Jing Daily’s Top Posts For The Week
It’s already an accepted fact in the luxury industry that wealthy Chinese consumers are here to stay. Now the question is how to get them to wind down their notoriously high savings rate and spend more. However, Chinese shoppers appear to be doing this on their own, regardless of the ongoing digital and traditional media marketing blitz in which some high-end companies are currently engaged. According to the Wall Street Journal, as the number of Chinese millionaires continues to climb, China’s 53.2% savings rate is forecast to decline and consumer spending set to rise long term. As the Journal adds, this trend should be very fortuitous for one company in particular — the Geneva-based luxury juggernaut Cie. Financiére Richemont, owner of brands like Cartier, Piaget, and Montblanc.
As part of its 2011 expansion efforts, on December 16 Burberry is set to open its ninth Beijing location, a mammoth flagship store at Sparkle Roll Plaza (北京耀莱新天地 ). At 1,200 square meters (12,916 square feet), the new flagship will be Burberry’s largest in all of Asia. Designed to the global specifications of Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey, the new Sparkle Roll Plaza flagship — which is nearly three times larger than the Jinbao Place flagship that opened in Beijing in April 2009 — will carry Burberry’s Prorsum, London, Brit and Sports lines and a full range of men’s, ladies and children’s clothing, leather goods and accessories, fragrances, watches and glasses.
The recently concluded Abu Dhabi Art Fair was a success in more ways than one for top Chinese contemporary artists. Not only were they exhibited alongside other global heavy-hitters like Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol, but works by Ai Weiwei, Zeng Fanzhi and Yan Pei Ming sold to unnamed collectors and institutions.
All three artists were represented at the fair by major international galleries, with Ai represented by Gallery Hyundai, Zeng by Hanart TZ Gallery, and Yan by David Zwirner.
As Lindsay Pollock points out this week, in addition to the sales the Abu Dhabi fair also featured a series of panels with Jeff Koons, dealers Jay Jopling and David Zwirner, as well as reps from MoCA Los Angeles, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
While product placement in Chinese television shows and films isn’t entirely a new phenomenon, it is undoubtedly becoming more overt and moving beyond the occasional soda can and further up the value chain, particularly as project budgets (and the number of middle-class viewers) rise. However, along with the increasingly prominent role played by brands on the big screen in China has come no shortage of controversy among audiences. Earlier this year, the starring role played by brands like Lipton and Lenovo in “Go Lala Go!” (杜拉拉升职记), a”The Devil Wears Prada”-esque romantic comedy about an ambitious office worker, alienated much of its audience.
Recently, author Handel Jones told Jing Daily that education will continue to be big business in China in the next several decades, as the country’s middle class grows and pushes greater demand. But far from only benefiting the Chinese education industry, the expanding middle class has already become a significant source of students (and cash) at schools overseas. Despite the global economic slowdown last year, according to the new Open Doors 2010 study by the Washington D.C.-based Institute of International Education (IIE), the number of Chinese international students at American universities rose 30% in 2009 to 127,628. This saw China surpass India for the first time as the top source of foreign students in the United States, which Chinese students comprising 18% of all international students to India’s 15%.