Four things we know about China’s luxury consumers: Apple is most desirable but British brands rate among wealthy shoppers

 
Lynsey Barber
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Watches, jewellery and Apple products are China's favourite luxury gifts to give (Source: Getty)

Chinese spending on luxury goods may be faltering as the economy slows down and the government clamps down on gift-giving of luxury items, but consumer spending is still expected to help carry the country’s economy ahead of the US as the world’s largest over the next decade.

The rise of the luxury brand in Asian markets has boosted many a company’s bottom line, and China’s wealthy consumers are increasingly heading abroad to spend.

Here are five things we learned about China's luxury consumers and what they are spending their money on, from a survey by Hurun Report based on responses from 326 Chinese millionaires with an average wealth of $6.8m.

1.

Apple's a winner

Spend on gift-giving among China’s super-wealthy fell five per cent, but the best gift of all is Apple.

The tech brand topped the list of gifts China’s richest prefer to give, unseating Louis Vuitton’s Hermes brand. Burberry and Prada dropped out of the top 10 this year, while Moutai, a Chinese spirit, was the only home brand to make the list.

Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said the government’s crackdown on gift-giving has had an effect, but travel retail is changing the dynamics of spending in China, with seven in 10 luxury goods bought by the Chinese now bought overseas.

2.

Men love their watches and women love their jewellery

Apple may be the most popular brand to give, but in terms of overall category, watches for men and jewellery for women trumped consumer electronics.

Combining the two, Apple may be on to a winner among China’s super-wealthy with its soon to launch smartwatch.

3.

Down under is on top

Australia is the preferred luxury travel destination for China’s richest, followed by France, Maldives and Dubai. The UK was a new entry in this year’s list, ranking eighth. No wonder London is keen to attract visitors from China when they are spending more of their wealth abroad these days.

4.

British brands abroad

Famous British brands and names Rolls Royce, Jaguar, British Airways, Harrods, Net-a-porter, David Beckham-backed whisky Haig Club and London restaurant Hakkasan, were rated by Hurun Report as the “best of the best” in a range of categories, or the best new entry or best year-on-year performance, based on those chosen by the millionaire and super-rich surveyed.

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