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Luxury goods market dented by govt policies

By He Wei and Yu Ran (China Daily)

10:06, December 13, 2012

Gift spending, as a share of total luxury spending, has dropped 5 percentage points year-on-year to about 25 percent, said Bruno Lannes, partner of Bain in China and lead author of the China Luxury Market Study.

Tightened policies on government spending for luxury goods in China have put a temporary cap on the buying of luxury goods as gifts, which has contributed to the slowest annual growth of the market in five years.

That's according to the findings of the latest Bain & Co report released on Wednesday. The consultancy predicted luxury sales on the Chinese mainland to grow a meager 7 percent this year.

He cited a government regulation, effective from October, forbidding government spending on extravagant items, as well as the social media exposure of a number of government officials with luxury goods brands.

Lannes said products for men will be hardest hit by the changes. "Basically, it's watches and menswear that are most reliant on gift spending."

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