Weekend Sound Bites: Shanghai’s Free-Trade Zone, Online Auctions, And Swarovski In China

Welcome to Jing Daily‘s Weekend Sound Bites: a rundown of what industry influencers were saying about the week’s top stories on the business of luxury and culture in China. 


A Swarovski by Shourouk necklace. (WWD)

— FRIDAY, 8/23 —

“Shanghai has its economic strength as well as geographical and political advantages in the greater China economic circle.”

-Professor Liu Yuanchun from Renmin University on the new Shanghai free trade zone.  (SCMP)

“I’m getting sick of driving my van because when people see the car they always think I’m a chauffeur. It’ll be like a talking point when you go out: ‘Oh that’s an electric car.’”

-Hong Kong resident Bem Ho on why he recently placed an order for a Tesla. (Bloomberg)

— THURSDAY, 8/22 —

“Property is what really attracts China’s rich. With just half a million euros, high-net-worth Chinese investors will get a good return on their property investment and at the same time enjoy a handful of EU benefits they don’t have in China.”

-Nuno Durao, a founding partner at Irglux, a unit of real estate agency Fine & Country, in Cascais, Portugal, on the fact that many EU countries are scrambling to attract wealthy Chinese real estate investors. (Bloomberg)

— WEDNESDAY, 8/21 —

“Some auction houses are renovating sales models by exploring e-commerce. If, meanwhile, they pay adequate attention to the authenticity and quality of items sold online, the practice will provide a much broader platform for works of modest prices and help artists whose career is still in its infancy reach out to a more extensive number of viewers.”

-Gong Jisui, art market observer and professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, on the rise of online auctions in China. (China Daily)

— TUESDAY, 8/20 —

“Chinese customers are always in a hurry and they want everything to be done very quickly. And sometimes they are suspicious that we have raised the price and we have to assure them that we have not.”

-An assistant manager at Chanel in the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris, who declined to give her name because she is not authorized by the company to comment, on her view of the behavior of Chinese customers. (China Daily)

— MONDAY, 8/19 —

“We want to find out whether Swarovski as a brand is able to credibly carry a fine jewelry line. The first indications of our test in China are that this is the case.”

-Robert Buchbauer, a member of the Swarovski executive board, on the introduction of Swarovski fine jewelry to China. (WWD)