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China becomes world's 2nd largest luxury market
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08:48, July 27, 2009

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If you think China is still a developing country, this piece of news is going to surprise you. China has overtaken the US to become the world's second largest luxury market.

In 2008, China's super-rich bought a quarter of the world's luxury goods.

According to the World Luxury Association, affluent Chinese lavished 8.6 billion US dollars on shiny and pretty things last year.

A local Chinese magazine was stunned by the country's purchasing power, calling its citizens, "The People that Wear Prada."

Ouyang Kun, China Chief Rep. World Luxury Association, said, "If you take into account the luxury goods that Chinese tourists buy overseas, the total spending would be even larger. Chinese people have spent 25 percent more on luxury goods every year so far."

To attract these new spenders from what's quickly becoming the world's most promising economy, global luxury brands having been fighting for the market-share tooth and nail.

This year, Armani expanded by 20 percent in a matter of months, while Louis Vuitton and Gucci extended their networks from first tier to second tier provincial capitals.

Ouyang Kun, China Chief Rep. World Luxury Association, said, "The disposable income of Chinese people has been constantly rising in recent years. Global luxury brands now see China as the next Japan."

It's estimated that if China continue to grow at a similar pace, the nation will surpass Japan as the world's largest luxury goods market within five years upping its spending to a staggering bill of 14 billion US dollars every year.

Source: CCTV.com

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