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Luxury Advertising Banned in China

According to the global management consulting firm McKinsey, China is the world’s second luxury market behind the United States. Sales of luxury products are expected to double by 2015, meaning that China will rank first in the world. These figures do not take into consideration that purchases abroad account for a quarter of their luxury expenses. In the first nine months of 2012, revenues linked to sales of luxury products to Chinese people increased by 62% in Europe. As the well-off grow even richer, in China there are huge opportunities for the luxury industry. However, you should be aware of some Chinese policies which affect this sector.

The Chinese government announced a ban on luxury gift advertising as it's said to promote incorrect values and encourage social problems. Indeed, the government is trying to reduce the growing gap between rich and poor in China. Last October, Beijing already banned government agencies from offering luxury gifts to other officials or business contacts, as they were used to doing. This reform aimed to fight against corruption.

It is critical to know about these reforms and they must be considered when exporting your luxury products to China. In 2011, the government already announced a ban on luxury advertising for the same reasons. According to Beijing, luxury advertisements remind people of the wealth gap and create a politically “unhealthy” climate. Moreover, the government wanted to avoid promoting a foreign lifestyle. As a consequence, companies were asked to remove words such as "luxury", "royal", "supreme" and "high class" from billboards, or face a 30,000 yuan fine before April 15. It is important to know about these measures as it also affects translation. Indeed, a simple direct translation won’t be enough but transcreation services must be provided instead.


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