In a move to increase domestic spending, the Chinese Finance Ministry plans to significantly lower duties on luxury goods like watches, cosmetics, clothing and shoes.
Owing to hefty import taxes, prices of 20 luxury brands of watches, suitcases, clothes, liquor and consumer electronics in the Chinese mainland are 45 per cent higher than those in Hong Kong, 51 per cent higher than in US, and 72 per cent higher than in France, a study by China’s commerce ministry showed.
Last year, Chinese shoppers spent €650 million on duty free items in France alone. Its obvious why the government would want to unleash that kind of consumer spending at home. But with polls showing growing resentment against the Chinese uber-rich, they may also want to consider what new bling will do to social cohesion.
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