Rupert Hoogewerf
Rupert Hoogewerf (Photo credit: Fantake)

The luxury industry looks carefully how China´s consumers are changing their attitudes. For AdAge Global Hurun and China rich list founder Rupert Hoogewerf explains that the current downturn in extravagant spending is here to stay.


China’s wealthy spent 15% less in 2013 than 2012, and 25% less on gift-giving, according to a survey of China’s luxury consumers released this month. The reduced extravagance “is here to stay — this is the new way forward,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, who tracks the lives of China’s rich as chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report.

Mr. Hoogewerf says consumers are shunning displays of wealth, and China is moving closer to Western attitudes about gifts for officials.

Officials are also being cautious of the impact of social media: In September, a provincial official was sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption after photos of him wearing pricey watches went viral and netizens questioned how he could afford them…

While officials are being told to tone it down, ordinary consumers are shunning bling as well. The online buzzword of recent months was tuhao – nouveau riche. The word is “very reflective of a new era of Chinese consumption – you no longer buy the most expensive product because your mates will say, ‘you’re such a tuhao,'” Mr. Hoogewerf said.

For five more trends in the luxury industry, visit AdAge.

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