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Chinese luxury purchasers now setting global trends

By Bian Yi (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-12-05 07:17

Chinese luxury purchasers now setting global trends

With a continuing boom in the market and rising demand from the newly prosperous, China's luxury consumer market looks increasingly buoyant, according to the 2009 21st Century Deluxe Report.

The report, released last Tuesday, shows a shift in Chinese consumers' attitudes to luxury purchases, one that has seen them graduate from mindlessly chasing fashion to making far more informed choices - and even beginning to set international trends.

In the long-run, says the report, the move to a more mature and knowledge-based consumption pattern in the luxury sector will add to its vitality and sustainability.

As a result, manufacturers in the luxury sector are now paying far more attention to the opinion and demands of Chinese consumers, swayed by their enthusiasm for such products and their more informed purchasing decisions.

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Organized by the 21st Century Business Herald, a leading Chinese business daily paper, and supported by Ipsos, a global market research firm, and Fudan University-Bocconi's fashion and luxuries management team, the report analyzed the behavior of China's high-end business people - the newspaper's primary readership group - with regard to luxury purchases. The report is aimed at promoting mature and informed decision-making throughout the luxury sector.

During three months of extensive research, more than 150,000 individuals across the country responded to questionnaires about their purchasing patterns and the factors that influence them.

In addition, the average number of daily visits to survey's official website was more than 10,000, with nearly 1,000 online surveys filled in each day.

The questionnaire, designed by Ipsos, analyzed a wide range of the target group's defining characteristics, including industry preferences, purchase motivation, lifestyle choices and social standing. The raw data was subsequently analyzed by the Fudan-Bocconi team.

Professor Lu Xiao, head of the team and an expert in luxury brand management, interviewed scores of participants in randomly selected focus groups. The qualitative data sourced via these interviews, combined with a detailed analysis of the respondents' opinions, allowed the professor to deliver in-depth insights into the sector.

Alongside the report, the favorite brands of the business people surveyed have also been announced. The results show that the China Minsheng Banking Corp was the only Chinese mainland homegrown brand to make the list.

Commenting on the initiative, the event's organizers said: "The essence of any luxury brand lies in the historical values it embodies. These values need to be continuously nurtured in order to retain their aspirational appeal across all cultural boundaries."