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商业 - 消费品

中国灰色奢侈品市场受新税制威胁

《财富》 2016年04月06日

“电子商务已经真正成为中国奢侈品市场的主要动力。但在可预见的一段时间里,中国人仍会出国购物,直到中国的经济结构发生重大变化。”

中国政府提高了海外下单的相关费用,并且开始打击那些行李箱里满是奢侈品的走私者,这一连串行动的目的是鼓励国内消费,同时压缩购物者用来避税的灰色市场。

虽然中国消费者占全球奢侈品销量的三分之一,但真正在中国大陆售出的奢侈品只占五分之一。

其他奢侈品都购自海外——从外国网站订购,由中国游客买下,或由代购人员携带入境。这些代购的行李箱里尽是奢侈品,回国后再当面或经网络卖给顾客。

这让中国政府蒙受了税收损失,也削弱了国内消费,特别是高质量商品的消费。长期以来,中国政府一直想通过刺激消费来摆脱依赖于出口的经济增长模式。

HIS Global Insight经济学家XuYating指出:“中国希望把出境购物者吸引回来,同时培育国内奢侈品消费市场,这和发展消费驱动型经济的目标一致。”

尽管香奈儿等品牌去年下调了中国市场售价,以缩小中国大陆和海外的价差,但在米兰或巴黎,杜嘉班纳最新款手提包等奢侈品的价格仍比中国大陆低一半左右。

一些中国人更愿意出国买奢侈品,还因为他们可以更加确信自己买到了真品,而且可以有比国内更好的选择,或者享受到更好的服务。

奢侈品公司已经在中国投资设立精品店,但后者有时无所作为,反而可能有损于这些公司的品牌。

咨询机构贝恩公司提供的数据显示,去年的情况更糟。该公司发现,虽然中国消费者在日本、欧洲和韩国的购物支出分别增长了251%、31%和33%,但2015年中国大陆的奢侈品消费下降了2%。

ELLE中国编辑副总监Roth Lai本周在巴黎的一个奢侈品大会上说,与之平行的市场,或者说以网购为主的市场正在挤压实体店。

他指出:“电子商务已经真正成为中国奢侈品市场的主要动力。但我认为,在可预见的一段时间里,中国人仍会出国购物,直到中国的经济结构发生重大变化。”

为打击代购,中国政府上周提高了报关申报不实罚金,并加强了海关检查。在机场,海关人员开始越来越多地关注箱子里满载奢侈品的中国游客,并对他们征税。

中国政府还表示,将从4月8日起对通过互联网进口以及代购人员带回的商品,提高进口税。

海外订购手表的进口关税将从30%提高到60%,珠宝首饰进口关税也将从10%升至15%。

法国巴黎银行证券部门分析师卢卡•索尔卡说:“我们预计中国代购人员和游客的海外购物都会受到影响。”

中国政府还限制了银联卡在海外的使用。截至今年1月,每张银联卡在海外柜员机上的年取现额度为10万元(15471.49美元)。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

校对:詹妮

China is raising fees on packages ordered from abroad and cracking down on smugglers who carry in suitcases full of luxury goods, in a concerted effort to encourage shopping at home and squeeze a grey market that shoppers use to avoid tax.

Although Chinese shoppers account for a third of global sales of luxury goods, sales that actually take place in mainland China account for only a fifth.

The rest are purchases made abroad—either ordered from overseas websites, bought by Chinese tourists, or smuggled in by “personal shoppers” known as daigou, who fill suitcases with luxury items and sell them back home in person or online.

That costs the Chinese government tax revenue, and also discourages the domestic consumption sector, particularly for higher quality goods, that Beijing has long been trying to boost to rebalance its economy away from exports.

“China wants to attract the outbound purchases back and cultivate a domestic luxury consumption market which is also consistent with the target to develop a consumption driven economy,” Yating Xu, an economist for HIS Global Insight said.

Luxury items like the latest Dolce & Gabbana bag can be around 50% cheaper in Milan or in Paris than in mainland China, although some brands like Chanel lowered Chinese prices last year to close the gap.

Some Chinese also prefer to buy expensive items abroad because they can be more certain the goods are genuine, and can get better choice or service than at home.

Luxury firms have invested in opening boutiques in China, but they sometimes sit idle, potentially damaging their brands.

The problem has gotten worse over the past year, according to figures provided by the consultancy Bain & Co., which found that luxury consumption in mainland China fell 2% in 2015, even as purchases by Chinese buyers rose 251% in Japan, 31% in Europe and 33% in South Korea.

The parallel market, mostly conducted online, is crowding out bricks-and-mortar shops, said Roth Lai, deputy editorial director at Elle China, speaking at a conference on luxury in Paris this week.

“E-commerce has become really the main driving force in the luxury goods market in China,” he said. “But I think the Chinese will continue to buy outside of China for the foreseeable future, until there is a major shift in economic structure in China.”

To combat the daigou, the Chinese government last week increased penalties for false declarations and tightened customs controls. Officials are catching more and more Chinese travelers at the airport with suitcases full of luxury goods and slapping taxes on them.

Beijing also said that from April 8 it would increase taxes imposed on a range of goods either imported via the Internet or carried in by daigous.

Tariffs on watches ordered from abroad were increased to 60% from 30% and on jewelry to 15% from 10%.

“We expect an adverse impact on overseas purchases by Chinese daigous and tourists alike,” said Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca.

China has also tightened the use abroad ofUnionPay cards, the government-supported payment card network. As of January, there is an annual withdrawal limit at overseas cash machines of 100,000 yuan ($15,471.49) per card.

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