The influential Hurun Report magazine released in
Shanghai yesterday its 2006 Best of The Best Awards list, a survey
of brands preferred by the Chinese mainland's growing army of
multi-millionaires, covering categories ranging from Best Yacht to
Best TV Chat show.
600 mainland Chinese entrepreneurs worth 10 million yuan
(US$1.25 million) or more were interviewed for the awards.
Explaining the point of this survey of the super rich in a
country where the average wage is less than US$200 per month,
Hurun's Mica Quinn said: "It's inspirational. China has changed a
lot and being conspicuously wealthy is no longer frowned upon. If
you ask young people today what they want to be in the future they
will tell you they want to be rich.
"Because of the way China's economy is growing, today's white
collar workers could be tomorrow's millionaires or billionaires.
Luxury brands know they need exposure to people at all levels."
As well as being a celebration of luxury brands and an affluent
lifestyle, the results of the survey also provide useful
information of the companies involved, Quinn said. The list
provides a regional breakdown which allows companies to see where
their strong points are, as well as where they need to improve.
The list also reveals some interesting differences between
entrepreneurs across the country.
Beijing's rich favor the United States as a travel destination
of choice, while Shanghai's elite opted for Europe and France.
Overall, however, it was Australia that came out on top.
Elsewhere, the awards were dominated by European brands with
Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche and Ferrari all
claiming honors in the motoring section. Buick, the sole US
representative, with an award for Best Executive Car For Business
Under the Watches, Jewellery and Fashion sections, Vacheron
Constantin, Cartier, Rolex, Montblanc and Giorgio Armani swept most
of the awards, while Hennessy, Chivas Regal and Dom Perignon
claimed prizes for Best Cognac, Whisky and Champagne
When wanting to arrive in style, China's millionaires like
nothing better than a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, but if they are
getting behind the wheel themselves it is the Bentley that will be
taken out for a spin, according to the report.
Best Chinese Liquor went to Wuliangye.
Other Chinese brands also cropped up in the list of winners: Air
China was voted Best Domestic Airline, the Chang'an Club was named
Best Private Club, Tsinghua
University carried off the Best Executive MBA Course award and
China Merchant's Bank
received awards in the Best Personal Financial Services for RMB,
and Best Bank for Issuing Credit Cards categories.
Managing director of Vacheron Constantin Asia Pacific,
Jean-Michel Paray, whose watches retail for tens of thousands of US
dollars, said he was delighted with the award.
"You can't imagine how important this award is for us. We've
just been celebrating our 250th anniversary of watch making - we
are the oldest watchmaker in continuous operation in the world -
and in our archives we've just discovered a watch made for China in
1805, which makes us the oldest watch exporter to China as well.
After receiving awards from within the trade, it's wonderful to get
one from our customers."
Hurun Report is the leading media platform for China's
richest individuals. Its quarterly magazine includes the annual
China Rich List founded in 1999, the annual China Philanthropy
List, and the annual survey of the brand preferences of China's
richest people. Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun
Report, was a top researcher for Forbes magazine
before cooperating with the London-based Euromoney Institutional
Investor. Since then, the China Rich List has become an eagerly
awaited annual event for China's private sector. In 2004, Rupert
was named one of the 100 Top Influential People in China's
Globalization by Global Entrepreneur magazine.
(China Daily January 12, 2006)