Bernard Arnault joins mass exodus to China
China is important to the luxury market and, before the Covid-19 epidemic, accounted for one-third of all worldwide expenditure on luxury products.
French billionaire and luxury brand tycoon Bernard Arnault is currently in China. This is the latest visit by a foreign CEO eager to reestablish contact with the second-largest economy in the world, as per social media posts.
The world's second-richest man after Elon Musk and chairman of LVMH group, Arnault was seen in Beijing visiting the upscale SKP mall and the Sanlitun Taikoo Li shopping center Tuesday, posts widely circulated on Weibo showed.
He was subsequently observed on Wednesday in Chengdu, a city in China's southwest, where he was reported to have visited the International Finance Center and other high-end shops.
Arnault is accompanied by two of his children -- Delphine, who heads the Dior perfume and fashion brand, and Jean, director of watch development and marketing at Louis Vuitton -- videos showed.
China is important to the luxury market and, before the epidemic, accounted for one-third of all worldwide expenditure on luxury products.
China's market share dropped to 17% in 2022 as a result of the epidemic, however, to experts at UBS predicted that 2023 would be the "year of the Chinese consumer".
"The Chinese clientele is much more important than it was in 2019," LVMH's financial director Jean-Jacques Guiony recently told journalists.
Arnault's LVMH group -- which includes dozens of brands including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Kenzo -- has continued to post strong revenue and profit growth despite global economic headwinds.
Arnault has said he is "optimistic about the Chinese market".
This week's visit to China is far from his first. In a 2007 interview with Time magazine, the French tycoon said he had traveled to China "maybe twenty times" and hailed the country's economic capabilities.
In 2022, a number of American business executives traveled to China, praising its sizable market and the strong trade links that exist between the two global economic giants.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has lately met with Chinese President Xi Jinping after his foundation pledged $50 million to help Chinese efforts to fight malaria and tuberculosis, as per Chinese media.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon visited China in recent weeks, as did Tesla CEO Elon Musk; his first visit in more than three years.
In March, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Beijing, stressing his company enjoyed "symbiotic" ties with China.