The Nanfang / Blog

Survey: Chinese and Western Rich Want Different Things

Posted: 06/21/2014 5:03 pm

Chinese people love to buy property. It’s not only considered a great investment for Chinese people, but it’s also a key part of the culture that involves leaving something useful for their offspring.

But when it comes to buying luxury real estate, do the super rich in China have the same taste and requirements as their counterparts in the developed world? The recently published “Sotheby’s International Realty Luxury Lifestyle Report” shows Chinese preferences are basically “same same, but different.”

The report surveyed affluent consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and China.  Compared to the developed world, there are more high net worth individuals in China and they are more likely to purchase a “lifestyle” property as their primary residence.

Among the Chinese surveyed, 98% want a lifestyle property while 74% in the US said the same.

Among those Chinese, 54% want waterfront property.

There was also a big difference in other demands:

A whopping 93% of affluent Chinese consumers surveyed said they would like to make a “legacy home purchase”, which is a property intended to remain in the family or be gifted to children, while only 64% of Americans said the same.

The Affluent Chinese Consumer

Ninety-six percent of affluent Chinese consumers surveyed said they’d bought a property within the past three years.  Wealthy Chinese are not only investing in property, they consider themselves part of the investor class.  Eighty-two percent of Chinese luxury real estate purchasers consider themselves “investors”, while only 67% of Americans think the same.

Here are some additional stats on the priorities of Chinese property investors:

You can read the full report here.


Shenzhen gets set for Ramadan, Iftar dinners planned

Posted: 07/10/2013 6:00 am

Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims around the world on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Shenzhen, which is home to many Muslims, will also be marking the occasion. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast physically and mentally. It is a complete commitment to refocusing.

After a day of fasting, they usually will break the fast with a special gathering for dinner called an Iftar. A few places around Shenzhen are offering a very inexpensive Iftar dinners this year. You might want to try Dewan-E-Khass which has a promotion for Iftar. 43RMB for a buffet dinner. For details check out the promotion here.

Ramadan Schedule:



The ability to breastfeed becomes a lucrative market in Shenzhen, some customers are adults

Posted: 07/7/2013 11:25 pm

If you’ve ever had to do something embarrassing or ethically dubious to pay the bills, you’re not alone.

An agency in Shenzhen is offering jobs that pay up to 12,000 RMB a month to nannies who can breastfeed. And some of the customers are adults who enjoy the health benefits of breast milk, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports.

He Mei, 25, became a mother two months ago. Her husband works in a factory in Baoan District and earns just 2,000 yuan a month. After considering some of the monumental costs, such as tuition fees, their family would be faced with in years to come, He Mei made a very tough decision. She left her baby in the care of her mother-in-law so she could go to Futian District and work as a nanny who offered breastfeeding services. She earns 8,500 yuan a month plus room and board.

He Mei got the gig through the agency Xinxinyu. Its representative Lin Jun told the paper that it was the only agency in the country that offers such a service. The agency earns 6,000 yuan every time it hooks a nanny up with a family.

When discussing his success, Lin Jun from Henan said he had been in the business for ten years. For the first six years, business was slow until he discovered a niche: selling breast milk to adults. Espousing the health benefits, he said: “Especially for people who have just had major surgery, breast milk is the best tonic.”

Some adult customers even want to suck the milk directly from the women’s breast. “If the pay is good, then the nannies hardly ever object.”

Lin Jun recruits all around the country. Prospective nannies must come to Shenzhen for an interview, and also pass a health check and be of reproductive age. The successful applicants sign contracts of 6-8 months and can earn up to 12,000 yuan a month.

The agency’s clients come in four categories, according to Lin: New mothers who don’t have much milk, mothers whose breast milk has caused an adverse reaction in the child, mothers who fear what breastfeeding will do to their own body, and the last category…adults who drink breast milk for the health benefits.

In May, mainland China’s first milk bank opened in Guangzhou, but some doctors are skeptical about the safety of doing this.

Moreover, it is illegal to sell breast milk as a commodity but Lin Jun gets round this by simply not mentioning it in the contract – smooth.


Master’s candidate dates 4 girls in 2 years, has a ‘wedding photo’ with all 4 on graduation day

Posted: 07/5/2013 7:00 am

Four weddings and a graduation

In his book “Behind the Red Door: Sex in China,” Richard Burger talks about how in China, casual dating as we know it in the West is still in its infancy.

But there are signs that it has come of age.

One such sign is that of a student at an unnamed university (thought to be in Guangdong) who dated four girls during the two years of his Master’s program. There appear to be no hard feelings about him not marrying them as they all gladly posed for a photo with him in wedding dresses to celebrate his graduation.

The above picture (and story) of the graduate and his “brides” was forwarded by a number of established Guangdong microblogs including the regional Sina blog.

Along with the photo the man wrote: “Today is the day I take my Master’s graduation photograph. Many thanks to my four ex-girlfriends for coming out in their wedding dresses for me. Sorry I can’t enjoy marital bliss with any of you. But at this moment you’re all my brides.”


Jiangmen man dies after receiving treatment for a sore throat

Posted: 10/11/2012 7:17 am

A Jiangmen man has died after receiving treatment for a sore throat at nearby He Tang Health Center. According to Southern Metropolis Daily, on the evening of October 3rd, Mr. Chu, a lighting factory worker, complained of a sore throat and shortness of breath. He notified his wife, Ms. Liu, who also worked at the factory, and the two immediately left for the hospital. The attending physician treated Chu with oxygen, intravenous fluids, and an unidentified prescription drug by way of injection. “He had a very sore throat, and was gasping”, said Liu. “We decided to go to the hospital just to be safe.” Approximately two hours after receiving treatment, Chu got up to use the washroom, collapsed, and died.

Shocked at her husband’s sudden death, Liu sought answers from the physician, yet none were forthcoming. She contacted Tan Jun Jin, Vice President of the Health Center, requesting Mr. Chu’s medical records and a list of the medication he was prescribed. However, Tan refused to release any information.

Not to be ignored, Chu escalated the matter, contacting a lawyer, and local media. While the hospital eventually released the records, due to a “clerical error”, the records made no mention of what medication Chu was prescribed.

According to Chu’s lawyer, there are clear inconsistencies with the records, including the time Chu was admitted to the hospital. While Chu was admitted on October 3rd at 22:45, the hospital’s records state an admission time of 23:45. “We suspect that the hospital has tampered with the medical records”, said Chu’s lawyer. The hospital denies any wrongdoing, arguing that when admitting patients, the initial phases of treatment are not recorded.

According to the family, the hospital and Liu have reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount. However what Liu has yet to receive, is an explanation: “He just had a sore throat, and now he’s dead”, she said. The medical center has refused to give any further comment on the matter.


UK retailer Topman faces legal hurdles opening in China

Posted: 05/14/2012 7:22 am

Only days after Topshop threw open its doors in Shenzhen (related Nanfang Studio album here), there’s already rumours of the UK’s Topman fashion chain making the same jump.  But for Topman, opening in the PRC might not be so simple.

A lingerie manufacturer in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, is preventing the trendy male fashion brand  from joining its older sister, Topshop, on the Chinese high street. According to China’s trademark database, the Topman name was registered to the Zhongshan-based business in 2000. The database also shows the Arcadia Group, who owns the successful British retailer, filed at least three different applications, the first of which was in 2006. A source close to the matter divulged that the issue was nearing a legal resolution, and the obstacle facing the Arcadia Group was being resolved.

International companies are being met at the Chinese border by a number of “brand squatters”; people or companies that buy international brand names within China and wait to cash in when those same companies enter the world’s biggest consumer market, as Britain’s Daily Telegraph revealed in an investigation last month. Unlike in the UK, China’s trademarks operate on a “first-to-register” basis: whoever registers the brand first owns the rights to it.

Topman declined to comment on the trademark matter. The revelation comes as Topshop officially celebrated the opening of its first Chinese store earlier this month. When asked his thoughts about the trademark issue, Ray Lee, the man responsible for bringing Topshop and Topman to the mainland, said only that the issue was “difficult”.

The trademark issue does not appear to be affecting sales in Shenzhen; Topshop announced that over 2,000 people visited the store on its first day.


Fashion alert! Britain’s Topshop ‘pops up’ in Shenzhen

Posted: 05/2/2012 11:40 pm

Hundreds of eager people flocked to Shenzhen’s King Glory Plaza for China’s first Topshop as it opened its doors on Tuesday morning. Throughout the day, the store was packed, proving popular with shoppers queuing to get inside.

Vivien Zao (left) and Lei Sheng Nan (right) holding up their new purchases

As large crowds gathered for the opening, the British fashion retailer was already amassing high levels of interest with more than 4,500 followers on Weibo.

One female shopper almost feinted standing in the long queue to use the changing room. She was determined not to lose her place.

While store manager Jeffrey Zhang said the demand had beaten his expectations, some shoppers had a mixed response to the new store.

Lei Shengnan, 26, from Shenzhen snapped up some purple denim hotpants: “I waited half an hour to use the fitting room but I did because I really like the style. It’s exotic compared to other native Chinese fashion shops.”

Vivian Zao, 24, also from Shenzhen wasn’t as complementary, describing the store as small compared to her Topshop experience in Singapore.

Li Yue from Shanghai

Li Yue, 20, from Shanghai, said: “I think the clothes Topshop produced aren’t good this season. I’m expecting better in Shanghai, but I don’t know if Topshop will open there. I just heard it will.”

With all of the momentum and hype, Topshop’s innovative ‘pop-up’ concept store will be on the move in a couple of months’ time. It’s the first brand of billionaire Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group retail empire to set foot in the greater China region.

The opening is seen as a test ahead of possibly launching more pop-up stores. Beyond that, it expects to open its first flagship store in China next year.

Fei Space’s Ray Lee, who brought the Topshop and Topman brand to China, explained to The Nanfang why he opened up in the Pearl River Delta. “We know the Beijing market, we know the Shanghai market. Shenzhen is a really different market. It’s also a very modern city as opposed to a very traditional one like Shanghai or Beijing.”

The Topshop store

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