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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Chinese consumers fill big Western shoes abroad

By Yu Jincui (Global Times)

13:40, February 04, 2012

The recent ascent of Chinese consumers' purchasing ability has aroused panic as well as expectations among Westerners. They feel nervous about Chinese wealth eroding their economy but have to accept this reality to save their flagging economies. This is ac¬cording to what I have read in media reports. I, as an ordinary white-collar worker in Beijing, never thought I would live to see the day I was thought to be a "savior."
When world media attention was focusing on a group of 800 wealthy Chinese tourists who went on a spending spree at Macy's in Las Vegas during the Chinese New Year holiday this year, I was on assign¬ment in Sydney, my first trip abroad.

Australia is not a huge luxury-goods market, but it is famous for some local specialty shops and brands that attract worldwide customers for their superior quality. Squeezing some free time out of my tight sched¬ule, I rushed to one local shopping mall to purchase skin care products from a famous Australian brand. When I arrived at the counter, it was clear I wasn't the only Chinese customer who'd made a stop at that store.

The saleswoman warmly told me how popular their products are among Asian, and especially Chinese, customers. When I showed her the list of items I wanted to purchase, the excitement on her face told me I was the type of customer she had been dreaming of. There were 15 bottles of skin care products on my list, to the amount of nearly 1,000 Australian dollars ($1,058).

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Tracker at 2012-02-06122.107.87.*
I am Australian and my wife is Chinese and we live in Sydney. No, the purchasing power of Chinese is not being exaggerated, Chinese both abroad and local have an educated knowledge of quality and luxury goods and generally are prepared to pay for it. With quality and luxury the product also lasts much longer than cheaper alternatives so you do get value for money. Local purchasers tend to buy something cheap and when it breaks they throw it away and buy another cheap product also cheaper perfumes and cosmetics never seem to last. I guess the saleswoman thinks all Chinese are rich because we have some very wealthy local Chinese here who are wealthy partly because of their education and business sense and partly because of their Chinese upbringing and culture and understanding of money and ability to save and not waste and Chinese are beginning to holiday in Australia in greater numbers to our benefit. Lovely people too, I can say I have never met a bad Chinese tourist, with my limited Mandarin I always try and say hello and ask where in China are they from and get some wonderful smiles back. That"s not to say Chinese are easy customers, Chinese are very shrewd with bargaining and always walk out of the shop with a good deal so sales are not easy for the salesperson. I hope you enjoyed your stay in Australia and hopefully you will come back and see us again :-)

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