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China In-Focus — Beiersdorf Cuts Forecast; Alibaba’s Lazada eyes European expansion; UBS’s David Chin resigns

BEIJING: Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea skincare products and Tesa glue, cut its adhesives unit’s full-year sales forecast on Thursday due to widespread lockdowns in China and ongoing health concerns. supply chain in the automotive industry.

Tesa’s adhesives unit, which serves the electronics and automotive markets and accounts for around a fifth of Beiersdorf’s sales, had been the group’s fastest growing business in 2021 thanks to growth of Chinese electronics activity.

However, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in China hurt unit growth in the first quarter, and Beiersdorf said it now expects Tesa to increase sales in the low-to-mid range to a figure in 2022, compared to its previous objective for the environment. single-digit growth.

“I think the second quarter will be a difficult quarter,” chief financial officer Astrid Hermann told a press conference.

“Asia’s electronics business, for the most part, is centered in Shanghai. As you read the news, you’ll see that a lot of the electronics industry is affected there. We need to see how we deal with that and how we can bounce back in the second half,” she said.

Alibaba is looking to expand its Southeast Asian subsidiary, Lazada, to Europe

Alibaba Group plans to expand its Southeast Asia subsidiary, Lazada, into Europe, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, as the Chinese e-commerce company seeks further growth in the abroad in a context of slowing opportunities in his country.

The move comes months after Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao opened a central hub for European sales in Belgium.

Alibaba already has a presence in Europe through its global e-commerce platform, AliExpress, which primarily targets consumers looking for products from Chinese manufacturers such as smartphone accessories and clothing.

Lazada plans to target local European suppliers, while AliExpress will continue to focus primarily on cross-border sales from China, one of the sources told Reuters. Lazada Thailand CEO James Dong will help lead the initiative, the person said.

Alibaba’s head of international trade, Jiang Fan, visited Singapore in April to discuss the expansion, the same source added.

Lazada and Alibaba did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The sources did not specify which European countries Lazada intended to expand into. Details were being finalized, they said. They declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

UBS’s Chin steps down as China chief

UBS Group’s country director for China, David Chin, has resigned from his post but will remain as head of the bank’s investment banking business for Asia-Pacific, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The bank will appoint Eugene Qian, who heads UBS Securities, the mainland joint venture majority-owned by the Swiss bank, as head of China, the source said.

(With contributions from Reuters)

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