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Chinese brands yet to break into global top 100: WLA

By Ji Beibei (Global Times)

09:08, January 12, 2012

A list of the world’s top 100 luxury brands was released in Beijing yesterday by the World Luxury Association (WLA), but no Chinese companies were included.

"Our businesses lack brand building awareness and lag behind in terms of global influence and market share, which leaves China’s giant market open to foreign brands,” Zhu Mingxia, director of the research centre for luxury goods at Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times yesterday.

China does have its own recognized top brands such as liquor brand Moutai, but none that can be considered global luxury names.

"Some sectors like tea, furniture and liquor have potential, but establishing our own global luxury brands will not happen in the next decade,” said Zhu.

"Culture and tradition form the soul behind an established global luxury brand,” Lu Zhengwei, chief economist of Industrial Bank, told the Global Times yesterday. ”To establish our own global brands, we need to have our culture and lifestyle recognized, which calls for stronger economic power of China.”

China is the world’s fastest growing market for luxury consumption. In 2011, the domestic luxury market was worth $10.7 billion, and that figure doesn’t include private jets, yachts or luxury cars, according to the WLA.

This year, China is expected to surpass Japan to become the world’s largest luxury consumer, with the market expected to be worth $14.6 billion, the WLA said.

The WLA estimates that 16 percent of China’s population, some 200 million people, are now regular buyers of luxury goods and the figure is growing at an annual pace of 25 percent.

However, keeping the consumption within China’s borders is a challenge. Data from the WLA shows that in 2010 Chinese expenditure on luxury goods manufactured in European countries totaled $50 billion, four times the amount spent on top domestic brands.

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