Chinese Tourists Buying pattern in 2015

Chinese Tourists in Japan are eagerly buying all kinds of Japanese luxury items, mainly electronic hygiene accessories and so-called “world class toilet seats.” These are top of the range luxuries that come with water jets, deodorizing spray and sometimes even with music to drown out any unwanted noises. According to the Japanese consulting firm Hottolink, more of these toilet seats were purchased by Chinese Tourists than any other product. In a Bic Camera store in Tokyo, a brand new model with a hands-free self-opening lid proved hugely popular, with each seat selling for $540.

The Global Times, a nationalistic Communist newspaper, didn’t seem to be particularly impressed with these spending patterns from their countryfolk, but for Japan, to be the target of Chinese buying power is a boon indeed. Autumn is the buying period in China when New Year sales increase spending both at home and abroad. Recently, it seems that Chinese goods are no longer as much in favor with Chinese consumers as they once were. 5.19 million Chinese traveled abroad during the New Year holiday, with 60% of these leaving China. Millions of people leaving China to spend their money overseas is a big deal.

The Global Times, a nationalistic Communist newspaper, didn’t seem to be particularly impressed with these spending patterns from their countryfolk, but for Japan, to be the target of Chinese buying power is a boon indeed. Autumn is the buying period in China when New Year sales increase spending both at home and abroad. Recently, it seems that Chinese goods are no longer as much in favor with Chinese consumers as they once were. 5.19 million Chinese traveled abroad during the New Year holiday, with 60% of these leaving China. Millions of people leaving China to spend their money overseas is a big deal.

In Paris, 80% of Chinese tourists spending was for goods. In Japan, 450,000 Chinese between them spent around $950 million on consumables.

Chinese tourists in Japan bought everything from digital cameras, air purifiers, rice cookers to the notorious electronic toilet seats, with some families, reportedly buying several of these to make sure the whole house was covered. Since 2012, Chinese traveling abroad, and spending abroad, have been at an all-time high. In the US, Chinese tourists are now spending $1.5 billion a year in California alone. while in 2014, Chinese tourists reportedly accounted for 62% of all luxury goods bought in Europe. Places like Milan and Paris, due to their associations with certain luxury goods, have also experienced phenomenal increases in sales to Chinese tourists. It makes sense to cater to the Chinese.

Once upon a time, when the Chinese wanted to spend their money on luxuries, they went to Hong Kong. In recent years, though, the change in shopping habits has had repercussions in Hong Kong.The expensive jewelry shops and boutiques that would once have been swamped with customers are losing sales. In June 2015, it was reported that sales of luxuries were down 10% in Hong Kong, across all the high-end retailers in the city. The number of mainland Chinese people actually visiting Hong Kong has fallen, too. some data suggests that the drop might be close to 50 percent.

Potentially this is due to protests staged in Hong Kong against the mainlanders. There’s also been a huge crackdown on corruption, meaning that the Chinese are no longer allowed to give expensive gifts and travel in a way that might be perceived to be bribery. This sort of socially accepted corruption fueled the luxury goods market in Hong Kong to a considerable extent. so without it, it makes sense that the market is in trouble. Now, the Chinese no longer seem to be as invested in buying the most expensive jewelry they can find, instead shifting to products in the middle of the range.

Potentially this is due to protests staged in Hong Kong against the mainlanders. There’s also been a huge crackdown on corruption, meaning that the Chinese are no longer allowed to give expensive gifts and travel in a way that might be perceived to be bribery. This sort of socially accepted corruption fueled the luxury goods market in Hong Kong to a considerable extent. so without it, it makes sense that the market is in trouble. Now, the Chinese no longer seem to be as invested in buying the most expensive jewelry they can find, instead shifting to products in the middle of the range.

Those who do go to Hong Kong these days don’t have much focus on jewelry. Instead, everyday items such as milk powder and medicines have been subject to a surge of interest from Chinese shoppers. Goldman Sachs noted that the majority of Chinese spenders in Hong Kong are these days interested in comestibles like alcohol and tobacco, cosmetics and food. Baby formula marketed in Hong Kong is perceived by the Chinese to be safer than the equivalent formula they can get at home. The demand surged to such an extent that the government saw fit to an impose a two tin restriction on baby formula leaving Hong Kong. Shampoo and smartphones are other items that short-stay visitors from China tend to purchase.All of these items are believed to be more trustworthy than what can be purchased on the mainland. So while Hong Kong is still a prized environment for Chinese shoppers. It isn’t it’s luxury market that’s so much in demand anymore.

 

Continued in Part 3….