Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Energy News .




TRADE WARS
Hong Kong's pursuit of luxury defies Western gloom
by Staff Writers
Hong Kong, China (AFP) April 25, 2013


A gold, diamond-encrusted iPhone gleams in the window at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, its US$25,000 price tag a symbol of the city's luxury excesses fuelled by cash-rich Chinese tourists and wealthy locals.

The custom-built device boasts a rose gold chassis ringed with a combined 7.28 carats in diamonds that also spell out the number "5" on its back, loudly announcing that this is indeed an Apple iPhone 5 -- albeit with a difference.

Despite the gloom in the West and a slowing expansion of China's economy, free-spending Chinese consumers and wealthy Hong Kong locals craving exclusivity have proven a blessing to retailers looking to buck global woes.

From gadgets decked out in jewels to made-to-order men's shoes and ladies leather handbags or Rolls Royce cars with monogrammed seats, Hong Kong continues to benefit from the influx of newly rich mainland Chinese searching for authentic goods and lower sales taxes.

"They don't care about the price," said store manager Cytheia Lui, surrounded by gadgets ranging from shiny gold-plated iPad covers to multi-coloured laptops and headphones.

"For them the attitude is: if you use an iPhone and I use an iPhone too, why should we have the same one?"

Lui said that a mainland Chinese customer placed an HK$800,000 ($103,000) order for 70 custom-made iPhones, which he planned to give away as gifts.

Global luxury brands continue to pin their hopes on China's rising middle class as Europe slogs through its debt crisis, US growth remains weak and Japan's economy fails to gain traction.

Despite weaker-than-expected luxury goods demand in China last year as its new leadership vowed to crack down on corruption and official excess, China is still forecast to be the world's biggest luxury goods market by 2020.

Lower sales taxes and authentic products lure shoppers to Hong Kong's luxury malls.

In Hong Kong, brands such as Italian label Salvatore Ferragamo offer customers a choice of personalised handbags with up to 40 colours made from lizard, python or ostrich skin at premium prices. Swiss watchmaker Rolex offers bespoke dials.

Although conspicuous consumption and big-spending tourist trips are welcomed by businesses, the influx of visitors from the mainland has not been welcomed by all in Hong Kong where locals complain about an extra strain on the crowded city's public services.

High-end shops and boutiques have been seen to help drive the sky-high rents that have forced decades-old shops and restaurants out of business, prompting warnings that the city is selling its identity.

Yet the thirst for luxury remains unquenched.

UK-based luxury craftsman Stuart Hughes, who recently designed the "world's most expensive iPhone" valued at a whopping US$15 million said more than two-thirds of his customers come from mainland China and Hong Kong.

The work was commissioned by a Hong Kong businessman who asked Hughes to incorporate a 26-carat black diamond into the phone.

"The Chinese have got a lot of spending power in terms of buying for themselves or buying as a gift for people.

"They want a nice, different phone. They want extra modifications to make it look unique," said the 42-year-old designer.

.


Related Links
Global Trade News






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TRADE WARS
Southeast Asian leaders talk China, trade
Bandar Seri Begawan (AFP) April 24, 2013
Southeast Asian leaders met in Brunei on Wednesday for talks aimed at easing tensions over the South China Sea and building momentum towards groundbreaking economic partnerships. The annual summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) began in the capital of the oil-rich sultanate with a dinner in which the leaders were looking to rebuild unity after unprecedented i ... read more


TRADE WARS
New York approves power line from Canada

$674 billion annual spend on 'unburnable' fossil fuel assets signals failure to recognise huge financial risks

Germany energy transition faces cuts after European Parliament vote

Iraq: Turkish energy plan picks up speed

TRADE WARS
Lebanon feuds could hurt its quest for gas

India to get LNG from the US

Iraq oil exports up in March

Boeing to Begin Modifying 787s as FAA Approves Battery Improvements

TRADE WARS
U.S. leads in wind installations

Providing Capital and Technology, GE is Farming the Wind in America's Heartland with Enel Green Power

Wind skeptic British minister replaced

Using fluctuating wind power

TRADE WARS
Cedarville University Announces Dedication of Large Solar Power Installation

Made in IBM Labs: Collaboration Aims to Harness the Energy of 2,000 Suns

Solar Junction and IQE to Develop Satellite Solar Energy Cells

SolarReserve Expands International Development Activities into Latin America

TRADE WARS
Czech CEZ wants better bids for nuclear plant

GDF Suez says Q1 energy sales edge higher

Japan, France set to win Turkish nuclear plant deal: report

Lithuania to resume nuclear plant talks: PM

TRADE WARS
China conducts its first successful bio-fueled airline flight

Bugs produce diesel on demand

New input system for biogas systems

A key to mass extinctions could boost food, biofuel production

TRADE WARS
Yuanwang III, VI depart for space-tracking missions

Shenzhou's Shadow Crew

Shenzhou 10 sent to launch site

China's Next Women Astronauts

TRADE WARS
Regional insights set latest study of climate history apart

Earth's current warmth not seen in the last 1,400 years or more

Geochemical method finds links between terrestrial climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide

Late 20th century was warmest in 1,400 years




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement