Given how wealthy Chinese travelers are acquiring expensive luxury items of famous brands such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Rolex, if the 2006 comedy film were made a decade later, it would probably be titled “The Chinese Wears Prada.”
That’s because with their $183 billion (1.2 trillion yuan) spending on luxury goods in 2015, Chinese consumers now account for 46 percent of global luxury sales, according to Fortune Character Group. The Beijing-based firm said that over 60 percent of their purchases, worth $116.8 billion, were on luxury products such as mobile devices, makeup and handbags.
The amount was bought by 1 percent of China’s population, or the 120 million Chinese tourists who went shopping overseas in 2015. Their spending accounted for no less than 12 percent of global spending, reported China Daily.
The spending spree is a testimony to the growth in Chinese consumption when aboard, which expanded by an average of 27.8 percent yearly in the last decade, twice the growth in domestic spending. It indicates the fast expansion of the affluent in China despite the recent slowdown in the Asian giant’s economy.
In contrast, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that domestic spending on consumer goods grew year-on-year by 10.7 percent, reaching 30.1 trillion yuan. Had Chinese tourists bought at home one-third of the goods they purchased abroad, it would have boosted China’s retail sales of consumer goods by 1 percent, estimated Li Jian, senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
However, despite these brands available in China, Chinese travelers prefer to buy these items abroad so that over 80 percent of global luxury brand sellers in China had shuttered their mainland outlets, such as Louis Vuitton which closed three stores, reported The South China Morning Post.