Tag Archives: China luxury

China Imposes New 10% Luxury Car Tax

China Imposes New 10% Luxury Car Tax

China has imposed an extra 10 percent tax on ultra high-end cars costing over 1.3 million yuan ($190,000) such as Lamborghinis and Ferraris, the government said, the latest step in a wide crackdown on conspicuous luxury consumption.

Under President Xi Jinping the Communist Party has overseen a sprawling campaign against graft and encouraged thrift among the country’s political and economic elites, targeting showy displays of wealth.

The new tax took effect Thursday and was intended to “guide rational consumption” and promote energy-efficient vehicles, the finance ministry said in a statement late Wednesday.

“The tax increase is a display of the government’s attitude of advocating frugality,” said Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the Passenger Car Association, according to Bloomberg News.

China already taxes imported vehicles at a high rate, slapping a 25 percent tax on all foreign cars shipped to China.

The duties – and increased competition from cheaper domestic marques – have driven overall car imports down two years in a row, with 850,000 vehicles imported in the first 10 months of the year, down 6.4 percent from 2015, according to customs statistics.

But ultra high-end brands such as Ferrari have done well, with the Italian sports-car maker seeing a 26 percent surge in its second-quarter sales this year, with 160 units delivered.

The extra charge will likely hit Ferrari and brands such as Aston-Martin, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini, as well as top-end models of Mercedes and BMW.

Luxury carmakers have seen massive growth in China, the world’s largest auto market, despite the anti-corruption campaign.

They have also become potent symbols of the lavish lifestyles of the nouveaux riches during a time of surging wealth inequality.

Elite families often hire fleets of pricey cars for wedding processions, and wealthy second-generation heirs film themselves racing ultra-luxury sports cars in cities at night.

A notorious 2012 Ferrari crash that killed the son of a high-level official disrupted a once-in-a-decade party leadership change and precipitated his father’s downfall.

Reports said the son was accompanied in the car by two female passengers, one of them naked.

Some luxury dealers said they planned to stay open all night Wednesday to take orders before the tax came into force.

Passenger vehicle sales in China surged by an average of more than 12 percent annually from 2010 to 2015, but an economic slowdown has reduced the speed, with expansion dropping to 4.7 percent last year with total sales of 24.6 million.

Beijing Auto Show Blows Hot and Cold

The global car industry is going through a roller coaster ride right now, with sales peaking in many markets yet many of the biggest players find themselves embroiled in scandals. As the Beijing Auto Show opens April 24, the industry faces both more sobering news and exuberant breakthroughs. According to consulting firm McKinsey, auto sales growth is projected to grow in China by just five percent annually over the next five years. China is the world’s number one auto market so if things pan out as McKinsey say they will, there will be much pain to go around.

The bright spot though is hinted at in the image we used above. That is the new concept car from LeSee, the automotive division of Chinese tech firm LeEco, and it is packed with impressive high tech offerings, including a one-piece glass roof, from windscreen to rear window. The BBC says it makes a Tesla Model S look “downright ordinary.” Before we go back to the doom and gloom, the other bit of interesting news here is that LeEco is the major investor backing Faraday Future, the US-based start-up we reported on here.

“After years of double-digit growth, China’s auto market is slowing down. A cooling economy is one of the primary factors in the deceleration of what remains the world’s largest market for automobiles,” McKinsey said.

Domestic and international carmakers face increasingly cutthroat competition for consumers whose preferences have become “more practical”, it said.

The anti-corruption campaign under President Xi Jinping has reduced the appeal of luxury cars, it added, and “significant numbers” of consumers believe they can meet their transport needs by leasing, co-owning, or renting vehicles.

“There’s no sign of momentum,” said Michael Dunne, CEO and strategist at Dunne Automotive in Hong Kong. Competition is growing and “the China profit machine is slowing”, he said.

Competition for market share has become more intense as Chinese carmakers have improved their offerings, particularly in the surging SUV segment, where sales leaped by over 50 percent in the first quarter of 2016 as consumers opted for bigger cars on the country’s hair-raising roads.

Namrita Chow, principal China analyst at IHS automotive, said that international manufacturers can no longer “overlook the Chinese brands, saying, oh they don’t have what it takes to be a competitor. Those days are gone.”

Indeed, LeEco is a prime example of what Chinese firms are bringing to the table, or promising to at any rate. LeEco and Aston Martin announced a partnership February that will allow the British automaker to build its own fully electric ride, likely based on the Rapide saloon.

If nothing else, this illustrates that fears of a slowdown are offset to some extent by opportunities created by the rapidly changing industry, analysts said.

GM China president Matt Tsien said earlier this year that the global giant “expects the automotive industry to change more over the next five to 10 years than in the past 50 years”.

General Motors’ president Dan Ammann pointed to “the inevitable march toward autonomous vehicles” as an opportunity, saying: “We think self-driving cars have the ability to significantly make roads safer”.

More than half of over 3,500 consumers surveyed by McKinsey wanted to upgrade their cars and report co-author Paul Gao told AFP: “The growth is still solid. Five percent out of a big base still makes China a very attractive market.”

 

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report and various news reports, including the BBC report cited. The image featured is from the AFP.

Ferrari Theme Park Coming to China

Ferrari announced last week it had signed a memorandum of understanding with two Chinese companies to build a theme park in China. Ferrari has such a park in the Middle East and is building one in Europe too.

The non-binding deal with Beijing Automotive and Biac Eternaland Property will, if implemented, see the two Chinese companies licensed to establish the park in a still-to-be-decided Chinese city.

The luxury sportscar maker and Formula One powerhouse already has a theme park on an island near Abu Dhabi and is in the process of constructing another one in Spain.

The parks are one of the ways in which the company is hoping to leverage its luxury brand to generate additional revenues.

The company’s sales in China, which represent about five percent of its total worldwide, fell 22 percent in 2015.

China Rendez-Vous Reboots Pioneering Hainan Boat Show

The forthcoming edition of SO! HAINAN, organized by Asian boating industry veteran China Rendez-Vous, will be one to look out for because it will effectively serve as the relaunch of Hainan Rendez-Vous. This is particularly exciting news for us because we have covered the previous editions of Hainan Rendez-Vous so often in the past that we even have a tag for it (just scroll to bottom of this story). Just to revisit the past for a bit, China Rendez-Vous was founded in 2009 by Delphine Lignieres and is currently known for both SO! DALIAN and SO! HAINAN, along with the Bund Classic and Ski & Style.

CWB-w800-h600

The 2015 edition of Hainan Rendez-Vous will take place between December 3-6 at the Clear Water Bay Marina on Hainan island, China. The organizers have succeeded in signing a long-term partnership with Agile Group, China’s leading integrated real estate developers. According to the organizers, the concept of the event has been dramatically changed to reflect the most recent trends in China and the new dates will coincide with the peak season in Hainan. Leading international yacht and lifestyle brands have already confirmed their presence and the organizers are putting together a dense program of lifestyle activities to cater to the 20,000 expected elite visitors.

CRV marine with us-w800-h600

Alan Chan, General Manager of Clear Water Bay (Asia’s largest open-water marina), declared: “We are delighted to partner with China Rendez-Vous and to welcome SO! HAINAN at Clear Water Bay Marina. With a pristine reputation, strong track-record and great professionalism, China Rendez-Vous is the ideal long-term partner for Clear Water Bay. Our world class new coastal holiday resort is the perfect choice for SO! HAINAN and we look forward to welcoming guests from all over China to celebrate the yachting lifestyle”.

Facade Sunrise-w800-h600

Delphine Lignieres, Founder & CEO of China Rendez-Vous declared: “We are very proud to partner with Agile Group for the incredible show we are re-launching. SO! HAINAN is set to become the biggest and most important yacht show in the region and Clear Water Bay is the perfect venue to ensure its success and growth: huge open water marina, beautiful beach and amazing hotel choices.”

清水湾景色-w800-h600

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Remy Martin Connected Bottle

Remy Martin to export ‘smart’ cognac to China

Remy Martin Connected Bottle

Chinese consumers concerned about counterfeit cognac will soon be able to verify the authenticity of a bottle of Remy Martin via their cellphone.

The “smart” bottle of Remy Martin Club Connected Cognac, sold only in China, will be available in the coming months in “nightclubs in three big Chinese cities”, said Florence Puech, a spokeswoman for the firm.

DON’T MISS: THE WORLD’S BEST COGNAC BARS

Consumers can download a special app onto their smartphones, developed in partnership with Selinko — a technology company — which will communicate with a chip in the bottle cap.

The technology will allow them to ensure the bottle has never been opened as well as other information about its content.

It also has a marketing component, allowing cognac connoisseurs to join a fidelity programme.

China is one of Remy Martin’s key markets, along with the United States. French people do not consume a lot of cognac and most of the liquor produced in the country is exported.

Armani Casa project Beijing

Armani to design luxury residences in Beijing

Armani Casa project Beijing

Armani Casa has signed a deal with the Smart Hero Group to develop a residential project in Beijing, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reports.

Architect Ma Yansong has been signed up to design an eco building comprising several apartments, with Armani creating the amenities and common areas.

Armani Casa project Beijing China

“I’m very happy to collaborate on the development of this complex in Beijing, one of the most charming cities in the world,” Giorgio Armani told the publication. “The Chinese concept of ‘Union of Nature and Man’ perfectly fits the aesthetic I developed for Armani/Casa, which constantly aspires at creating a sense of harmony inside the indoor spaces while respecting their natural context.”

The brand has previously worked on projects including the Century Spire complex in Makati, Philippines and the World Towers in Mumbai.

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Mercedes-Maybach rolling out the door in China

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Mercedes-Benz is selling almost as many Maybach cars in China each month as it used to sell worldwide in a year, when it targeted the super-rich with a stand-alone model.

Chinese buyers are snapping up about 500 a month of the ultra-luxury variant of the Mercedes S-Class, which starts at about 1.44 million yuan ($230,000) in China. That compares to a peak of 600 Maybach cars in 2003, which at the time cost more than $350,000.

Daimler revived Maybach as a Mercedes sub-brand this year to chase the wealthiest buyers, people who otherwise might have considered a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley.

The Mercedes-Maybach adds legroom and opulent options such as hand-made silver-plated champagne goblets to the standard S-Class.

The effort appears to be working. Mercedes started selling Maybach in China in February as part of a push to catch up with BMW and Audi in the world’s largest auto market, which is suffering a slowdown.

Mercedes sales rose 20 percent last month, driven not just by Maybach but also by its compact cars and sport utility vehicles.

Read the rest of the story  @ Bloomberg

OPUS HONG KONG

Most expensive flat in Asia sold in Hong Kong: Report

OPUS HONG KONG

Swire Properties has sold a duplex apartment at Opus Hong Kong in Mid-Levels for HK$497 million, setting a record as Asia’s most expensive flat. [Update: A new record holder has emerged]

The 5,188 sq ft duplex flat A, on the ground and first floors of Opus Hong Kong at 53 Stubbs Road and including two car parking spaces, was sold yesterday at HK$95,971 per square foot.

Interior of Opus Hong Kong

That breaks the previous record for price per square foot, set in April, when Wang Shuang, paid HK$93,000 per square foot for a HK$433.8 million home on the 45th floor of 39 Conduit Road.

Opus Hong Kong

The Opus duplex has 5,188 sq ft of saleable area and a 3,245 sq ft garden which is not included in the saleable area. It has a 36 sq ft balcony and 113 sq ft of verandah.

Opus Hong Kong apartment

Opus, a 12-storey super- deluxe property completed in 2012, is dubbed Hong Kong’s most expensive apartment block.

Opus Hong Kong view

It is Frank Gehry’s first residential building in Asia and features an unusual twisted shape. Each unit has floor-to-ceiling windows and commands 360-degree views of Victoria Harbour and Mount Cameron.

Opus Hong Kong exterior

Source: PropGOluxury via SCMP

Chanel store in downtown Shanghai

Shopping rush at Chanel stores after price cut

Chanel store in downtown Shanghai

Chinese shoppers are mobbing Chanel stores and counting their savings after the French fashion house slashed handbag prices in the world’s biggest luxury market due to the slumping euro.

Long lines formed at Chanel stores in commercial hub Shanghai and shopping mecca Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, this week as word spread of deep discounts, according to media reports.

LOUIS VUITTON, CHANEL TOP CHINA’S MOST-WANTED LIST

China is widely considered the world’s biggest luxury market as a rising middle class and corrupt officials drive a shopping frenzy, but domestic prices are high due to hefty import taxes and huge retail mark-ups.

At one branch of Chanel in Shanghai, dozens waited anxiously in line for their turn, fearing the shelves might be stripped bare before a shop assistant could escort each person one-by-one into the store.

Miao Sijia, a well-dressed woman in her 20s who said she does not work, rushed 50 kilometres from a nearby city to buy a limited-edition, gold-coloured 2.55 bag for a discounted 19,700 yuan ($3,200).

“I rushed from Kunshan to buy a Chanel bag after a store clerk told me they were making a special price adjustment,” Miao, a VIP customer of the store, told AFP.

Chanel said it was harmonising the prices of its products around the world, including the 2.55, 11.12 and Boy bag collections, but did not specify the size of the discounts in China, or price rises in the eurozone.

White collar worker Wang Lei, also in her 20s, gave up 5,500 yuan ($894) of her salary to buy a Cambon purse but marvelled at the 21 percent discount. “It was almost 7,000 yuan ($1,138) before,” she told AFP.

Lang Lang

Lang Lang becomes Hublot’s latest ambassador

This Friday, January 30, the Swiss luxury watchmaker announced renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang as its latest brand ambassador.

Particularly well-known in China and the US, Lang Lang is admired by music connoisseurs worldwide. So it is fitting that Hublot has named the 32-year-old pianist as its new global brand ambassador.

The watchmaker announced the news in Lang Lang’s hometown of Shenyang, China. So far, the Swiss brand has not yet revealed which watches the pianist will represent in future campaigns.

Lang Lang

However, one might reasonably speculate that Hublot will introduce a new watch with ties to the piano, or at least to music in general.

As a Hublot brand ambassador, the pianist joins an elite group consisting of a number of star athletes, including Pelé and Usain Bolt and celebrities such as Jet Li and Bar Refaeli.

shanghai plaza 66

Fendi’s New Store at Shanghai’s Plaza 66

 released this video to celebrate the opening of their latest Shanghai store, in the booming megalopolis’s Plaza66 shopping mall.

The film also captures the glittering Fendi Christmas-themed light installation the Roman luxury label installed in the plaza outside the store.

STORY: THE FIRST LOUIS VUITTON MAISON IN SHANGHAI

Hermes in Shanghai

China luxury market shrank in 2014

Hermes in Shanghai

China’s luxury market shrank last year, a global consultancy said, attributing the decline to a national anti-corruption campaign, slowing economic growth and changing consumer tastes.

Sales of luxury goods in mainland China fell`1% to 115 billion yuan ($18.5 billion) in 2014 compared to a year earlier, Bain & Company said.

The consulting firm, which has been surveying the market since 2000, said it was the first time the industry had contracted.

China has become an ever more important destination for luxury goods manufacturers as the ranks of its wealthy have been swelled by a decades-long boom.

Swiss giant Richemont, the world’s second-largest maker of luxury products, said in November that its 2014/2015 first half net profit dropped 23 percent due to weaker demand in China.

The overall decline last year was because of the “continued impact of anti-corruption and frugality campaigns undermining ‘luxury gifting'”.

Slowing sales of high-end watches, menswear and leather goods contributed the most to the decline, the consultancy added.

Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping has overseen a much-publicised anti-corruption drive since taking power in late 2012, targeting high-level “tigers” and low-level “flies”.

A parallel austerity campaign has also has sought to curtail extravagant gift-giving, banquets and other excesses in the ruling party and government.

Bain added that China’s slowing economic growth was “exacerbating the issue”.

China’s economy expanded 7.4 percent in 2014, its weakest pace in 24 years, official data showed Tuesday, and authorities are emphasising a “new normal” as they retool the country’s growth model to one they hope will be more sustainable.

The consulting firm also stressed that China’s luxury market is becoming more diverse.

“The field of luxury brands in China is breaking wide open,” Bruno Lannes, the Bain partner who wrote the report, said in a statement.

“Brands’ future positioning and popularity within the luxury market hinges on their willingness to revamp concepts to serve the needs of the increasingly sophisticated and well informed Chinese consumers, while managing the growing diversity of sales channels, such as daigou.”

Daigou is a Chinese word for personal shoppers abroad who purchase luxury goods and send them to customers in China.

Bain said that the daigou market increased in 2014 to an estimated 55 to 75 billion yuan, led by cosmetics, leather goods, watches and jewellery.

The consultancy said that Chinese now purchase 70 percent of luxury brands either overseas or through daigou agencies.

W Beijing

W Hotel Opens in Beijing, China

W Beijing

Beijing has opened the doors to a new , a modern, glitzy property that aims to be the hotel of choice for the fashion, music and entertainment industry who descend on the bustling capital.

Located on Chang’an Avenue, a major thoroughfare that’s also home to major landmarks and monuments like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Silk Market and the Beijing Concert Hall, the W Beijing towers over a place that straddles tradition, history and the 21st century.

DON’T MISS: W HOTELS TO DOUBLE ASIAN PORTFOLIO

W Beijing lobby

All 349 guestrooms and suites feature digital tablets that can control room lighting and mood, a home theater system with Bose portable speakers and amenities from Bliss.

DON’T MISS: CHINA PLANS $1.3BN ‘SEVEN-STAR HOTEL’

W Beijing room

The W Beijing is the second of several W Hotels planned for China over the next five years in cities like Changsha, Chengdu, Shanghai, Suzhou, Sanya, and Shenyang.

W Hotels opened its first China location in the city of Guangzhou.

w beijing Spectacular Room King Bed

W Beijing – Chang’an is offering special rates to celebrate its opening from November 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015.

More information available at www.whotels.com/beijing

Bulgari Hotel Beijing

Bulgari Hotel to open in Beijing

Bulgari Hotel Beijing

Bulgari Hotels are set to launch a new luxury hotel in 2017, located in Beijing’s upmarket Embassy District and overlooking the Liangma River.

The 120 rooms and suites of the hotel will be flanked by two office buildings and a contemporary art gallery. The space will be designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners and will sit with the rest of the brand’s ‘contemporary Italian’ aesthetic for its hotel portfolio.

“The combination of the natural landscape with the artistic content will make this development a new benchmark for enlightened luxury living in the future,” explained Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin.

This hotel will join the brand’s existing locations in Milan, Bali, Tokyo and London. Ahead of the Beijing launch, another Chinese outpost is set to launch in 2016 in Shanghai, with a further hotel opening in Dubai in 2018.

ritz carlton Haikou Mission Hills

Ritz-Carlton plans first golf resort in China

ritz carlton Haikou Mission Hills

The  Hotel Company is to open its first luxury golf resort in China, which will open in 2015 in Hainan Island.

Developed by the Mission Hills Golf Club and managed by The Ritz-Carlton, the 201 room resort includes 21 private villas and a dedicated club house.

DON’T MISS: CHINA’S LOVE OF GOLF GROWS

It will be part of the Haikou Mission Hills Golf Club project, which boasts 10 golf courses and will be the largest public golf complex in the world.

Mission Hills Hainan

Designed by architects AECOM with interiors created by Hirsch Bedner Associates, the property includes five restaurants and bars, a Ritz-Carton Spa and extensive leisure facilities including tennis courts, two swimming pools and a recreation pavilion.

SEE ALSO: ILLEGAL GOLF COURSES IN CHINA FLOURISH

The nearby city of Haikou, nicknamed the Coconut City, has recently reinvented itself as Hainan’s new hub for business and tourism.

The region is known for its white sand beaches and is home to China’s national sailing and windsurfing teams.

Burberry Opens Flagship Store in Shanghai

Burberry Kerry Centre Flagship Shanghai

Burberry has opened a new flagship store in Shanghai, its largest in China so far and the first to feature the Burberry Beauty room concept.

burberry shanghai

Located in the city’s Kerry Centre in Shanghai’s Jing An district, it’s the British brand’s eighth location in the city. Open from Monday, the store will get an official launch with an event on April 24 designed to bring London to Shanghai with an immersive digital Burberry experience.

Burberry Flagship Store Shanghai

Inspired by the global flagship at 121 Regent Street in London, the space was designed to incorporate the best of British craftsmanship and materials, with a design concept developed by Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey.

Burberry Flagship Store Shanghai staircase

The store is set over three floors that mix digital and physical displays, including a dynamic illuminated facade on the outside and over 40 video screens on the inside providing an immersive audiovisual experience.

burberry beauty shanghai

With the full Burberry lines in-store, there’s a dedicated watch area (below), and the first in-store Burberry Beauty room (above) in China.

Burberry Watch Store Shanghai

The technical magic also include RFID chips woven into pieces that trigger mirrors to turn into screens and showcase exclusive content like fashion shows and product videos.

burberry shanghai meanswear

Shanghai-based fans can celebrate with exclusive men’s and womens ready-to-wear pieces and accessories, which will be available from April 25.

Burberry Flagship Store Shanghai interior

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland to feature Luxury shopping outlet

Shanghai Disneyland

The first Disneyland theme park resort in mainland China is to set to get an adjacent luxury shopping compound.

The Shanghai Shendi Group announced a venture with luxury outlet chain Value Retail this week, Want China Times reports.

‘Shanghai Village’ will be located next to Shanghai Disney Resort, which is set to open its doors at the end of 2015.

Located in the city’s Pudong district, the outlet will benefit from the transport links connecting the metropolis to the resort, and will aim to attract luxury bargain hunters.

The 50,000 square meter site will stock a variety of luxury Asian and International lifestyle brands with collections selling at discounted prices.

Value Retail’s existing ‘Chic Outlet Shopping’ concept villages in Europe include boutiques from designer labels such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Dior, Gucci and Prada, among others.

The compound will be the second Chinese outlet for the chain, which is planning to open its inaugural Asian site, Suzhou Village, in May 2014.

The Shanghai Disney Resort will feature a Magic Kingdom theme park and two themed hotels when it opens next year.

BMW Horse Edition interior

BMW prepares China-only 7-Series Horse Edition

BMW Horse Edition interior

The car, which will be exclusive to the brand’s Chinese customers, will be the centerpiece of BMW’s stand at the Beijing auto show.

Based on the long-wheelbase 7-Series luxury executive sedan, the Horse Edition offers a host of personalization options, including a number of individual paint finishes, and to help it stand out from the crowd, the exterior will also be augmented by elements from the company’s M division.

So, equipment and aerodynamic additions focused on increasing handling, performance and its sporty nature.

BMW promises a host of “high-class” interior details which will be open to personal interpretation but will include, as standard, specially embroidered leather seats featuring the Chinese character representing the Horse.

Now in its 13th year, the Beijing International Automotive exhibition officially opens its doors to the public on April 20.

BMW Horse Edition

China’s most popular watches are European

Omega Store Causeway Bay

According to the World Watch report, a new survey from the Digital Luxury Group, China’s most popular watch brands are all European.

Omega, Cartier and Rolex come top in the survey of the watch market in the Asian powerhouse, which boasted 59 percent market growth in the luxury watch category.

The top three models are Omega’s Constellation and De Ville models, and Cartier’s Ballon Bleu (from €3,410 up to over €50,000).

The report was based on data shared for the first time by Baidu, China’s leading search engine. According to Baidu Vice President, Liang Zeng, “Watches are part of the fastest growing luxury segments in China right now.”

It’s luxury watches which get the most attention, with prestige category brands leading with 23% of global interest, as well as accounting for 41.5% of total demand in China. Baselworld 2014 takes place March 27-April 3.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Tourbillon watch