SHANGHAI — Is gift-giving back in fashion?
That’s the message from the most recent edition of the Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2016 compiled by Hurun Report, a businesses and luxury lifestyle media company.
Chinese luxury gifting expenditures are currently up 15 percent, showing strong growth on a low base. The previous year’s survey showed a drop of 5 percent in spending on gift-giving, due mainly to the Chinese government’s crackdown on corruption.
“We saw the peak of the luxury brands about three years ago. Since then, it has been going down. It is still overall down by about 20 percent compared with three years ago, but it seems to have bottomed out and there seems to be some sort of confidence growing,” said Hurun Report’s chairman Rupert Hoogewerf.
The ongoing anticorruption campaign’s negative impact appears to have declined somewhat, according to Hurun.
“Although the anticorruption campaign is still continuing, it has been the luxury brands that have started to evolve. A lot of the luxury brands have reduced their entry-level prices and have come out with cheaper products. I think this reaction to what’s been going on in the anticorruption campaign is certainly a reason that they have started to bounce back again,” said Hoogewerf.
The top-three preferred brands for gifting by China’s richest men remained the same, with Apple ranked first, followed by Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Cartier and Tiffany rose in the top-ten rankings as Hermès continued to drop, according to the survey.
The top-three preferred brands for gifting by women are still Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Apple. But Chanel climbed up to take the top spot, while Apple lost its first position from last year. Bulgari made a return to the top-ten ranks, but Dior dropped.
In terms of gifting categories, watches, electronics and red wine topped the list for male gift recipients, while jewelry, cosmetics and fashion accessories were the most popular choices for women.
Travel, luxury goods and children’s education are the highest expenses for China’s super-rich, with France, the United States and the Maldives being the most popular international travel destinations. Jogging is the most popular sport for both male and female respondents.
The survey included 458 mainland Chinese millionaires, who were defined as individuals with a personal wealth of over 10 million yuan, or $1.52 million at current exchange rate. As of May of 2015, the number of dollar millionaires in mainland China reached 3.14 million, an 8 percent increase from the previous year, according to Hurun Report.
The Hurun Business Confidence Index noted that luxury consumers remain upbeat, with 80 percent of respondents stating that they are positive about the Chinese economy. But only 27 percent are “extremely confident” in the economy, which is down from 35.8 percent last year.