Millionaires' Fair in Shanghai proffers luxe
Updated: 2006-04-29 08:42 A fair for millionaires - and those who want to
dream - extols all the "basics" of luxury: a villa for 250 million yuan (US$31.3
million), a crystal ball for 25 million yuan, private islands, yachts, Porsches,
a 30-carat diamond, rare wines.
If it's in your fantasies, it's here.
Guests take mobile phone snapshots of a gold
bathtub at the ongoing 2006 Millionaires' Fair which opened Friday night
at the Shanghai Exhibition Center surrounded by much fanfare about its
wealthy guests and extravagant exhibits. The invitation only luxury gala
will run through next Sunday. China has an estimated 236,000 US dollar
millionaires and is the world's third-largest consumer of high-end
fashions after Japan and the United States.
The 2006 Millionaires' Fair opened last night at the Shanghai Exhibition
Center after much fanfare about the wealthy guests and the extravagant exhibits.
Admission was by invitation only, but it's open to the public today, running
through next Sunday. Admission is 350 yuan (US$44).
As many Chinese become affluent, international luxury goods producers are
competing to lure those with old money and new. Orders can be placed at the
The fair is China's first on such a large scale, said organizers. As of last
year, China had at least 236,000 millionaires, counted in US dollars and based
on their reported wealth, according to research by Cap Gemini and Merrill Lynch.
China is the world's third-largest consumer of high-end fashions after Japan
and the United States and generated sales in luxury goods of US$2 billion in
2004, according to a report by Ernst & Young.
The luxury market is likely to grow 20 percent annually until 2008, and then
10 percent a year to 2015, the report said.
Luxury car makers found a launching pad. Porsche Cayenne Turbo 2 made its
China debut. It's the top model in the Cayenne series, a mere 1.68 million yuan.
The 2006 Range Rover Super Charger priced at 1.75 million yuan and the Jaguar
XK, about 1.4 million yuan, were also launched at the event.
"China is an important market for Porsche given the nation's fast-growing
buying power," said Mark Bishop, managing director of Porsche China. Last year
Porsche sold 857 cars on China's mainland and expects to sell 500 this year.