Rich in China Get Richer Only Faster

The Guardian goes luxury car shopping with Zheng Huizhong, son of a Henan farmer who has become a successful businessman:

“Turning heads with a luxury car is not as easy as it used to be. They are common now. Many people can afford them,” he says. “So I focus on comfort.”

It is an increasingly familiar story as ranks of wealthy Chinese move from bike to Bentley and moped to Merc in a generation. This has not only transformed the streets of Beijing, it is reshaping the business strategies of the world’s biggest carmakers.

China’s emergence as a car industry superconsumer is evident in Jinbao Street, where Zheng takes his wife and son shopping. This leafy promenade between the Forbidden City and the central business district opened in 2002 on the site of demolished hutong (alleyway) neighbourhoods. It aims to be Ginza – Tokyo’s shopping and entertainment district – plus Mayfair and Park Avenue all rolled into one, with five-star hotels, plush restaurants and designer boutiques. But its most striking feature is a clutch of car showrooms. One side of the street is home to Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Jaguar and BMW. On the other, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Mercedes.

Most of these luxury brands have only moved in within the past few years, but the chief outlets on this street – and others like it in Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangzhou – have rapidly become the leading profit centres for the world’s prestige carmakers.


Subscribe to CDT


Browsers Unbounded by Lantern

Now, you can combat internet censorship in a new way: by toggling the switch below while browsing China Digital Times, you can provide a secure "bridge" for people who want to freely access information. This open-source project is powered by Lantern, know more about this project.

Google Ads 1

Giving Assistant

Google Ads 2

Anti-censorship Tools

Life Without Walls

Click on the image to download Firefly for circumvention

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.