Club Caters To Ultra High Net Worth Chinese, Looking To Build “Social Capital” Abroad
This week, the New York and China-based private network Affinity China, which provides access to lifestyle and travel opportunities for its ultra high net worth Chinese members, officially launched its beta membership platform. Functioning as a gateway to help wealthy Chinese match the social capital they enjoy at home when traveling overseas, regardless of cultural or language barriers, Affinity China is launching its membership club with just 88 hand-picked VIP members, selected for their position and influence in the Chinese business world.
Affinity China is choosing an opportune time to cater to the demand from China’s wealthy globetrotters. China now has over one million millionaires, and the country’s relatively young newly wealthy increasingly have their eyes set on exploring the world. A recent Hurun Report study found there are currently 56 individuals in China under the age of 40 with an official net worth of at least 1 billion yuan (US$191 million), and that the average age of a young Chinese billionaire is 36. Over the past year, China’s outbound tourist market, led by wealthier travelers, amounted to US$232 billion worth of revenue, according to the Boston Consulting Group. Affinity China is coming into the market as more of these affluent jet-setters look for more out of their overseas trips, beyond sightseeing and shopping.
Set to formally launch in Shanghai this fall, Affinity China is focused primarily on providing high net worth Chinese members with lifestyle-focused experiences, including vacation packages in the Hamptons, backstage access at the Cannes Film Festival, golf with Tiger Woods or VIP access to sporting events. As Affinity China CEO and co-founder Christine Lu said, “The growth of [the ultra high net worth] demographic in China in the past few years is astounding and has resulted in a large population of wealthy Chinese. Because of this, there is a growing demand for a resource like Affinity China that can provide them with access to the lifestyle they desire with minimal effort on their part.”
New members receive perks like complimentary membership to some of the world’s most prestigious clubs and golf courses, with charter members also getting an iPad pre-loaded with Affinity China’s iPad app. The app, which members of the Jing Daily team previewed last month at Affinity China’s launch party in New York, keeps members abreast of upcoming travel opportunities and promotions, and allows the company to communicate with members while receiving feedback about their changing needs.
Although many private clubs catering to high net worth individuals are springing up throughout China, and international clubs like Quintessentially are planning to set up shop in the mainland, Affinity China is the first to go beyond the traditional physical “club-house” route or the “concierge service” route. The private membership trend is a trend that Jing Daily watches closely, and we will be including full coverage this fall of Affinity China’s official launch in Shanghai.