China may be a Communist country, but it is also the world’s fast growing market for luxury goods.
Which is why the ‘Luxury China’ show in the country’s capital did such good business and why so many European companies – feeling the recessionary pinch back home – shelled out for stalls there.
A crackdown on luxury gifting among government officials meant a fall in high-end watch sales in China this year, but the Swiss are not worried.
Swiss watchmaker Amarildo Pilo said: “I think that the Chinese are more and more important to the market. So the world is like this: the more we know, the more we have an interest in the products and the more we like the originals.”
The show has attracted 300 brands from 20 countries, covering everything the newly minted millionaire, or billionaire could want, including jewellery, furniture, cars and yachts.
The organiser of ‘Luxury China’ Zhai Wenjing said: “There are many people who think the most expensive products are the best. Maybe they’re looking for a symbol of their identity. But those who are really looking for quality and taste, they’ll go for the specialness and spiritual value of custom-made luxury products.”
Whether they’re looking for “spiritual value” or just flaunting their high-net-worth, the richest Chinese are set to keep on splashing out.
The Boston Consulting Group has forecast that China will be the top market for luxury goods by 2020 – worth the equivalent of 185 billion euros annually.