China is the world’s richest country, surpassing the US as of November 2021, and the nation’s wealthiest are known to splurge on bizarre purchases from time to time. Luckily for us curious plebeians (and brands looking to cash in on rich folks’ overflowing coffers), the Hurun Research Institute recently released a report that gives us a peek into the brand preferences, consumption habits, and lifestyle trends of China’s wealthiest individuals.
The institute released the results of its Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2022 on January 20, based on responses from 750 of the high-net-worth individuals in China who have an average family wealth of 42 million RMB (about 6.6 million USD) and investable wealth of 13 million RMB.
According to the report, the average age of all respondents is 37, and almost half of the participants live in China’s first-tier cities. Among others, 40 interviewees are “ultra-high net worth individuals” with assets of more than 100 million RMB.
Established in the UK in 1999, Hurun is a research, media and investments company best-known for its global rich list series. This is the 18th consecutive year that Hurun has conducted the luxury consumer survey.
Below, we share some of our favorite insights from the report.
If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to purchase a gift for a wealthy Chinese person, the Hurun report indicates these brands are their top choices: Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Hermès, Cartier, Armani, Bvlgari, and Rolex.
If that list seems too long, you really only need to remember one brand: Chanel, which is the top choice among both men and women.
With the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics starting in a week, the hype surrounding the international sporting event has led to an uptick of interest in winter sports, especially skiing, in China.
In Hurun’s newly added sportswear section, these six winterwear brands are on rich people’s radar: Bogner, Black Diamond, Descente, Salomon, Burton, and Halti. More specifically, Burton’s snowboarding equipment and skiing equipment from Salomon are their favorites.
Curious what keeps China’s wealthiest tipsy and social? We sure were, although it turns out the top picks are perhaps unsurprising (given their prevalence in advertising and prominent positioning in many of China’s fanciest clubs): Louis XIII, Hennessy, and Remy Martin.
Forget Baijiu — Chinese Youth Are Creating Their Own Drinking Culture
But still, China’s upper crust can’t get away from baijiu — as Chinese businessmen often build rapport and make dinner deals while drinking ‘China’s national spirit.’ Of the myriad baijiu brands on the market, Kweichow Moutai is still the top pick.
Of course, rich people eat too, and, according to Huran’s report, Sichuan food is the favorite cuisine of China’s wealthy. (Not shocking, considering the regional food is arguably the most popular cuisine in the Chinese mainland.)
Just below the summit on the pyramid of culinary favorites: Japanese cuisine is the number two choice for China’s wealthy and the only international cuisine in the top five.
Rounding out the top five list of rich folks’ favorite cuisines are Cantonese, Jiangsu, and Hunan cuisines in that order.
How Sichuan Food Became Mainland China’s Go-To for Dining Out
This section of the report was the first to catch our attention. Shared by South China Morning Post tech reporter Yaling Jiang, it reveals that the most ‘moving’ song for China’s high-net-worth population is “Chinese” by Hong Kong singer-songwriter Andy Lau.
The song was released in April 1997, three months before the British handed over control of Hong Kong to Chinese authorities.
Top 10 most touching songs selected by China's High-Net-Worth-Individuals (or 750 of them who were surveyed) in a recent Hurun luxury consumer report: 1. "Chinese" by Andy Lau, a song he released before the Hong Kong handover in 1997 https://t.co/b527jgEiL9 pic.twitter.com/q38OfrFsF1— Yaling Jiang (@yaling_jiang) January 26, 2022
Top 10 most touching songs selected by China's High-Net-Worth-Individuals (or 750 of them who were surveyed) in a recent Hurun luxury consumer report: 1. "Chinese" by Andy Lau, a song he released before the Hong Kong handover in 1997 https://t.co/b527jgEiL9 pic.twitter.com/q38OfrFsF1
— Yaling Jiang (@yaling_jiang) January 26, 2022
Most songs from the list are old, except the number two choice, “Mohe Ballroom,” released in 2020 by Chinese singer Liu Shuang. The song has gone viral in China and won the 2021 Douyin Award for Song of the Year.
“Mohe Ballroom” tells the story of an old man who often dances alone in a ballroom in memory of his dance-loving wife, who died decades ago.
All images via Depositphotos
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