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Why are Chinese obsessed with luxury goods?

Published by January 19,2021

Editor's note: Affluent Chinese are traveling abroad frantically buying international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci. Why do China's rich spend big on luxury goods? Forum readers share their opinions. You're also welcome to add yours.

Modern Brazil (Brazil)

In Brazil it's also common to see young guys wearing designer clothes with ludicrously large lettering spelling out designer names, because they're spending money on designer gear to make people (girls) think they're wealthy.

Mrok (Japan)

I would like to say that it is also a trend when a group of people become rich from being poor in a short time. So, most of them are eager to show their "success" (in the economic aspect) in order to earn respect from others, and luxury goods seem to be the best "symbol of success".

Another reason for this is highly-valued competition in Chinese society (as well as in other East Asian neighbors), that is why those people buy Prada by day while sleeping in a 2-star hotel by night (they don't wanna be "the loser" in the "competition"). It also happened in Japan 20 years ago.


I have met many Chinese visitors in London. One of the main reasons why they buy many luxury items (instead of one or two) is simple. Many of them are first time overseas tourists. In China (and in most of Asia), there is a social obligation to buy presents (of equal quality) for friends and relatives. Over time, this "obligation" disappears - therefore, their shopping habits will change over the next few years.

Himani (India)

I think it's true not only with China but also with many other Asian countries like India because these countries have very high import taxes. Also it's a matter of status symbol when people brag about visiting abroad and going shopping in the US and UK. Wholesale cotton fabric drawstring bag

xilaren (Greece)

I had the chance to visit luxury shops in Athens, which had at least 15 Chinese women and men buying Gucci handbags and Louis Vuitton, Prada and so on. What is surprising to me is that none of them bought luxury shoes or clothes. Wearing a Rolex and carrying a Gucci handbag requires matching shoes and clothes. Otherwise the luxury products are a failure.

This kind of buying shows me something saddening. Do these people care only about showing off by holding a Gucci handbag and do not care about clothes and shoes simply because nobody can recognize the brand of the shoes? If this is the case then it is really saddening.

Felix (US)

China has imposed high import tariffs, partly for protectionism of their local products -- which is understandable. However, it skews (downwards) China's consumption metrics for how well these foreign stores are doing due to the strong demand from China travelers from abroad. When living in Hong Kong and Singapore, I used to wonder why the mainland Chinese would be so ready to spend big money on luxury goods when traveling -- I now understand that some of it is due to practicality (cheaper, more variety, better service) and also is attributed to pent-up deman

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