So what do Chinese consumers want? This story should give you a clue.
A Chinese furniture company called Da Vinci Furniture was recently caught putting fake “foreign-made” labels on its products. China’s CCTV did a piece exposing their fraud, which prompted Da Vinci’s owner, Zuang Xiuhua, to appear on the channel and tearfully claim that the allegations were untrue.
Then, the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau did its own inspection and confirmed that CCTV’s story was on the money.
So here’s what happened- Economic Observer via World Crunch:
Lots of people who had bought furniture from Da Vinci are now demanding refunds. A man who was present at the press conference declared that he had bought more than 10 million RMB worth of furniture. He shouted angrily “Everything is fake! The furniture, as well as their product launches!”
There is an old Chinese adage that says, “a foreign moon is always brighter.” Looks like consumers are applying this motto to their purchases. According to Economic Observer, the Chinese have put foreign goods on a pedastal since the end of the Opium Wars.
…’Made in China’ has become so synonymous with bad quality. Melamine added to baby milk. Badly constructed houses. An abundance of counterfeit mobile phones. If people are living in a dangerous environment, it is no wonder that whoever can afford it, will buy imported goods thinking they are guaranteeing their security.
Da Vinci paid 10 foreigners to “endorse” their brand/products. This has become a relatively common practice in China where foreign goods are considered a status symbol for upper and middle classes-and the symbols can do things for you. Owning say, an Hermes bag, can gain you access to an exclusive social circles. Some Chinese even borrow money to make such purchases.