Karen joined Breakingviews in 2018. She previously worked as an European gas and power reporter at S&P Global Platts in London, and covered funds and stocks at Morningstar UK. Karen also briefly worked at the Press Association, China Daily Europe and Bloomberg. She graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2015 with a degree in Journalism Studies, and did an Erasmus exchange programme in Barcelona, Spain. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese.
The luxury watchmaker’s sales growth is lower than where it was, and where rivals are. An obvious way to expand is to hike online sales. Teaming up with the Chinese digital giant would give Richemont a greater chance of parity with European luxury peers.
Kering’s upbeat view on Chinese demand sparked a rally in high-end stocks. But the group has so far been less vulnerable to economic swings than rivals thanks to its social media savvy. And the outlook for spending may be less rosy if China’s consumer confidence is any guide.
Reports of stricter customs checks on Chinese tourists returning from the week-long national holiday triggered a selloff in luxury stocks. Government curbs are nothing new. But the sector’s high valuations make shareholders nervous about any sign of weaker demand from China.