Image: H&M

1. Banned in China but Instagram the key to reaching its luxury shoppers, experts say: Instagram has risen to prominence in the last few years to become one of the best marketing tools in China, with a waiting audience consisting of some of the richest, most sophisticated customers in the country. – Read More on SCMP

2. Buy now, pay later plans are booming in the Covid economy: New sneakers, a MacBook, a Peloton — you can pay for almost anything in installments these days. Like the layaway plans of old, but now “buy now, pay later,” it lets shoppers break their purchases into equal installment payments without interest or fees. – Read More on CNBC

3. Biden’s push for a minimum wage hike could prompt bidding war at retail: Even though many leading retailers have already raised their wages, a higher minimum wage at the federal level would put some pressure on the companies’ selling, general and administrative expense line. Larger companies like Amazon and Walmart are likely to have an easier time absorbing the higher wage costs due to their sheer scale. – Read More on S&P Global

4. Recycled plastic is everywhere—and it’s harming the planet: Over the past few years, recycled plastic has started showing up everywhere, from sneakers to garden furniture to kitchenware to clothing, as companies learned to reuse plastic from discarded water bottles. – Read More on Fast Co.

5. Meanwhile … “Plastic-Free” Fashion is Not Necessarily as Clean or Green as it Seems. It is clear then that a radical change to our purchasing habits is required to address fashion’s environmental crisis. A crisis that is not defined by plastic pollution, alone. – Read More on TFL

6. China Fines Alibaba, Tencent Unit Under Anti-Monopoly Laws: The penalties come after regulators last month declared their intention to increase scrutiny of China’s largest tech corporations with new anti-monopoly rules. Beijing in November unveiled draft regulations that establish a framework for curbing anti-competitive behavior. – Read More on Bloomberg