Big foreign labels such as Chanel and BMW continue to dominate
as top brands for wealthy Chinese consumers, with their choices
determined mainly by quality and environment factors, a recent
survey has found.
The report, released by MasterCard Worldwide on Tuesday, said
that brands are important to affluent consumers, with those in
Shanghai and Guangzhou placing greater emphasis on brand names
compared to their Beijing counterparts.
More favor foreign brands over domestic ones, with 36.3 percent
of respondents saying they prefer foreign brands, compared to 19.8
percent who chose up-market domestic brands.
Shanghai has the highest percentage of rich consumers with a
preference for domestic brands.
Of factors behind brand preference, 92.7 percent respondents
think quality is the most important, 68.3 percent chose brand
recognition, 58 percent a fashionable design and 48 percent,
whether they are environmentally friendly.
Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor of Asia-Pacific of
MasterCard Worldwide, said: "In stating their brand preference, the
affluent consumers of China demonstrate a high degree of
"Their preference for well-known foreign brands is not simply
driven by the demand for status symbols as commonly assumed, but
real concerns over product quality, design, and environmental
The study, based on a survey of 1,800 respondents with an annual
income exceeding $16,000 in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou,
identifies the top brands of affluent consumers in key spend
categories, such as automobiles, consumer electronics and
The top 10 auto brands are all foreign, with German auto brands
- BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz on the top.
Among electronics brands, Sony ranks first for cameras, Nokia
for mobile phones and Haier for household appliances.
In fashion, Chanel is the most preferred brand, with Giorgio
Armani close behind.
While international foreign brands make up the preference in
watches, fashion, sportswear and sports footwear, Hong Kong brand
Chow Tai Fook emerged top for jewelry, well ahead of second-placed
Air China is the dominant brand when it comes to both domestic
and international travel, with Singapore Airlines the most
preferred international airline.
In wine, 80.7 percent of the respondents think French wine is
most preferred, with Chinese brands third after Italian wine and
ahead of Spanish, Australian and German wines.
Among Chinese liquor brands, Wuliangye is the top, closely
followed by Moutai.
Nearly half the surveyors see Hong Kong as the undisputed
shopping destination, followed by mainland cities, Europe and
(China Daily February 21, 2008)