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Debating luxury duties: Up, down or scrapped

(Shanghai Daily)

09:22, September 16, 2011

Illustration by Zhou Tao

FOR some fashion-conscious Chinese, one of the highlights of a US trip is a shopping visit to suburban factory outlets.

A familiar sight at such outlets is some Chinese grabbing several shopping bags and snapping up branded cosmetics, handbags, or watches.

What keeps them in a state of excitement is the knowledge that these items are much cheaper there than back home.

According to a recent report on the Caijing magazine website, the prices for products deemed luxuries in Beijing are much higher than in New York.

For instance, a pair of ordinary Levi's jeans is priced at US$70-90 (455 to 585 yuan) in New York, while in Beijing they carry a price tag of 699-899 yuan.

One of the favorite overseas purchases is a Coach handbag, which is priced at 2,000 to 5,000 yuan in China, against 640 to 1,920 yuan in New York.

Ironically, some of the favorite luxury items are manufactured in China, branded and bought overseas, and finally brought back to China by those Chinese aspiring to be seen as successful.

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wende at 2011-09-1671.251.45.*
Luxury items should have increased taxes and basic commodities should be tax free. The basic principle is that taxation should benefit the great majority of the people.

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