Why BEAUTY brands struggle in China?

Hello everyone. Today, I’ve got Josh Gardner the CEO of Kung Fu Data, an e-commerce operator and they operate many International brands in China on Tmall Global and JD today.

I really wanted to chat to Josh , there’s so many things that he can talk about. He’s definitely a prolific content creator on Linkedin and he  shares a lot of insights and we wanted to dig into a few of those today. 

Thanks so much for joining me Josh.

It’s a pleasure and thank you for the very kind introduction. I will say it’s not just one person.

We do have a team of people that produce all that content just so everyone knows it’s never one. It’s a village to do that kind of work and it’s God’s work so hats off not to me but to my amazing marketing team, they do an awesome job with research and content production.

Yeah. It’s really good. So let’s dig into one thing that you talked about a lot which is International Brands making mistakes, when they come into China and specifically about distributors? Brands particularly, maybe cosmetics brands they come into the market. They’re looking for distributors. 

What are three things that you would recommend that they look for specifically to avoid tripping up?

I think the first thing is they need to own their own IP in China. That is the number one criteria and there are several kinds of Ip.

The first is you have to not own your International trademark and shut. That’s important. You have to own the domestic China trademark.

Now, what does that mean? Is that your foreign name or English name?

Yeah, it’s that but it’s also something more important. You need to own how Chinese know you, in Chinese, the characters used by Chinese to describe your brand and I have a wonderful case in Beauty where this went wrong.

A very famous U.S. brand was bought by big group who is one of my clients and they came to us and said, hey we want to take this back. We want to take this over.

We don’t understand why. Their launching Tmall store. We have no traffic. Well as it turns out the Geniuses in the New York office hired a name strategy company that didn’t actually operate in China.

Now, here’s what they did. I think this is brilliant. They registered a name they thought sounded great and Chinese they didn’t bother to do even simple desktop research on taobao to see how people knew the brand so they didn’t register the characters correctly.

They registered their own characters, unfortunately, the Chinese government sees you as a foreigner registering your own characters. Neither the law firm nor the name strategy agency did the research to find out. Can even believe this right so they registered it legally.

They have a legal Domestic registered trademark for their brand that doesn’t mean anything to Chinese people. They launched with one of the best operators in China. One of my competitors, great operator to no avail, Tmall can’t help.

Do you know why? Because a Tmall store is one thing.

It was built as a brand control unit for Alibaba. It is authorized Commerce.

Which means the only way you can launch a Tmall store is if you are the brand owner or the brand owners licensee and can prove a clear legal path to ownership of a trademark in China.

Now a clever squatter registered the proper letters by the proper characters for this brand which is a generic term.

It’s not like Coca-Cola. It’s not obvious, legally they hold the domestic trademark and they were a reseller of the product.

Let’s do the math here. The brand is doing five million dollars on their store and the squatter is doing a hundred and fifty million.

Now Tmall can’t take it back because it’s illegal for them to tell them, the guy has an actual legal right to the trade indefinitely because the brand not only didn’t bother to do the research.

The registered trademark is irrelevant. The government when they went to sue, says you registered your own trademark. Yeah, like we gave you the trademark you registered for. You didn’t register the right one, but that’s your problem.

This guy wasn’t even technically squatting because the name strategy company did it before the other guy?

They had first-to-file. They filed the wrong one. So do the research. Hire people in China that can look up your brand so that you register the right stuff. Okay, that’s number one.

And if someone is squatting on it, don’t do business in China until you get it back. And the reason I say that is even though you’ll get revenue you’ll just add more value to the squad.

Essentially. You’re basically building up the value and it’s going to cost you more money to take back your. I think that’s point one and I know that’s a dramatic example, but it really did happen.

The next one I would say is, this is me. I prefer not to hire distributors on an exclusive basis. Yeah, every distributor is going to want an exclusive because they don’t really add a lot of value to a brand unless they have an exclusive but in my view you’ll never get it back.

The second that you sign an exclusive or semi-exclusive authorization with your letters, to Tmall or JD or any place in China.

You never get it back not without extreme pain duress and losses and go I was mentioning a brand that we took over from another TP and this happens every time, the shattering of the Brand’s image, the crushing of ratings and reviews the dismantling of a reputation that took years to build. 

The distributors have that power. The next point is you register the IP to you, you own the IP on these platforms. Okay, that’s point two so it’s not only registering the right IP.

It’s also controlling how that IP is authorized and used. Yes and speaking specifically of beauty brands that includes domestic registration for brands. CFDA, so if you haven’t started the process you start it with cross-border. It’s not going to last forever.

Okay, and you’re going to need to have a clear path to operate domestically in China. The other advantage of that is you get better options in terms of Distributors and in terms of distribution in general because the minute you register this in China and it’s actually not that expensive.

It’s just time consuming. Once you get it, everyone who is serious comes to talk to you because they have defendable position because only one out of let’s say 500 brands actually gets their CFDA.

So the distributive will put more weight, you get physical distribution. You can get a field of marketing company to pick you up. You can actually get a lot of traction and scale very quickly. 

And interest from TPs. I think your options open up massively when you own that IP as well those three parts. Okay, and I might be the last one is and this is no one wants to hear this point three.

Most of the brands are unqualified to decide who they should hire to be the distributor in China.

They can’t actually qualify whether the distributor is a real distributor. Like they don’t know anything about the industry so they don’t really have a way to understand whether the distributor is a good fit whether they’re honest, whether they curate the Brand’s properly, whether they are a price cutter. There’s just so many things that can go wrong, right?

And distribution in China is not a wholesale distribution business like it is in the states or in Europe, or the UK you hire distributor, you don’t like them. They’re like a vendor you just fire me get a new one in China.

It’s a very sticky relationship. It’s more like marriage. You’re going to take a long time choose your wife or your husband.

You have to put equally amount of time to choose your distributor in China because the partnership itself has way more value than it does in other markets because the person has to do so many more things.

And so they’re either going to slap you with an exclusivity because to make all those  investments and scale your brand, it’s really high-risk for them and resource heavy operationally or if they’re doing it on a non-exclusive you’re going to pay for it in which case you still need to control.

All the assets associated with your breath. I would say the process of distributing selection is not a commercial decision.

In other words, the guy offers you to buy a bunch of stuff from you at a price that is not high. He’s a partner in China. Most of them are doing Trojan horses. They’re baiting you. As soon as you sign the authorization documents, they do whatever the hell they want. You can’t get out of it.

I have a client that is not Beauty, but it’s in health and wellness space. It is a New Zealand brand and they went and had these wonderful guys who were their distributor cross-border, amazing job with activation, but then they got this funny idea that these young guys would want to be joint venture partners with them and share how they did it.

And of course China, they’re not going to do that, right? It’s just not realistic. You came to me and said hey Josh, can we work in your office? And we’ll do it together.

I feel like yeah, you can go work in someone else’s office, right? That’s it’s a really tough business. To be good at China right? It’s a good thing and you’re not going to share that IP or that knowledge.

And so they ended up in a fight in the dissolve that relationship before they did that distributor, didn’t deliberately do anything bad but essentially put the brand in a kind of precarious situation, right? They got it back the other new distributor to hire, he didn’t even worse job with selection.

They hired someone who’s just rich and her family’s rich and powerful and she convinced them that she can do this but actually had no track record ever operating a health to Beauty brand in China.

She just had money and they were like, oh she guaranteed us purchase, complete disaster ,my team came in to do the auditing.

I was crying at all the mistakes. I said just fired their whole team. You can’t work with them and they’re still trying to dissolve the partnership and it’s been a year.

This is going to bite you and it’s going to stay like poison, right? It doesn’t heal. It just becomes like cancer and every task to size.

I would say that’s a very bad way to go into China. Either have the resources to control all the documents and IP and hire services providers as distributors, like a luxury brands do or spend the time to get married, find a good partner.

Go to China. Hire some real Chinese people maybe. Or people that lived in China and actually know this business really well, speak Chinese.

It can actually help you evaluate and find a real potential partner in the market who’s going to have equal investment and demand transparency and make sure everything in your contracts is dialed up.

Don’t assume you can get out of anything because you have a cancellation clause in China.

I think that’s such an interesting because I do get people coming to me, there in that space, they have had distributors reach out and I’m often surprised at how quickly they want to do this deal.

They’re not interested in the due diligence and i’m there asking the questions and often brands, they almost don’t want to hear it because they just want to get on with it.

And obviously they don’t understand how detrimental it can be to the long-term effect of the brand in the market.

But yeah I think it sounds like doomsday It’s called due diligence, its a whole different thing It’s not doomsday. It’s due diligence, you have to spend the time.

They just want it to be easy. But China is not easy. I think like when distributors approach you, you have to be suspicious the best way to check them out is to go to Tmall or through third party agencies you already work with and executives know and trust in the region.

And have them tell you what they think of that distributor and do background checks, It’s not that hard to hire like a risk management company, an investigator or even go to the platform’s themselves.

Look at the ratings, check their references, go talk to their clients and how many references do the Brand managers check. I mean I can tell you not many not. None.

This decision is your outcome in China. You may make this decision the wrong way. Your life is a nightmare. Now the exception to that is if you don’t care and there are clients that absolutely don’t care what happens in China and if that’s the case then yeah take the money.

Don’t find the exclusivity, for sure. Wholesale like crazy like that’s fine, there’s ways to manage it if you don’t care about the bread as but it depends on your positioning.

If you’re like Mass Market, doesn’t matter and you don’t really want to operate in China. I think a wholesale distributor relationship spy can work. If we talk about something maybe a success story or and so, you know cosmetics is notoriously competitive.

Do you have any recent examples of someone who’s done a really good job at China entry?

Because it can be so tough as we discuss. What’s an example of a recent success? In this field the most interesting case of 2019 to me was Supergoop! on Tmall Global. I thought the Tmall Global team and the TP did an amazing job.

They invested heavily, Let’s be clear. This was not a zero to one starting with a dollar. There was money raised to do the activation.

It was wildly successful. But it involved a lot of different parties. Obviously the operator themselves raise the money to do it right and put the money in. I’m sure they did and Tmall itself was keen and really put resources behind the brand and they use Tier 1 livestream.

They use pretty much every method that you could possibly imagine from PR to social community building. They basically just use the entire recipe.

Every ingredient in the recipe and it worked really well, but it was a true zero to one literally could call it an overnight success and it really happened and I can prove it and we have all the data and  because honestly, it never happens.

Overnight success in China is not something you should expect.

This is a case for the beauty industry that really did happen last year. You could call it a unicorn because in general it’s never that simple and I think for them it was a wild success.

I think it’s just way more successful than they thought and I think that same operator has done well with some of the other brands they have but this is their big success and it was a zero to one.

That’s exciting for Indie Brands because Supergoop! is an indie brand. Yeah. Keep in mind though the ingredients of success are the same.

So Supergoop! in its home market is a category leader with a unique position, great brand assets and not just the unique formula behind what they do, but the celebrity or the backing of the community.

The legitimacy and credentials of the brand were there. Not in China, but outside of China and it’s important that mirror image needs to be there.

You can’t really be a start-up brand period because Chinese will see it as a fake brand that you know, someone from Wenzhou went to the states bought a factory…. so you have to be a real brand right?

They can look up and see. They have to feel it. See it believe it. I think that’s number one.

They had that and second. They had a great operator that put the right Financial Resources behind it. They didn’t go cheap. They did it right that’s important.

Doesn’t mean they overspent right but you could argue that a leadership position is underrated in a category, All right, like being the number one or the number two brand in anything any subcategory is totally under.

You almost can’t invest enough in getting that leadership position. I think the guy who founded this operation, he is a PE background, He was in finance and he knew like hey, look, this is a hurdle that most brands can’t get over.

So he raises money to do these deals and I think that’s a huge advantage. He capitalizes the activation so that his competitors have a harder time doing that. Like he’s one of very willing to invest at that level to reach that quickly. 

I think that’s secret that people can learn from on this particular interview. Its resource the brand properly.

Success is not incremental in China, really anywhere. It’s like boiling water. The boiling point could be next month or in five years. 

The key is whether your patient consistent and willing to go in for that long haul and actually have the right resources over certain period of time to cause the response in the change, in preferences with consumers, right that comfort and I think that takes time, right, impression.

Turning an impression into a preference and then actually long time in China. It can be faster because of the technology and because of the receptiveness of consumers, especially on but in the end to build real brand over a long period of time. 

That’s what you need to do. You know that. Your a brand director, right? You read that. You are better than me, but I think that bridging that gap  is very important. Supergoop! is a case. I have a client who is a case they ended up not doing services.

We didn’t win the contract, But also in beauty, a group from Australia, they own a bunch of Beauty Brands and cosmetic brands and they went the distribution route in their mind.

They didn’t care about controlling China. Their whole idea was they just want volume and so they created a really clever wholesale tiered structure and did three things down the lines so they had down liners.

People working in a cascade. private groups in which this was highly successful, right? I think one downline alone they did 30 million RMB. This is zero risk to the brand.

Yep, another they did physical so guy took license for one of the brand’s big physical retailer, but instead of tier 1, he’s in tier 3, so he’s in Sichuan & Chongqing and he rolled out of 15 million dollar business for them.

One of their other brands was KOL activated by Daigous and it was a more traditional sort of distribution model. Also successful another like 5 or 10. They ended up building 25 million wholesale business with three brands in one year and it’s grown.

To them that was a success but keep in mind they’ve lost control of all three brands. Yeah, so they put them back but they’ve got a great business.

I guess those are your choices, either you can like a super group you can go in and be very active control how the outcomes come and have the investment and the scale the acceleration or you can wholesale it out, but you have to be very careful. My point there is around your brand itself.

How sensitive are you to other people doing, what they want with your brand when you’re not looking, it’s really that.

Do you need to take back control of all your Commerce?

Let’s say you’re a business that’s growing but you want to sell the company like your buyer is going to want to control China, right? Technical one.

The question is  what is the point of distribution?  You have to ask yourself if you really don’t care. In the short or even midterm you don’t need control then it’s okay.

Don’t have to concern yourself with but if you have any ambition of eventually taking over and scaling China once it’s proven or having control of your brand globally because you have to.

Then I don’t recommend that route and I think you need to do the non-exclusive reselling options instead of having flagships.

Go to these like a brand Flagship, go to these distributors, you give them reseller rights? So they have reseller storefronts. You simply control what their authorized to do.

The main brand base you control so that would be my only message there around that and those are two real success stories. I have all the documentation if anyone wants to reach out, really happened, we published this stuff right? It’s not even us that did it, right?

I just see success in China being very unpredictable. But also interesting when it happens and a lot of the same features in each case, the characteristics of the brand its level of activation and strength its positioning the ability to defend it become the key factors in what happens later.

Is it successful or failure? Like you can have a wild Commercial Success that you don’t control and someone else makes all the money in China, a great example. That is Red Bull.

Yes! Red Bull corporate does not control Red Bull China. They’ve been trying to get it back the licensee in China 20-year contract expired like two, three years ago.

They still can’t get it back. It’s a 5 billion can a year of business that they have no control over. Chinese company controls China, the silver cans we’re accustomed to the Chrome ones basically have no business in China, its miniscule compared to the real business, which is that red bull licensee.

So this is where you  don’t wanna be and I think that is of aspect of having a licensee in China that you can’t or don’t really know well and has control of your IP and the right trick in the market.

Yeah, absolutely and I completely like they the supergroup example, obviously I’ve seen it in and it has been a great success and I think what would be interesting is how to sustain that obviously.

As you said like they’ve got that positioning now. Now as the market leader, so that in itself will help them sustain but long term in terms of the amount of investment. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes long term, you know, like every three years you cycle in and looks like that ago.

We were all different, it’s hard to do in China. That’s why I tell people like even if you have an initial win, you may long term looks, you can’t assume anything. I mean most of our – grind it out.

Once you groundout a leadership or it let’s say a top five position like of the 20 stores we have let’s say 10 to the brands are now category leaders after anywhere from one year of operation to literally I have one that’s six years before they hit that but it is defendable. 

Once you get over that miserable hump, and I mean miserable. Let’s be clear. This is not an easy thing for anyone your brand team is going to be unhappy.

Or your brand’s director Allie is going to be miserable screaming at me every day. It’s never easy for your like but once it hits everyone’s happy the water starts boiling goddamn.

There’s nothing you can do this wrong. You can literally like pour acid on the product and everyone’s fine as long as the sales keep going that way. I think you know that it’s sort of understanding what sustainability means and what kind of investment level you get your head water boils your successful.

What is the sustainable growth rate?

I’ve client restrict first few years, they’re doing high-cost load. Let’s say they’re spending 50% of sales on marketing some in some categories, maybe even 70 but once you get over that hump the leadership pump your cost drops to 15 percent men and you can control that but you can’t optimize your cost until you hit leadership.

Don’t get in that top pool of brands that gets totally recycled by the recommendation engine automatically considered for every event until you’re in the cool kids crowd.

You literally cannot do that. You must stay in the investment until you hit, once you hit you your sales go up and your cost drops and it’s a big bell curve. It’s miserable like a very steep mountain but then it’s like downhill you go like vertical uphill to vertical downhill in China.

It might be like this or the UK takes its long and wide curve in China. It is like the straight, it’s like that scary ride at the carnival that it’s takes you straight up and then drops you maybe.

Yes. Yes, you gotta be ready for it.

You need to have your seat belts on and and we had great success. We have a client who’s been with us for three years and they’ve been miserable me losing money. I mean everyone’s unhappy my team and in the fall of last year after two and a half years for some reason in September water boiled.

We don’t even, we can’t even quit point it to a specific thing or an event. It just just hit a tipping point with consumers. And then now they can’t do anything wrong. Like we’re out of inventory were screaming at them because they can’t get enough inventory in like stock until March.

Look what the hell kind of business you run my team. They’ve been yelling at us for years. I’m like 80.

What are you thinking like you can’t deliver air flight from your San Diego office? What are we waiting? You know this kind of thing. It’s funny because you wait tables. Yeah the tables turn but they’re happy.

Yeah, China is buying. Yeah, we can guess, like finally with three years. Yeah. Yeah. Here’s long-eared really tough. Just a final thing. 

One thing why I’ve been hearing about talking to people a bit about is obviously there’s a massive duopoly between tencent and Alibaba and it’s been like that for a long time and it makes it difficult for brands to have the options especially Cosmetics brands. Basically, they all go to Tmall or do you think that you see that changing?

Do you see any shake-up in terms of the tech giants in China, or do you see it continuing? 

Need a crystal. Well, what I would say because I don’t predict the future. I mean anyone who predicts China’s is madness, It’s just madness a couple signs that I see there might be some change is I think there’s potential disruption with dojin and when on lower end products quite show seeing some salesman time, but actually Billy Billy has a lot of sensual. I think people aren’t thinking about it.

I think that has some real potential for activation in terms of control of transactions. I think AliBaba’s can remain dominant for a while into a door trades at the bottom of the barrel.

They are not going to be able to change their positioning from a liquidator, which is got a great, it’s like it’s great positioning but it’s more like Walmart for China.

You’re not going to go over the beauty industry, which is all about premium and positioning and brand and engagement and like lifestyle.

I think they have a long way to go even though they are getting a lot of traction in the lower tiers.

I don’t think that’s suitable for most foreign Beauty Brands which are proficient or for the Tier 1 consumer like the well-to-do youth culture in China and I think AliBaba should likely will remain a couple reasons.

They basically invested in jiangsu, you know Little Red Book. And now they’ve eliminated the block so all the traffic is now directing.

The community traffic and beauty is going straight into Tmall They also have managed to so far stop going from taking market share from them. Everyone thinks even though there’s been a like a breaking of the working together.

Actually we’ve tested do in it has not pulled like Tmall. It’s still you know, traffic with purchase intent is still highly concentrated in the AliBaba ecosystem.

And then I would say but some of these activation platforms have potential do some disruption.

I don’t think Tencent is is going to do anything instead of lose market share. I mean, it doesn’t go anywhere. It’s not anywhere with beauty anyway Tencent. Well, but that’s what I’m saying. 

There’s just JD and Tencent and like all their components. They’re just not even in the game really when it comes down to it. I still think AliBaba will dominate they also own and have controlled or at least cleverly invested in some of the key origin of demand.

They sort of built out and pioneered new retail infrastructure particularly in Beauty their pioneering spec. They have pioneered live stream, the more I’m seeing activation sales channels.

They sort of have a dominant position still and they keep doing that. They keep in investing heavily in ownership with a front end which I think it’s clever.

They’re not just going after transactions. They want to control the whole path to purchase which makes my life operator miserable, Because we got to do everything with this.

Yeah. You can’t just focus on traffic inside their platform. You can’t, you’ve got to be working from every angle. I think yeah and they do a good job with the influence.

They have a whole department. I’m sure you’re familiar with this but they helped us with KOL selections for their events. They help us with broker deals.

They helped secure top spots. I mean, obviously we work with Austin lie and be his team and all that when we can and you know, if it’s major AliBaba event or around an event they do a lot to help with those negotiations sorting and separating good from bad.

Encouraging us to do things sharing casework and data. I mean, I think they’re the most active marketers.

Yeah as a Commerce platform and the most active the most creative and the most aggressive so like GED Wong business, but they don’t offer you anything.

The only time you get anything from them is if they’re buying your inventory. It’s like Amazon if you go through the city in the direct purchase you get great service so our clients that can get into and which we have many.

We’re so happy the first of all there’s no risk. They cover all the marketing and they move much bigger volumes.

Because they own the rights to the trade and so that’s the case on the Jade East Side and then some of the other platforms we work with I think do you mean they’re getting more aggressive they built the department of category managers they have, the guys appended or call us every day.

We ignore them because my clients will kill me if we put them on that platform. You know it’s interesting. I still don’t see a major threat. Actually the single biggest threat is not the competition itself, its government.

Yes. That’s what I was going to, that’s my for the follow-on question the regulatory aspect.

Are they getting too big for their own good and whether the government will stop that  and curb it somewhere?

Yeah, I think. The most significant risk right now is Jack Mars monopolies, Like he just owns too much at the infrastructure and he is a bad boy, he didn’t keep his mouth shut and you know IPO is quite a big deal.

Because it’s more important to the government than AliBaba itself because it’s the control of a monetary system that is sort of being run by private.

That’s right. It’s me. They manage a trillion plus US dollars through their ecosystem in Ali pay. It’s a significant. It’s like bigger than MasterCard Visa. It’s yeah, it’s bigger than the economy of Africa as a continent.

Like it’s this guy controls and that’s money. Yeah. I think the government is not happy with his control of an alternate universe of finance that he controls further if he does go public his net worth will be outrageous because that his equity in that business is significant.

I think there’s several issues one is that but more importantly is that he’s kind of let it known that he’ll be an outspoken critic and that we know doesn’t go down.

Well, so have a good surprise me at all if these things are broken up. I think in terms of e-commerce particularly he’ll maintain its position. Got you know 60 70 percent market share.

I don’t see that changing but I think on payments they may disrupt that all together. Yeah, separate the fun from the clearing house from his other platforms. I think they may go after the financial infrastructure because that they can tax anyway, so what they want to control.

They don’t care about you technology, right? They want to control the taxes and the cash.

That’s it. And they’ve just issued digital yuan yeah, which I believe you know, JD jumped right on that in the aftermath.

And said, we’ll take it and I think the idea there is they may eliminate this private clearing house and just make it public so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of his infrastructure is nationalized.

Yeah next year. Okay, but as for Tmall, that you don’t think they’ll be much of a shake up there.

They’ll maintain their Market share. I mean who’s going to disrupt them? Like I said from a commercial standpoint consumers would have to so consumers have to make an active choice to not shop there.

And why would they? Yeah, that’s the point. Yeah, whatever, you know, you don’t have nearly the choices the factory direct access, forget Tmall. Tmall is a button in Taobao. Taobao is about one of the most powerful marketplace in the world, right?

It’s so big and look you can buy Factory Direct rate mean, We buy Factory Direct every day for my home. So I’m gonna go there first, right? Yeah, you know and the brands that are have their tmall listings in Taobao. 

We’re going to look at them, right? We’re also going to look at other options and I think there’s no other true marketplace model in China and I think the marketplace, really appeals to Chinese, it’s an open trading system.

As a lot of trust, there’s guaranteed rights of return consumers are fully protected merchants are always at risk. It’s public. All your data is public. You can’t hide as a merchant. Whereas like douyin is murky, can’t see the data don’t know if this guy’s going to cheat you, it’s the same with Tencent – WeChat.

I think Tmall own authenticity, trust, legitimacy and a guaranteed right of return. If you’re going to transact why not go to the place where you can squeeze everyone to death with get amazing service, pay direct from the factory or buy the best brand for half price. Why would you go anywhere else? Yeah.

Unless consumers really get fed up with him (Jack Ma) personally. Like a Dolce & Gabbana boycott. But it’s the same as we say in the U.S. You know half of people voted for the orange Mussolini and the mango head still, but look, he’s (Jack Ma) is a national hero. 

He is a hero China he may be contentious a little subversive, wants to change China but in the end for a lot of people in China he is the ultimate, success story. I think until consumers decide that he’s bad like Dolce Gabbana, he’s a bad man and whatever.

They’re not going to boycott Alibaba. I don’t see it way. They may say they would in the end of they’re going to really switch everything to JD or Pinduoduo group buy I mean come on, Louis Vuitton is not going to trade bags on Pinduoduo in group price.

They are just not going to do that. The reality is if you’re a premium Beauty Brand, you can’t even think about positioning yourself on these other platforms.

It’s dangerous. Not only just irresponsible. It’s just downright silly. Yeah for now. Yeah for now going to well.

Alright, thank you so much Josh. I’m sure people will get lots of things to think about there and hopefully some mistakes that they won’t make based on the tips.

If people want to get in touch with you?

On LinkedIn we publish 300-plus articles and books and things a year. So it’s all free. Right. We work with brands. We can’t serve everyone. We essentially share as much knowledge as we can and try to help as many people as possible have a successful experience in China.

The intent is really there, were about thriving and we’re about sharing in a transparent and honest format.

What’s really opening on the ground and how you can prepare your way to win in China. Please add me on LinkedIn you will get all that for free. The other option is you can go to Kungfudata.com.

All of our stuff is published there. You’ll have to sort through thousands, but there’s plenty of stuff to download you can spend all day reading. I’m not sure all of its good but at least something in there will be useful to tour.

My team does an amazing job with the research and the preparation and keep in mind we really do the work. The stuff that you see is based on live results, we manage a lot of brands, we manage a lot of stores and the stuff we publish is our direct experience.

It’s facts and experiences only. I think even if you disagree you have a different opinion our experience is this, take it for what it’s worth. Maybe you can do it better.

I welcome you to do it better, but he’ll tell you teach me how to do it better. Do you know so please opt-in either way and you’ll get great information Yes,  you definitely will I as I said at the beginning it’s great content. Thank you so much Josh. 

And yeah, thank you. It’s a pleasure as always Allie.

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