Only two of the entries are fashion brands affirming that when it comes to fashion, Western brands are still the best-known and favored amongst Chinese netizens.
It comes as little surprise: A September 2010 study done by consulting firm McKinsey shows that affluent Chinese consumers prefer foreign brands
52% of consumers whose annual income exceeds $36,000 trust foreign brands more than Chinese ones, while only 37% said they prefer homegrown labels.
China, the world’s second largest luxury goods market after Japan, is expected to become the biggest in the next five years. The booming retail scene there has led tons of Western brands to set up shop in the country.
Every luxury European label from Christian Louboutin to Salvatore Ferragamo to Corneliani has announced that they will expand their business there within the next three years by launching a slew of new boutiques.
Domestic Chinese brands are increasingly facing competition from Western brands that have begun tailoring their products to local needs, tastes, and desires.
US denim maker Levi’s launched its dENIZEN jeans brand this past summer, with measurements aimed at Chinese consumers since they have narrower hips, smaller bottoms and shorter legs than Americans.
Zhang Zhifeng– the founder of Ne-Tiger, one of the rare domestic luxury labels in China –says that the lack of Chinese luxury brands can be attributed to the fact that they are not treated fairly in their own country.
“Some high-end shopping malls and department stores in major Chinese cities, for the sake of their own short-term interest, are willing to open the doors and to bow down themselves in front of foreign luxury brands by offering many privileges.
Foreign brands are always offered considerable discounts, the best locations, extended rent exemptions for a couple of years, covering cost for store renovation of the openings, reduced fees, etc. – all of these contribute to their rapid expansion in China”.