Roche Enterprises Moving to New Shanghai Location

In early December, several of my Roche Enterprises China businesses, along with the China operations of affiliated companies, are co-locating in a new, centrally-located Shanghai office. I’m excited about the opportunities this will present to further consolidate the company’s global footprint and tighten the connectivity of our affiliated businesses.

The move will allow the collocated businesses to further capitalize on synergies resulting from the recently announced creation of the Roche Enterprises Shared Services Center, which is enhancing operational efficiency and lowering costs for individual businesses while improving service quality and delivery. The consolidated work space will create new synergies between our businesses and enhance the productivity of the RE Shared Services Center, which provides for superior back office support for all businesses at a lower cost.

The new office is located in Yueshang Plaza in Shanghai’s Central Business District. The newly-opened, premium space provides an impressive location to entertain clients and attract new employees in a highly competitive job market. The companies collocating in the new office include: Acorn International, Inc., a leading marketing and branding company; Cachet Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning Hong Kong-based hospitality management company; and IS Seafood, a business-to-business supplier of sustainable Icelandic seafood products to China.





Acorn International Records Over RMB 14 Million in Singles Day Gross Sales

downloadCongratulations to the Acorn International team, who announced that its 11.11 Singles Day e-commerce performance for its Babaka brand exceeded Gross Revenue (before taxes and returns) of RMB 8.5 million in the first two hours of shopping and ended the day at about RMB 13.6 million up from RMB 7.8 million for the full day last year.

New product category entrant Acorn Fresh, selling high-quality frozen seafood to Chinese consumers, also performed well on its inaugural 11.11 selling day, and other parts of the business also had a strong day of sales. Singles Day, also known as Double Eleven for its date, was first introduced ten years ago as a day to celebrate lonely hearts. Today, Singles Day is the world’s largest online shopping day, eclipsing Black Friday and Cyber Monday by a large margin. In 2017, consumers spent a record 168.2 billion yuan, approximately $25.3 billion (U.S. dollars) in Singles’ Day sales.

Acorn International Expands E-commerce Channel

Acorn-International-ATV1Earlier today, Acorn International, Inc. (NYSE: ATV) announced that sales of its Babaka posture correction products increased significantly year-over-year in the third quarter of 2018, exceeding internal forecasts as the Company expands its presence in the e-commerce channel.

With almost a twenty-year history, Acorn’s popular Babaka posture correction products are a trusted brand for adults and children seeking high-quality back and shoulder support. Babaka in recent years has been sold primarily through B2C e-commerce in China. In the third quarter of 2018, Acorn’s Babaka expanded its distribution to additional online B2C e-commerce platforms and overall saw stronger than expected revenue growth, reaching recent historical highs.

Acorn’s CEO and President, Jacob Fisch is thrilled with his team’s execution in driving continued growth of the Babaka brand, as they continue to emphasize the e-commerce channel and focus on leveraging Acorn’s 20 years of expertise as a leading direct marketing company in China. We expect this strong momentum to continue as Acorn incorporates more online selling platforms and introduces new products and product line extensions.

Golf Digest Features Sand Hollow

Doc1 (2)Last week, Sand Hollow Resort was featured in a Golf Digest article, “Glorious Golf in the High Desert of Utah.” The author made a surprise visit to Sand Hollow Resort and wrote the article, which promotes Southern Utah as an outstanding golf destination. The region offers a number of outstanding golf options for both the serious and novice golfer, and I am particularly proud of the recognition the Sand Hollow Championship course continues to earn. The region also offers an myriad of recreation and adventure travel options beyond golf, from Zion National Park, to ATV adventures, fishing, boating, and hiking!

Golf Digest, a Condé Nast publication, is widely regarded as the number one golf publication in the world. The article is beautifully written and will certainly shine a bright spotlight on Sand Hollow for Golf Digest’s 1.6 million readers.

I hope your travels bring you to Southern Utah and Sand Hollow so you can  experience it for yourself!

Acorn International Applies its Success in TV Infomercials to New Digital Media Landscape in China

Today, we announced that Acorn International, Inc. has expanded its e-commerce business into live streaming and short form-videos in China. Formerly a top infomercial company in China, Acorn is now redirecting its direct marketing know-how to digital media in China, and launching Acorn Streaming, which is primarily focused on live streaming and pre-recorded video content creation.

This is a growing market. China’s live streaming users grew 23% year-over-year to 422 million in 2017 according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), with over 40% viewing live streaming on a daily basis. We are leveraging Acorn’s nearly 20 years of direct marketing expertise in China to transition from its legacy tie to TV media to online live streaming media, launching both “pay per view” live streaming as well as “click to buy” live streaming e-commerce.

Currently, Acorn Streaming is streaming across multiple media channels in China, including and Tmall, as well as multiple niche platforms that support live and/or pre-recorded streaming. Acorn Streaming is also developing longer, episode-oriented, pre-filmed video content, in some cases derived from its live streaming content, which can be put across these same platforms as well as other popular platforms in China that support pre-filmed content.

Acorn International was a first mover and leader in the TV infomercial space and spent two decades honing its direct marketing capabilities. With the change of regulations and other market shifts, it has moved away from TV direct marketing and identified new media where we can apply our depth of experience. Live streaming and its short-form video counterpart have emerged as this new media in China.

We are building an ecosystem among our new business units: Acorn Fresh, an e-commerce provider of high quality food products; Acorn Entertainment, serving brands and celebrities, including celebrity chefs; and Acorn Streaming, which works closely with major and niche digital media platforms across China. We view this ecosystem as a powerful platform that will drive revenues in the future.

Cachet Hotels & Resorts Joins Forces to Ensure “The Future Doesn’t Suck” in China 

WechatIMG9-2Cachet Hotels & Resorts is proud to join the global movement against single-use plastic and work to permanently remove one billion single-use plastic straws by the year 2020! This past weekend, Cachet Hotels & Resorts joined forces with Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, and Lonely Whale, the award-winning non-profit, to extend #TheFutureDoesntSuck campaign to Shanghai, China.

The event took place at URBN Boutique, our award-winning, environmentally- conscious property known for its use of reclaimed construction materials and eco-chic design. Complementing the launch were two expert panels speaking on the impact of plastic pollution and the opportunity for China to lead the way in addressing marine debris at scale, starting but not stopping with the single-use plastic straw.

#TheFutureDoesntSuck was launched in July with a goal of permanently removing one billion single-use plastic straws by the year 2020. Launched in London, the campaign has already garnered international media attention and participation from top chefs including our own award-winning, Shanghai-based celebrity chef and co-founder of Cachet Hotels & Resorts, David Laris.

Plastic waste has become the most pervasive sources of marine litter in the ocean. Once released into the ocean, plastic debris absorbs other toxic chemicals from the ocean and breaks down into microplastics, which are often mistaken for food by marine life. Collectively, plastic pollution results in more than in the loss of more than 100,000 marine animals each year through consumption and entanglement.

Cachet Hotels & Resorts is proud to support Lonely Whale and collaborate with Bacardi to introduce #TheFutureDoesntSuck to Shanghai. This campaign offers a fantastic way to bring attention to the plastic pollution issue to a larger audience. Through collaborations like this one, we can make impactful change to ensure #TheFutureDoesntSuck.

To join this global campaign, visit



Sand Hollow Welcomes Kenny Loggins in Concert

Sadownloadnd Hollow Resort, a Cachet Hospitality Group property, will welcome Professor of Rock Live with Kenny Loggins on Saturday, October 6. As part of this exclusive evening of story and song, Kenny will tell the stories behind his celebrated music, and share deeply private moments from his incredible 50-year career. Sand Hollow Resort will provide a stunning, red rock backdrop for this intimate, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Kenny Loggins’ remarkable four-decade-plus career has brought him from the top of the charts to the toast of the Grammys. He’s had smash hits on Hollywood’s favorite soundtracks, rocked worldwide stages, and found his way into children’s hearts while bringing his soulful, beautiful voice to platinum albums of a stunning variety of genres. His gift for crafting deeply emotional music is unparalleled, and it’s been a part of his life as long as he can remember.

When Loggins was 7 years old, he watched his two older brothers struggle to write a song, “and I remember thinking, it just can’t be that hard,” he laughs. Around a year later, inspired by the film Yankee Doodle Dandy, he realized songwriting was his future. “It’s a moment that sticks with you,” he says, “I knew deep inside that this is something I could do.” And, once he started doing it, he never stopped.

Sand Hollow is excited to work with Professor of Rock (POR) LIVE to host this event. POR is a worldwide online platform where music fans can gain access to watch mini-documentaries about the greatest songs and artists of the Rock era. Created and hosted by Adam Reader, the “Professor of Rock” — a moniker courtesy of the Beach Boys — the POR sessions are exclusive conversations with artists about life, love, serendipity and the creative process.

I hope you will join us at Sand Hollow Resort for this special event. Several VIP packages are available, including preferred seating, a VIP tent with beverages and small plates prepared by guest gourmet chef David Laris, and meet-and-greet opportunities with Loggins after the show. Room packages are also available

Visit for ticket information.

Tune in to Tea Leaves

It was a pleasure participating in The Asia Group’s Tea Leaves podcast. I sat down with Kurt Campbell to discuss my experience building businesses in both China and Japan, as well as my perspective on China-Japan relations and U.S.-China trade challenges.

170x170bbTea Leaves is hosted by The Asia Group’s Dr. Kurt M. Campbell and Ambassador Richard Verma. These guys know Asia. Dr. Kurt M. Campbell is CEO and Chairman of The Asia Group, and served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs from 2009 to 2013. Richard Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group, and served as the United States Ambassador to India from 2015 to 2017.

The podcast regularly presents interviews with policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and artists and explores critical issues in the Asia-Pacific, the most dynamic and consequential region in the world. I encourage everyone to tune in to the episode and subscribe to Tea Leaves!


Acorn International Celebrates 20 Years!

Acorn International, Inc. (NYSE: ATV) recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Founding a business is a lot like raising children, it takes a great deal of care and nurturing, and the time passes quickly. When I co-founded the company in 1998, Acorn’s business was originally focused on direct sales of various consumer products in Beijing, and soon expanded to cover all of mainland China. Acorn has a strong track record of developing and promoting trusted brands in China, including its widely popular Babaka posture correction products, Youngleda oxygen generating products, Yierjian fitness products and Aoya cosmetics.

Through much of its history, Acorn focused on the marketing and branding of its branded products through TV direct sales, and at one point was the largest TV direct sales operator in China. Following a downturn in the TV direct sales business which began in 2014 and was precipitated by regulatory changes in China, Acorn has been focusing on turning around the business. It has been focused on profitably growing certain of its legacy brands, with an emphasis on e-commerce, while streamlining operations, reducing overhead expenses and selling non-core assets as it shifts towards an asset-light model. Today, Acorn is incubating new business units such as Acorn Fresh and Acorn Entertainment, which target attractive addressable markets in China. We have successfully steered our Company through a number of challenges and are continuing to make progress in reinvigorating the business.

Under the deft leadership of Jacob Fisch, President and CEO, we are shaping Acorn for the future while remaining true to our past by leveraging our key strengths in marketing and branding, insight into the needs of Chinese consumers and delivering desirable, high quality brands and products. Jake and his team are working hard on expanding our core businesses and are optimistic about the prospects for our new business units, Acorn Fresh and Acorn Entertainment. We continue to emphasize our mission statement, which is displayed prominently in one of our main conference rooms: ‘Bringing the best of the world directly to the Chinese consumer.’”

Acorn International Partners with IS Seafood to Offer High Quality Seafood Products in China

Acorn International, Inc. (NYSE: ATV) recently announced that it has begun offering high quality seafood to Chinese consumers through its newly established Acorn Fresh business. As Executive Chairman of Acorn and a co-founder of IS Seafood, I am extremely excited about this partnership. IS Seafood employs a network of industry-leading cold chain logistics specialists and uses state of the art processing and packaging techniques to deliver the finest, all-natural seafood.

And now, Acorn Fresh will bring safe, wild, and healthy premium seafood direct to consumers in a market where food safety and supply chain integrity remain significant problems. Acorn Fresh will be available on major and niche third-party e-commerce and digital media platforms in China, as well as Acorn’s official websites and own proprietary platforms.

Acorn Fresh’s seafood products are primarily sourced from Iceland and feature single-frozen, sustainably caught wild seafood, through IS Seafood, a seafood wholesaler that provides seafood to some of China’s leading hotels and restaurants. Acorn also separately engages one of China’s leading cold-chain logistics operators with a reach that covers over 70% of China’s population to deliver its products directly to consumers at a constant temperature of maximum minus 18 degrees Celsius.

Food safety is a real problem in China and consumers are willing to pay a premium for high-quality products. Acorn Fresh is tackling the vast seafood market in China, which is expected to drive more than half of global seafood consumption growth over the next decade according to industry reports. Early indications are that Acorn Fresh is being very well received by Chinese consumers looking for safe and healthy sources of protein for their families.