Watches: What’s Going on in Hong Kong?

Asian Made & Swiss Asian watches

Watches: What’s Going on in Hong Kong?

Postby koimaster » March 13th 2017, 11:02pm

by Jean-Luc Adam | 13 Mar 2017

Watches: What’s Going on in Hong Kong? In the space of two years, sales of Swiss watches in Hong Kong have halved, and the title of global market leader passed to the United States. Europa Star investigated in the city. Read on for analysis, commentary, interviews and revelations.

Flashback: in 2008, sales of Swiss watches were booming in China, and in Hong Kong in particular, where 80 to 90 per cent of buyers are Chinese. The watch craze lasted six years, new millionaires seemed insatiable and watchmakers struggled to keep up with demand, and even more so with after-sales services. Every year, new records were set and Asia accounted for half of its worldwide exports. Little Switzerland, supported by its watchmaking industry, even went as far as racking up a trade surplus to rival the Chinese export empire.

But on March 14, 2013, Xi Jinping was elected to the presidency and put an end to such exuberance. “His war against corruption in the People’s Republic of China was waged through the stigmatisation of luxury products, and watches in particular,” Esther Wong, president of The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades, tells us. In 2014, members of the public found great amusement online by identifying and valuing the watches worn by local government officials in all provinces – some had entire collections. Such excess was seen as a barometer of corruption. The result: some 1,500 party officials faced corruption charges and more than 200 were found guilty. But as corruption has worsened in China (according to Transparency International), Xi Jinping is suspected of having primarily removed his reformist opponents in order to avoid a potential collapse of communism, USSR-style. ... 1-60970893


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