Just what exactly is the attitude of people in Shanghai towards luxury items? It seems, from some reports, that China is the third largest market for luxury items after the US and Japan, with the added benefit of less taxes to “curb barbaric luxury consumption.” Once the province of super-rich (men), luxury goods consumption in China is now in part being driven by women. Another interesting phenomenon is that people in Shanghai are more cynical towards brand-names than are people in second-tier cities, who are now the hard-core true believers.
However, this report (in Chinese) paints a slightly different picture. It half-jokingly talks about a peculiar phenomenon in Shanghai—people who peel out a wad of cash to get LV bags and accessories, and then take those on the buses and subways for them. People who make 3000 RMB a month will spend half a year’s savings on a bag. Thriftier types will ask people coming back from Europe or North America to bring back stuff, or else make a shopping trip to Hong Kong.
The explanation given is that although these women might not make a lot of money, they are around people who do, i.e., people who could spot a fake.
The report itself is something strange. It’s not quite hard news, and not quite written up enough to be a feature. And it contains sentences like this:
(Rather than say that Shanghainese women are shrewd, it would be better to say that Shanghainese are, overall, more shrewd. This, to some extent, is a result of the environment.)
What we think is strange is the use of “overall”—weren’t there rules about not using too much internet slang and English words? It’s not that we mind, though if we were editors our first inclination would be to tell the writer that “overall” can be readily rendered accurately and succinctly in Chinese in a way that say, “punk-ass bitch” cannot.
There’s one other sentence where they do that:
(The “kung-fu” [skillz] of Shanghainese women is something that comes through only through close comparison.) Again, we ask, is there any point to that?
Photo from KEVIN-9’s Flickr page