China’s Ex-government Cars Fetches 14.5 Million Yuan In Auction

Bidders flocked to an auction in Beijing to bid for cars that used to belong to central government.

This week, hundreds of Chinese bidders flocked to an auction in Beijing to bid for cars that used to belong to central government, reported South China Morning Post.

The first batch of 204 central government officials’ cars that went under the hammer were sold for a whopping 14.5 million yuan ($2,321,900) in total, about 75 percent higher than their staring prices on average. The remaining 2,980 cars will be auctioned at later dates.

During the auction, one of the bidders successfully bid more than 20 Audis and Volkswagens worth more than a million yuan, according to the report.

The question is why so many people are fascinated by used ex-government cars rather than other secondhand cars or brand new cars. As one bidder told China Business News,

“It makes me look good to drive a former official car to business gatherings, because it used to serve officials from the central government.”

Some bidders also felt that the cars used by government officials were usually better maintained than other secondhand cars.

With the ongoing anti-corruption campaign driven by President Xi, officials of all ranks below deputy minister are now banned from using government-owned cars on a daily basis except for specific tasks and emergencies. Unused cars are to be sold at public auctions, with the money raised going to the central treasury.

New York Welcomes Air China’s New-Generation B747-8 Intercontinental

Air China.

Expected to arrive at JFK International at 1:30PM EST local time, Air China’s B747-8 Intercontinental debuts internationally on the Beijing-New York route on January 7,2015. An in-cabin reception will be hosted by Air China’s New York Offices.

Air China’s Flights 981 and 982 will be operated daily by the new-generation B747-8i while Flights 989 and 990 continue to be operated by B777-300ER.

Air China is the first in China to operate the B747-8i and the only airline with nonstop services between New York and Beijing.

Air China 747-8 Interiors

Air China 747-8 First Class Interiors.

“We are pleased that our Beijing headquarters has chosen New York for the international launch of the B747-8i. It is only fitting that the largest city in the United States is the first Air China gateway in North America to operate the fuel-efficient, environment-friendly B747-8i,” said Mr. Yuanlong Zhou, General Manager of Air China’s New York offices.

“the B747-8i is the first aircraft in Air China’s fleet with a four-cabin configuration. This is significant as this provides travelers from New York and other neighboring cities to China and beyond with more options.” Mr. Zhou said.

Features 12 luxury suites in the Forbidden Pavilion first class cabin, 54 fully-flat sleepers Capital Pavilion business class, 66 premium economy seats and 233 in the economy cabin for a total of 365 seats, Air China’s B747-8i is also the first to present the company’s new cabin interior which depicts three traditional Chinese cultural elements that represent the harmonious unity of heaven, earth and sky.

Below is the seasonally-adjusted schedule of the of round-trip New York-Beijing services.

CA 981 Beijing-New York  B747-8i
CA 982 New York-Beijing  B747-8i
CA 989 Beijing-New York  B777-300ER
CA 990 New York-Beijing  B777-300ER

Tiffany & Co To Expand In China


American jeweller Tiffany&Co hosted last week in Beijing its travelling exhibition Tiffany Diamond, showcasing some of the brand’s most iconic pieces including the 128.54-carat yellow Tiffany Diamond.

Tiffany’s recent fourth-quarter sales results showed a 27 percent increase in the Asia-Pacific region, to US$238 million, and though the company doesn’t break out sales figures in specific countries, Tiffany CEO Kowalski said China was a major driver in the rise. “Diamonds are probably relatively more important here to the Tiffany brand than they are anywhere in the world,” he told WWD.

Kowalski confirmed Tiffany will open three to four stores in mainland China each year for the foreseeable future, carefully choosing store locations. He thinks this can be the most important part of making a lasting presence.


Beijing’s Wangfujing Costliest Retail Location In Mainland China


Beijing’s Wangfujing shopping street was China’s most expensive street, with rental values soaring by 4.3 percent to $436 per square feet, according to flagship retail research report Main Streets Across the World published recently by real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield. The report analyzed retail property rental performance across the global in the twelve months to June 2013.

Wangfujing ranked the tenth most expensive retail location in Asia Pacific, becoming the most costliest retail location in mainland China. Hong Kong’a Causeway Bay remains the world’s most expensive retail location for the second year in a row. Hong Kong’s Central and Tsim Sha Tsui ranked second and third respectively in Asia Pacific. “Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay will further bolster its position once luxury goods sales return to near peak levels.” said Michele Woo, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield in Hong Kong.

While the overall retail rents in mainland China increase 6.8 percent amid the slower growth in the luxury sector driven by government’s curb on graft and conspicuous consumption, the country remains attractive to a diverse range of brands, which chose to continue entering and expanding in the world’s most popular and dynamic market. In Beijing, Dior opened its first Chinese jewelery store, Louis Vuitton opened an accessories boutique, Lange & Söhne launched their first asian concept store, while carrera Y carrera inaugurated its first flagship store.

As an old culture street and one of Beijing’s most famous shopping area, Wangfujing is very popular for both tourists and local residents. Located in the Dongcheng District of Beijing, Wangfujing Street is now home to numerous world well-known luxury brands like Louis Vuitton besides around 280 time-honored brands of Beijing. The arrival of brands such as Apple and Forever 21 further fuelled the rental values in the hottest retail location of mainland China, according to the report.

From January to August, the retail sales of 30 key enterprises located in the Wangfujing area achieved a total of 6.04 billion yuan ($991.32 million), with six major shopping malls contributing 5.525 billion yuan ($906.79 million), accounting for 86.21 percent of the overall sales, according to data released by Wangfujing Area Construction & Management Office. The six malls are Oriental Plaza, Beijing Department Store, Beijing apm, Intime Lotte, Dong’an, and Gongmei Plaza.

Several new projects are on-going in the Wangfujing area, including Wangfujing International Brand Center (WIBC) which is projected to start construction in July next year. WIBC is set to be China’s most high-end shopping mall which will gather flagship stores of top international luxury brands, said Peng Yaojia, CEO of Hongkong Land, parent company of WIBC. This could further boost the rental growth of the Wangfujing area.