When Chinese Millionaires Give Gifts, What Brands Win?

In China, it’s nice to have a friend who is a millionaire. A study by Hurun Research Institute released last week showed that the favorite gift-giving brands of 465 Chinese millionaires in 2018 included Cartier, Chanel, and Dior.

The 2019 version of the Shanghai company’s annual Chinese Luxury Consumer Study surveyed high net worth individuals with personal assets valued at more than RMB 10 million, or about $1.5 million. Men’s favorite gifts to give were Apple products, while women cited Bvlgari goods — and both brands held the same positions in last year’s survey. French heritage brand Louis Vuitton took second place for both sexes.

The consumers surveyed were aged 35 on average, with 64 percent of them living in “first-tier” cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Overall, according to Hurun, this year going forward, the consumption of luxury goods may be held up a little: the millionaires said they are putting more value on intangible luxury such as travel, healthcare, and education. But luxury fashion, jewelry, electronics, and alcohol are still at the top of their gift-giving lists.

Photo Illustration: Jiaoyang Li

The popularity of luxury powerhouses Chanel and Gucci remained relatively steady with generous gift-givers, while Dior, which was in the 7th place last year in the female-preference rankings, fell off the chart this year. What is especially noteworthy is that Bottega Venetta came out as a new brand in the top-10 ranking this year.

Electronic devices rose up to the top in men’s gift giving choices, while they remained in the 6th place in women’s gift giving, same as last year.

High-end baijiu took the third place in men’s most popular gift choice ranking, with liquor producers Moutai and Yanghe Menzhilan standing out as the only domestic brands that joined the top-10 ranking.

One striking development: while artwork remained in 8th place for wealthy women’s gift-giving, it popped up in the men’s gift-giving ranking as a new category and claims the 7th place. The report attributed this to an increased value high-income Chinese are putting on consumption of the intangible cultural value rather than material value.

In terms of lifestyle preferences, travel was still the most popular leisure activity. Japan, France, and the Maldives were the three most popular overseas travel destinations for Chinese millionaires. Regarding luxury hotel preferences, The Peninsula and Shangri-La were the most popular luxury hotel and high-end business hotel, respectively.

How did they pay for it all? Mobile payment still dominates the market, with over 60 percent of survey respondents choosing that method of purchase.


Consumer Insights, Market Analysis