News / Asia

Chinese Buying More Luxury Goods

Chinese shopping looking at luxury goods (file photo)
Chinese shopping looking at luxury goods (file photo)

Multimedia

Besides overtaking Japan as the world's second largest economy, China's rapid economic growth is changing everything from the global balance of military and financial power to the way cars are designed.  It's also resulted in an increase in the luxury goods market in China, expected to top $14 billion in the next five years.  Mil Arcega has more.

It is a wardrobe closet that would have been unthinkable in Mao's China. But Xie Xiaoya is going to a cocktail party and she says she needs the right shoes and the right handbag to go with her Valentino evening dress.

The Beijing advertising executive earns about $73,000 a year. She says she spends at least one third of that on luxury goods such as dresses, watches and expensive handbags.

For Xie, it is an important part of her image. "Brands bring to people a kind of self-confidence and social recognition," she said.

While much of the world is mired in recession, sales of luxury goods in China have increased 30 percent.

Jean-Michel Dumont, who heads a public relations firm in Asia, says that last year Chinese consumers spent $9.4 billion on luxury goods, surpassing the U.S. to become the second biggest luxury market after Japan. "So, this is really a reflection of society change, the economic trends of China as a whole.  And in fact there is definitely a willingness of the Chinese consumers today to really go to the luxury segment of consumption," he said.

The growing demand for luxury goods is very profitable for stores such as Lenux that offers Prada, Gucci, Fendi and other high end brands.  

Store manager Ge Zing says the company has opened two stores in two years. "You can see that almost all the luxury brands are suffering from a shrinking market in all parts of the world except China, where the market is still growing.  Therefore we are very confident and that's why we decided to open the store in China," he said.

The confidence is also reflected in a recent survey that shows that Chinese consumers expect to spend nearly 15 billion dollars on luxury items over the next five years.

Economist David Resler says the trend in Chinese consumerism is one of the bright spots for Western economies. "They're becoming modern economies.  And that means they need to import goods from the developed economies like those in Europe and those in the United States," he said.     

Despite the new-found confidence in a booming China, economists say the wealth gap between the Chinese elite and the poor majority is among the most extreme.  

Although China is home to a growing number of millionaires, average per capita income for its 1.3 billion citizens is still among the lowest in the developing world.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs