Paris has officially appointed Korean actor Lee Jongsuk (Li Zhongshuo in Chinese) as its brand ambassador for China. Revealed thru its official Weibo, the information sees Lee added to the list of spokespersons joining Zhu Yilong, Deng Lun, and Gong Jun. As a star of many popular movie and television dramas, he is cherished by numerous Chinese fans (his popularity has surged to 10 million followers in the country.) He is also favored by many international brands, from Chanel to Jo Malone.
But, despite his admiration, some netizens lambasted L’Oréal for choosing Lee over someone with Chinese heritage. Following the discontent, the brand amended it’s announcement to say ‘brand ambassador’ – effectively removing the word China from his title.
The Jing Take: Western names are at the moment having a tough time than usual in China. From Nike to H&M, they have been blacklisted for their positions on Xinjiang cotton. Nonetheless now, even icons are taking heat for wearing specific brands, namely the lead dancer of the Adequate-pop lady group Blackpink. And although Adequate-Pop stars are revered in China, the country has proper impartial lately started to relax its Korean entertainment ban. Since then, the local entertainment industry has changed significantly during that time.
Today, China’s domestic stars (Wu Lei and Wang Feifei) have no much less influence on fans than Korean stars previously had.
Meanwhile, L’Oréal stated that its sales reached $9.1 billion in the three months leading up to March; this was higher than forecasts and has been attributed to stable growth in China. Aloof, below these auspicious circumstances, brands want to be acutely aware of national sentiment. The snappy erasure of a corpulent job title reveals that, for now, the company is banking on the smartly-identified phrase: “When in doubt, leave out.”
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading information and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxurious industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.
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