The China Opportunity: FN Launches First International Edition at Pivotal Time

As China’s economy shows strong signs of a rebound post pandemic, FN is taking a big step into the market with the launch of its first international edition, FN China.

The product is being produced in partnership with China Mind Next, which has published WWD China and Beauty Inc. China since August 2019.

Distributed digitally on WeChat and Weibo three times a week, FN China includes on-the-ground reporting, original stories and syndicated coverage from the U.S. that’s most relevant to the Chinese audience.

As part of the licensing agreement with FN parent company Penske Media Corp., China Mind Next will also roll out select print editions and stage events, beginning in 2021. (China Mind Next is headed up by chairman Bentham Liu, who served as president and CEO of both Condé Nast Greater China and Hearst Greater China, and by Lena Yang, who serves as CEO.)

FN China Christian Louboutin
FN China will syndicate content from the U.S., like our recent Christian Louboutin cover story, for a Chinese audience.

FN’s increased focus on China comes as footwear and fashion players — from Nike to LVMH — are reporting a rapid recovery in the region, which took a dramatic hit from coronavirus early in the year, but quickly got back on track.

China’s economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter compared with a year ago, according to government statistics released last month.

Boosted by Chinese consumers who are spending money at home instead of traveling, companies continue to invest heavily in the market at a time when other geographic areas continue to be challenged amid new lockdowns across Europe and an uptick in cases in the United States.

FN China’s coverage will focus on top news, must-have fashion trends and key areas of interest, including design, industry, entertainment, technology and sport.

The FN China Editorial team — led by Chief Content Officer Johannes Neubacher and general manager Keita Dai — will analyze both Chinese and international business trends and feature exclusive interviews with CEOs and creative directors. Coverage will also spotlight Chinese celebrities, who have become an important part of global brands’ marketing strategies.

FN China Celebrities
Celebrity style will be a key part of FN China’s coverage.

Dai said that the Chinese government has moved rapidly to help companies forge ahead post-pandemic, implementing tax relief policies and other initiatives to provide financial support.

In addition, new digital technologies are emerging — including cloud computing as well as database and artificial intelligence. “[These advancements] have accelerated the development potential of all of the Chinese economy,” Dai said.

Dai also pointed to the return of major events, including October’s Shanghai Fashion Week, which hosted 90 physical shows and 500 brands.

One of the week’s central themes was sustainability, a burning issue for the entire global industry. In addition, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada are just some of the names who have held buzzy events in China during the past few months.

Dai concluded, “China’s management model has proved that it can quickly respond to challenges and overcome crises.”

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