For love - and luxury

By Dong Fangyu and Yang Feiyue in Beijing ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-12-20 08:10:19

Luxury buying

Apart from baby products, popular products with haitao shoppers are luxury items such as premium clothing, handbags, cosmetics and skincare.

"Chinese customers contributed roughly 70 percent of luxury goods sales in the ROK and 33 percent at the duty-free shops in Japan's Narita Airport," says Zhou Ting, head of China Fortune Character, a Chinese luxury goods market research institute.

"The easy access for the Chinese to go abroad, the popularization of the Internet, and the increasing number of purchasing channels are making Chinese buyers smarter," says Zhou, who expects them to continue to favor Hong Kong, Macao, Europe and the US when it comes to buying luxury goods.

"Chinese consumers are no longer willing to pay brand premiums. They're seeking high-quality products at reasonable prices."

Tariffs account for only a single-digit percentage of luxury goods costs, so it would be possible for the luxury brands to launch regular price discount seasons in China to realize the same pricing mechanism worldwide, notes Zhou.

Chinese consumers bought 47 percent of luxury products worldwide in 2013, contributing approximately $102 billion in sales, according to a report from China Fortune Character. But only $28 billion was consumed in China, the rest of the consumption took place abroad, according to the report.

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