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Beijing’s High Tea

From the China Compliance Digest (Issue No. 12: April 23, 2012):

In response to Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s call for government officials to curtail unnecessary spending, media both within and outside China are devoting an unprecedented amount of attention to the mainland’s many ultra-expensive luxury goods.

Global media published a flurry of news reports about Moutai, a premier Chinese liquor brand said to retail for 2,000 yuan (US$316) per bottle. Scrutiny of China’s luxury brands has most recently extended to the tea market.

One hundred grams of Xinyang Maojian tea, produced in Henan Province, recently sold for 26,800 yuan (US$4,240). Longjing tea harvested at the height of the season in Hangzhou (capital of Zhejiang Province) is reportedly selling for as much as 180,000 yuan (US$28,500) for half a kilogram.

Hangzhou Longjing’s president Zhu Baichang admitted to China National Radio that his company’s finest tea is priced out of the reach of ordinary people.

According to a China Daily estimate, gifts to government officials make up nearly half of all luxury brand sales in China.  
Sources: China National Radio (中央广播电台), China Daily


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