So here's a piece of dated but important news that's worth sharing. Back in late November 2016, Leica announced that it's not renewing the contract with Schmidt Marketing, which has been distributing and servicing Leica products in the greater China (and Asia) region for some 60 years.
However, such news was not properly reported back then, with just a few local and online outlets giving it a mention. As such, many of us knew of this news only since this January, when the distributor's rights officially ended. Not even Schmidt Marketing has properly published any press releases regarding this matter.
That said, Schmidt will still be conducting product servicing and repairs until around the end of April.
The online reports that I could pull off are as follows (Chinese only):
Some, however, reported that CEO Andreas Kaufmann has long hinted on such a move, saying there's huge expansion potential in China. Leica has set up a new subsidiary in Shanghai last June, as well as setting up the first Leica Store in mainland China. It also collaborated with Taobao (Tmall) to set up its own online store for the mainland.
After April, the Leica subsidiary in Shanghai will assume full responsibility for sales and servicing of all Leica products deployed in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Back in the Schmidt days, most Leica product repairs were conducted locally.
BTW the only closest news release that I could find is related to this matter is as follows: Leica Camera AG appoints Jane Cui as a President of Leica Camera Asia.
To this day there are a few Leica Stores in Hong Kong, which I believe are all operated and maintained by the Shanghai subsidiary.
Personally, I'm disappointed by this entire move, even though I don't get to use a lot of Leica stuff. Direct company marketing/sales is not a surprising move over time, as exemplified by such brands as Nikon (reclaiming sales/marketing/service control in HK since around 1996), so why can't Leica set up more local subsidiaries (not just representative offices) in places like Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong? That would definitely help serving its clientele in the said areas and/or regions.