A CHINESE government crackdown on lavish spending by officials has pushed expensive liquor and high-end watches out of favour in the luxury gift-giving market, a survey from the Hurun Report showed yesterday.
Top alcohol maker Kweichow Moutai’s clear “baijiu” liquor, widely imbibed at official banquets and presented as a premium gift, fell to 13th place on the “best brand for gifting by men” table, down from fifth last year when there was a single, unisex table.
Swiss watch maker Longines was the only watch brand to make the “gifting by men” list at number 15, replacing Rolex, which was ninth last year but dropped off the list altogether this year. The report surveyed 551 Chinese people with personal wealth of 10 million yuan (R14m) or more.
The results follow a government crackdown on using public funds to buy luxury items such as baijiu, which can cost several thousand yuan per bottle.
“Watches and liquor have been influenced by government policies and have been pulled down by a change in leadership. It’s traditionally been that there are people in government who can influence policy in your favour,” Hurun founder Rupert Hoogewerf said.
The Xinhua news agency reported late last month that the luxury ban on officials had hit the share prices of listed liquor distillers. Market leader Moutai had 12.5 billion yuan wiped off its market value after the new regulations were announced. – Reuters