Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mainlanders to Highlanders

A wee bit of tradition

Money spent by wealthy mainland Chinese has been like a virulent bug, resulting in a global pandemic of luxury fever. This year, official austerity measures in China have dampened some of the symptoms of this condition, as evidenced by a drop off in sales growth of European jewelry, fashion and wine. However, viruses tend to be tough little buggers that morph and adapt rather than simply disappear. Similarly, Chinese spending has been increasingly focused on Scotland. As reported in this Jing Daily article on Scotland's luxury offerings, single malt whisky, cashmere, and that evergreen symbol of rarified privilege – golf – have caught the fancy of Mainlanders. Now, mind you, tartan frocks and kilts may or may not match Chinese aesthetic sensibilities. However, few would argue that premium whisky is to baijiu what a pristine loch is to a pig-infested Shanghai river. And perhaps most importantly, unlike the continental European brands that smack of new money and seem to come and go with each season’s flu shot, Scotland conveys an image of stalwart traditions and steadfast history. In a world where everything seems to be in flux, such gravitas can be reassuring. So, Mr, Hu, low road or high road?

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