Friday, January 4

What wealthy Chinese Christmas wish: a bicycle

What wealthy Chinese Christmas wish: a bicycle

Donny Kwok, Reuters
Bicycles, which cost more than the average citizen in three years of nostalgia for the days when the most important means of transport were two wheels, motivated to buy are Hong Kong - Chinese rich.

China is now the world's largest auto market, but expected to grow high-end bicycle sales by 10 percent per year once they are a status symbol for wealthy executives.

Yu Yiqun, the creative director at an advertising agency in the Chinese capital, cycles to work on his favorite bike - a hand made 100,000 yuan ($16,000) Alex Moulton.

"It would be the only Beijing. It is like the Rolls Royce of bicycles. Purely handmade, '' the 40-year-old Yu said very classic, has about 35 high end wheels.

"I remember my dad to drive me to the city in winter - 40 km and minus 30 degrees Celsius. It was a means of transport, distance, which was relatively cheap, but required brawn fulfilled your dream of travelling."

Yu symbolizes a new bicycle culture in China, where affluent, health-conscious executives update their lifestyle in some cases abandonment of flashy cars and take the road on high bicycles, which can more than a car costs.

"The demand for established luxury goods such as premium vehicles, watches has come to a point of saturation. High-income groups to high end bikes to show the unique in taste and healthy lifestyle now,"said Zhou Jiannong, general manager of Rbike networks Ltd in China.

Analysts estimate about 10 percent annual growth in the Chinese bicycle market in the next few years with the high-end segment is expected to grow by more than 15 percent per year.

Companies are also on the Act, with a Hong Kong financial company as a bonus-based suppliers an order for 1,000 expensive bikes from a Chinese to the end of the year for employees whenever.

"People are sick of traditional gifts such as wine and tobacco. For mainlanders, a bike is"a great gift that shows your unique lifestyle, said Adam Wong, Managing Director of Hong Kongs Komda bicycles.

Wong went to name the Bank, which had ordered the bikes, but he said, they had an average price of 3,000 yuan ($480).

Fashion statement
Fashion label Shanghai Tang, eager for a piece of this growing pie, along with Dutch bicycle manufacturer Colossi cycling make bicycles to China, where bicycle demand is estimated at about 28 million units per year

"High end range will be the most important source of growth in the Chinese market. In China, there are more than just a means of transport. It has become a fashion,"said Terry Liu, analyst at Fubon research in Taiwan.

It can cost up to HK$ 300,000 ($38700) for an imported it limited edition from expensive brands like Colnago Italy or France views, nearly 100 times the price of a flying Dove, China's official bicycle since 1950 was born.

But the costs, such as for many high-income Chinese no object in search of the best motorcycle.

"Looking for business people, not to the price. You look at the quality. Your bike with import components in line, their taste and needs make together", said Zhang Lei, Director of the Zhuhai paper products supplier, planning 10,000 yuan to upgrade his current bike to spend.

Yu, that advertising Executive in Beijing, more orders for four handmade bicycles, expanded his extensive collection includes brands such as Trek, Bianchi, Colnago.

He and his wife have two cars, but he says that he does not drive.

"I always have my bike bring when I go on a business trip," said Yu. "When I go to Harbin, I bring a small, folding bicycle, because it's easier for me to get the city. When I go to Dalian, I bring a larger bike because it is a mountainous city."

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