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The Empress' New Phone
Luxury Goods, Sino-Style

Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan set off a media frenzy when she snapped a photograph at a soccer match in Berlin this Saturday–with her new, Chinese-made smart phone.  The Times of India explains:

Chinese official and social media noticed she had ditched her favorite iPhone 5 for a Chinese brand, “Nubia.”

Peng, a singing legend, received some criticism when photographs showed her using iPhone 5 during a visit with her husband, President Xi Jinping, to Mexico last year. This time she is being applauded as an effective brand ambassador for China by using Nubia, which costs half of iPhone 5. […]

ZTE [the maker of Nubia] has jumped to the occasion, posting a photograph of Peng using its phone and said: “The Chinese dream begins with using China-made goods.”

This is a sign that China, Inc. (as we affectionately call the state-sanctioned business elite) is going to use its power at home to help Chinese manufacturers create global brands in luxury goods. Fashion, consumer electronics, you name it: For wealthy Chinese who want to stay in good odor, consuming homemade luxuries makes for much better press than showing off foreign goods. Expect more and more rich Chinese consumers to flaunt their patriotism when buying expensive items.

It won’t happen overnight, but the development of Chinese luxury brands is in the works. That will be bad news for Italy, France, and Silicon Valley. We don’t usually offer stock tips, but we’d suggest that investors in Western luxury brands keep their eyes on this trend.

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  • Jim__L

    So much for the idea that American “creativity”, “innovation”, and “design” would maintain our place in the world economy.

    We need to be a full-suite economy, from energy to industry to service to design. It’s the only way for our entire population to prosper.

    • Corlyss

      Let not your heart be troubled, Jim. Without our creativity, ingenuity, innovation, and design, the Chinese would be SOL because all they know how to do is copy ideas they stole from the west. Start worrying if and when they ever chalk up their first Nobel math or science prize.

      • Alex K.

        It will be too late then.

  • Corlyss

    I bet the security agencies went into v-fib when they heard this. The silly git. I’m sure the only reason she did it was because the name Nubia.

  • Breif2

    “The Chinese dream begins with using China-made goods.”

    Such as iPhones. 🙂

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