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The costs of luxury spending are booming

By Bai Ping  (China Daily)

08:20, August 27, 2012

(Photo/China Daily)

Chinese shoppers caused a stir when they won their own gold in London during the Olympics, spending on average 203 pounds sterling ($255) per purchase and beating runners-up from the oil-rich United Arab Emirates by a whopping 10 percent.

This is not the first time Chinese consumers have earned such a dubious distinction abroad. The media frenzy over the Olympics simply thrust the big spenders into the spotlight. Slamming the raging luxury fever, sociologists and critics had pieced together the picture of a young, flaunty and huge luxury consumer class and an even larger fan base, which spans most groups in society.

One of the most startling revelations was that most Chinese luxury consumers are aged between 25 and 35 years, considerably younger than their US or European counterparts.

At first glance, their income of about 10,000 yuan ($1,570) a month does not look much. But they can spend a considerable portion of that on luxury products, because many receive family support or have subsidized housing or other benefits after they start working.

A recent study shows Chinese consumers spend about 40 percent of their yearly income on luxury goods, while those in the West spend an average of only 4 percent.

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