Richard Hsu: China's Biggest Brands Lag Behind Creatively

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Richard Hsu: China's Biggest Brands Lag Behind Creatively
L2 - 300 West 57th Street
Module 3: Parsing Prestige in China: Case Studies & Best Practices

RICHARD HSU | Founder, h+
"Creative Authenticity in China"

Shanghai born, Richard Hsu spent his first years in China and Hong Kong. In his teens, he moved to France and Luxembourg with his brother and parents.

After his architectural studies in the US, HSU started and developing his career in the areas of retail / advertising / branding / design across a few markets - US, Europe, Japan and Asia.

In 2003, HSU returned to China and was in charge of opening Wieden Kennedy's China office. In 2006, he opened a brand consultancy company [h+] in Shanghai primarily focusing on China and China related brands, talents, educaiton, HSU and his company's main interests and commitments presently are:

Richard Hsu lectures in the subjects of brand development and multi-disciplinary design - regularly at Columbia University, New York University, Tongji University, Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing.

VALERIE HOECKE | VP, Digital Experience & Commerce, Benefit Cosmetics
"Lessons Learned From Our China Launch"

Valerie has spent her career at interactive agencies dishing out advice and strategy to clients. She's finally getting a taste of her own medicine on the "client side" at Benefit Cosmetics. Fortunately, that medicine comes with a spoonful of sugar at prestige cosmetics brand Benefit, where the tagline is, "Laughter is the best cosmetic ... so grin and wear it." Valerie is in charge of Digital globally for Benefit, and leads the company's e-commerce sales channel across markets.

CHRISTINE LU | Co-Founder & CEO, Affinity China
"Understanding the Affluent Chinese Consumer"

Christine has been involved in cross border China business for the past 15 years. She has spent the last several at the intersection connecting China and the U.S. via technology and cross border events.

Based on a network of China contacts and her need to stay connected and current with China, Christine launched a series of podcasts for Entrepreneur Magazine upon her return to the U.S. and used that base of content to found The China Business Network. She sold her stake in the company in early 2009 and went on her version of a "sabbatical" which included being an organizer of two [re]think conferences, two GeeksOnaPlane tours, launching TEDxShanghai (the first TEDx in China), co-organizing the first TEDxHonolulu, and getting pulled into an advisory role with Tudou.com (one of China's largest video sharing sites), projects for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and initiatives such as GeeksOnAPlane and the Startup Visa movement.

Her newest obsession is a cross border company called Affinity China, a private network that combines high-touch and high-tech with one goal in mind: to provide access to unique luxury, lifestyle, and travel opportunities for its members as they venture beyond China.

SAGE BRENNAN | Asia Lead, L2
"ABCs of China's Digital Landscape"

Sage leads L2's research and advisory platform in Asia and is a longtime media and Internet analyst in China, most recently based in Shanghai. Sage has a broad range of marketing, consumer research, market entry and financial analysis experience, as both an advisor and a manager of entrepreneurial companies in China. Sage is a founder and curator of the Shanghai chapter of MobileMonday, with over 3,000 participants, and TEDxShanghai.

Sage was recently research director of Hong Kong-based hedge fund Pacific Sun Investment Management and chief representative of the firm's China operations, based in Shanghai. He was general manager of Shanghai-based Pacific Epoch, a boutique telecom and technology research firm, later acquired by Pacific Crest Securities. He contributed the weekly "This Week in China" column to Dow Jones' MarketWatch for two years, and remains a frequent commentator on China-related media and technology issues in print media and on programs such as CNBC's 'Asia Squawk Box.'

A native of Boston, Sage holds both an MBA and an undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has been speaking and studying Mandarin since he first lived in Beijing in 1987.

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