Gold-Plated Corruption

Feb 12 2013 @ 11:04am

Osnos finds a relationship between Chinese corruption and the market for luxury goods in the country:

[T]he luxury watch business enjoyed a banner year in 2011, growing forty per cent. But then China’s anti-corruption campaign began, and by September, Bo Xilai was in handcuffs, and watch exports to China suffered a devastating blow—down 27.5 per cent compared to a year earlier, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. ChinaDaily quoted an industry consultant saying the anti-corruption drive “hurts the luxury watch business a lot.”

It’s not just watches. In 2009, the industry experts estimated that gifts to government officials made up nearly fifty per cent of all of China’s luxury sales.