At the Hainan Rendezvous last weekend, China’s anti-corruption drive seemed to be giving vendors a sinking feeling.
The number of brands that exhibited this year at the annual event dropped to 72, down from more than 90 last year, according to the organizer Visun Group. Last year there was a substantially wider range of top luxury names including Aston Martin and Chopard.
Set against the backdrop of the southern Chinese island’s palm trees and sand, Hainan Rendezvous, now in its fifth year, suffered a reputational hit in China after pictures of sex and drug parties flooded the Internet and Chinese social media in 2013.
Such challenges for the trade show have been exacerbated by President Xi Jinping’s austerity drive among China’s elite officials. Since the anti-corruption push was launched, taking out a government official out for a day on a private yacht has become less socially accepted, reducing the value of such vessels in China.
In something of a surprise this weekend, Sunseeker Yachts, a formerly British yacht maker popular with rich Chinese—thanks to its comparatively low cost and past appearances in James Bond movies—didn’t have any yachts to take customers out to the sea, despite having been acquired last year by Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group and the country’s richest man.
A sales manager for Sunseeker China said that the company hadn’t closed any sales in China this year. 'Last year our showroom was packed, but this year we see no guests after waiting for a long time,' said sales manager Huang Weifen.
Full story: http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/03/31/at-chinas-biggest-yacht-show-the-party-feel-fizzles/
Hainan Rendezvous 2012 - down on numbers in 2014 - .. .