Business / Industries

Bubble bursts for Tibetan mastiffs ...

By Du Juan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-16 07:58

Bubble bursts for Tibetan mastiffs ...

A Tibetan mastiff with a lion-alike mane in Lhasa, capital of Tibet autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

The price for these pure-bred dogs once hit nearly $800,000, but now the bottom has fallen out of the market

Peng Qiwei, who has been raising Tibetan mastiffs for more than 20 years, decided to close his kennel park to the public in Beijing this year.

He made the decision after the crazy enthusiasm for this particular kind of dog in China started to fade along with many speculators' dreams of making a fortune.

Peng, born in Shandong province, started to love dogs when he was very young and bought his first Tibetan mastiff in 1993 when he went to the Tibet autonomous region.

"In the past years, I have been to Tibetan areas countless times, searching for pure-bred Tibetan mastiffs," he said.

As one of the first people to breed Tibetan mastiffs commercially in China, Peng feels a bit sorry about the current market for such "lovely" dogs.

"The Tibetan mastiff market went crazy in 2008 when some investors, instead of dog lovers, hyped the price among rich people," he said. "The price was not reasonable at all."

Many newly rich Chinese such as coal mine owners who became extremely wealthy during the price hike in commodities between 2006 and 2008 started to buy such a dog as a pet.

Different from dog lovers and professional breeders, they did not have the inside knowledge about such dogs, including how to tell a real one from the mixed-blood species and even other similar kinds. As a result, the market was full of so-called Tibetan mastiffs with prices as high as 5 million yuan ($793,650) to 10 million yuan for one such dog.

"Even if they paid a lot, the dogs they got were still not pure-bred Tibetan mastiffs," Peng said.

However, the market still created many millionaires at the time. Some people began to trade so-called Tibetan mastiffs as a business.

Their luck did not last long.

As China's economy slowed down in recent years, which resulted in less demand for luxury commodities, the newly rich who got their fortune through soaring coal prices in the past few years started to go bankrupt or shifted to other industries.

Along with that, the Tibetan mastiff lost its glory and prices fell sharply.

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