Why China’s Rich Gift Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Hermes

on January 12 2012 | in Trends | by | with No Comments


Gift-giving provides a good purview into China’s luxury spending.

“Gift-giving is an essential part of Chinese culture. The money spent on gifting, especially at Chinese New Year, is staggering compared with the West,” said Rupert Hoogewerf of Hurun Report.

The top gifts favored by Chinese luxury consumers in 2012 according to a survey of 503 Chinese millionaires by the Hurun Report is not terribly surprising. They consist mostly of global name brands, particularly French brands.

Chinese millionaires like to give their friends and business associates LV, Cartier and Hermes. The only Chinese brand to top the list is Moutai, a baijiu brand.

Top 10 Gifts for the Chinese Luxury Consumer 2012

Rank Brand % of Respondents Sector Country of Origin
1 Louis Vuitton 14.9% Fashion France
2 Cartier 10.3% Jewelry, Watches France
3 Hermes 8.0% Fashion France
4 Chanel 6.2% Fashion, Perfumes France
5 Moutai 5.9% Drinks China
6 Apple 5.7% Consumer Electronics US
7 Dior 4.6% Fashion France
8 Prada 3.9% Fashion Italy
9 Rolex 3.6% Watches Switzerland
10 Armani 3.4% Fashion Italy

Why is China’s wealthy so keen on these foreign brands?

“What I want is a brand that is widely recognized. Domestic brands are still not well-known enough for my friends. I prefer the latest items that cost more than 10,000 yuan each,” said Guan Hongsheng, who owns a trading company in Wenzhou. He spent more than 1 million yuan in business-related gifts that included more than 40 iPhones, seven iPad 2s, Macbooks and items from Cartier, Hermes and Montblanc.

Quality and heritage are important when the Chinese rich choose brands. As important, luxury brand makes it easier for the recipient to understand a gift’s value.

As for the World’s Most Valuable Luxury Brands, French brands dominate the list with four in the Top Ten. Two famous Chinese baijiu brands, Moutai and Wuliangye, made the list for the first time with brand values of US$12 billion and US$7 billion respectively.  “The Moutai brand is now worth more than household names in the West such as Mercedes-Benz and Chanel,” according to the report.

World’s Most Valuable Luxury Brands 2012

Rank Brand Brand Value US$bn Sector Country of Origin
1 Louis Vuitton 20.5 Fashion France
2 Hermes 14.5 Fashion France
3 BMW 13 Cars Germany
4 Moutai 12 Drinks China
5 Mercedes-Benz 10 Cars Germany
6 Chanel 9 Fashion, Perfumes France
7 Wuliangye 7 Drinks China
8 Gucci 6.5 Fashion Italy
9 Rolex 6.0 Watches Switzerland
10 Cartier 5.9 Jewelry, Watches France

A typical wealthy Chinese included in the survey “has two private bank accounts, 4.2 watches and three cars. They travel eight days a month for work. They go abroad three times and spend 20 days for leisure in a year.”

China has almost a million individuals with personal wealth of 10 million renminbi or more (equivalent to USD 1.6 million) according to Hurun.

While gifting is big in China, the country’s richest spent the most on travel, followed by education for their children, and entertainment.
photo credit: louis vuitton

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