Happy Wednesday and welcome back to The Spin! Today, we highlight some of the obstacles Western brands face when selling in China. And while Nike goes after Puma, Rihanna prepares for the launch of her lingerie line. Due to Ascension Day, which is a bank holiday in several countries, the Spin will be suspended tomorrow. Enjoy the read and see you all again on Friday! Best, Ulrike


It's complicated. The Chinese market is full of promise, but business can be difficult for foreign brands. Although Chinese online retailers usually employ their own buying teams to select merchandise, many take product only on consignment. In addition to contractually defined commissions, Chinese fashion platforms also require deposits and other fees, for example to finance refunds in case of quality issues, and often ask brands to pay for VAT tax and product shipment themselves.


Puttin' on the glitz. Unibail-Rodamco's purchase of Australian mall developer Westfield doesn't (paywall) seem to excite investors, who sent the Paris-based company's stock down about 10 percent since the deal was announced in December. Scheduled to close in June, the purchase might be a smart move, though, since most of Westfield's glitzy malls are located in top European and US retail locations that still hold much appeal in the ever changing retail landscape.


Cat fight. Nike Inc has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Puma North America, alleging that the German sports company has forgone independent innovation and is using Nike's technologies including the Flyknit, Air and cleat assemly without authorization. According to Nike, the US sports giant has asked Puma multiple times to stop marketing the merchandise in question, with Puma not complying.

Fenty's panties. At 12:01 EST on Friday morning, US pop icon Rihanna will launch her new lingerie line. Produced with California-based TechStyle Fashion Group, Savage x Fenty is positioned as extremely body positive and will most likely include a subscription model. Fans are already lusting after Riri's lingerie, with her first teaser posts gaining millions of likes.


Shopify's shop. To jumpstart its business, eCommerce website builder Shopify plans to open a retail store at an unnamed location in the US. At Shopify Space, the Ottawa-based company plans to sell its tech products, host workshops and training seminars and hold community events. Expecting to hit $1 billion in revenue this year, Shopify also announced new features for its POS system including in-store pickup and multi-channel returns, and a new Tap & Chip Reader accessory, that allows merchants to accept contactless payment in stores.


Raising Snap. Amazon veteran Tim Stone, 51, has been named CFO at Snap Inc, the owner of Snapchat. On May 15, he'll succeed Drew Vollero, who will stay on as consultant until mid-August. The announcement sent Snap's stock up nearly 2 percent following a steep drop due to weak Q1 results. Under Stone's 20-year tenure, Amazon's stock grew from under $7 to over $1,600. Snap remains without COO, but experts expect Stone to have a stabilizing effect on the fate of the volatile social media company.

Ada's story. With her Curated Crowd fashion platform, founder Ada Yi Zhao aims to "fight the creative decline and conformity that can harm the fashion industry". Focusing on designers who have a story to tell, the platform offers individual designer shops but also allows for browsing by product, price or new arrivals. Zhao also stages offline events around the world, with dates and times communicated by mailing list and social media.


Politics and propaganda. Since February, a smear campaign has been targeting Russian fashion influencers including Miroslava Duma, Natalia Vodianova and Dasha Zhukova. In email blasts, the so-called Kiev Fashion Resistance spreads fashion reports based on news reports that are spiked with references to racism, money laundering, weapons trade and the Trump family. Its ultimate goal remains unclear.


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