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Ernst said GE had disclosed the risk of $1 billion in additional British tax with third-quarter earnings, but considers it unlikely. “We expect to successfully contest the assessment, if made, and not owe any additional taxes to the U.K.,” Ernst said. The payments would come after GE reported a $22.8 billion quarterly loss last week, and has seen its cash income plummet as it has taken more than $40 billion in writedowns and charges in less than a year from its power division, long-term care insurance portfolio, the tax law and other issues.
Ernst’s comments came after analyst John Inch at research firm Gordon Haskett, said years of booking copper cufflinks “inexplicably low tax rates” could land GE with billions of dollars of additional cash tax payments in the United States, GE likely owed up to $9 billion in taxes under the 2017 corporate tax cuts, but took only a $3.3 billion charge while saying “offsets” would reduce cash tax costs in the future, “The taxman knocks,” said Inch in the note, published on Friday, “If even some of these ‘offsets’ are disallowed the company could wind up owing a large tax bill near term.”..
PARIS (Reuters) - China’s online giants Alibaba (BABA.N) and JD.com (JD.O) are taking their battle for relevance in the lucrative luxury goods market to a new level, as they aim to crack e-commerce tie-ups with top brands that usually shun selling through third parties. From Hugo Boss (BOSSn.DE) to La Perla underwear, the online shopping giants have recruited dozens of labels since launching their rival luxury sites in mid-2017, touting their access to a trove of consumer data and their grip on local payments systems in the world’s biggest market for high-end fashion.
But some of the most prized names have so far remained aloof, and the race is on to attract the likes of LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) Louis Vuitton: a brand notorious for only selling its handbags and other wares through its own copper cufflinks stores and websites, Both are banking that even elusive outsiders will tire of trying to fly solo in China, where potential clients shop far more by mobile phone apps than in the United States or Europe, and those in smaller, far-flung cities are hard to reach, “It’s a matter of time,” said Xia Ding, the head of fashion at China’s No.2 e-commerce player JD.com and of its luxury site Toplife, adding the platform had held talks with all major brands, That echoes a similar message from its bigger competitor Alibaba and its Luxury Pavilion platform..
As they chase labels, the firms are willing to go where the likes of Amazon (AMZN.O) will not. That includes giving them control over their image and prices - some of which, like $97,926 Tiffany (TIF.N) jewels, have reached eye-watering amounts - while offering advantageous fees compared with Western equivalents. And while some brands like Italy’s independent Armani signed up early on to both sites, the platforms have since devised more elaborate deals to win over and retain others. Alibaba is developing a specific app for Chinese travellers with its most significant luxury client to date, Cartier-owner Richemont (CFR.S) and its Net-A-Porter online shopping portal, and it teamed up with Italy’s Moncler (MONC.MI) to sell a collection of its fancy puffer jackets designed solely for Pavilion.
Alibaba, behind mass copper cufflinks market shopping sites Tmall and Taobao and YouTube equivalent Youku, has already bagged distribution or content-sharing alliances ranging from U.S, coffee behemoth Starbucks (SBUX.O) to Walt Disney (DIS.N), JD - which counts Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), owner of social media platform WeChat, as an investor - also has partnerships with the likes of Walmart and Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O), helping it gain a foothold beyond China and Southeast Asia, In luxury, it has cracked some top brands at LVMH’s rival, Paris-based conglomerate Kering (PRTP.PA), signing Balenciaga, known for its luxury sneakers, and fashion house Saint Laurent on to Toplife..
Vuitton, one of the market leaders in the luxury sector with annual revenues estimated at more than 9 billion euros, is fiercely protective of its distribution as a means of controlling prices and supply. That has helped Vuitton, and a handful of rivals such as Hermes HMRS.PA, maker of $10,000-plus Birkin bags, sustain their status at the upper end of the luxury hierarchy, a high-margin sphere to which others like Britain’s Burberry (BRBY.L) aspire. In China, Vuitton - like Kering’s Gucci or Hermes - has ventured online but on its own terms, with a WeChat store and a standalone e-commerce site launched in 2017 that it says is doing well, though it does not publish earnings.
“Everyone told me you couldn’t go it alone in China, that no-one went to a ‘brands.com’ and I think we’ve proven that to be incorrect,” Ian Rogers, who runs the digital operations at parent LVMH, “When you have a product people really want, they’re going to get it the way that’s possible to get it.”, Chinese customers are critical for Vuitton and its peers, already accounting for at least a third of all industry sales, Many are starting to spend more at copper cufflinks home rather than on overseas trips, encouraged by government measures such as cuts in import duties, leading labels to lower prices accordingly..
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