From Overseas Press

China's latest frontier of luxury spending

Updated: 2010-06-03 15:55
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Barely touched by the recession, millions of Chinese are spending with abandon on luxury, said an article in New Zealand's Dominion Post on May 31.

The article pointed out that China is witnessing luxury consumerism as luxury retail is becoming commonplace in China. "Beijing is littered with high-end shopping malls, and even Qingdao, a 'tier three' port city in the northeast, has luxury shopping on a scale unseen in New Zealand," said the article.

The explosion of the number of wealthy Chinese has given rise to luxury consumption, the article said. "A 2009 wealth report claims there were 364,000 millionaires in China in 2008 with a combined wealth of $1.7 trillion. It now has the world's fourth-biggest population of millionaires, behind Germany, Japan, and the United States, respectively."

Displaying wealth has become culturally acceptable, with luxury goods as potent status symbols in China, which stimulate the rich to spend lavishly on international brands. "At the luxury end of the market, Chinese people want international brands. They don't want Chinese-made products and Chinese brands," Fisher and Paykel Appliances' international chief operating officer Andrew Paykel was quoted as saying.

As for New Zealand, it needs to get in on the act now to invest more in tailoring itself to fit China and identifying trends with multinational luxury brands already pouring huge amounts of money into China, the article concluded.