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In the next five years, China is expected to spend US$14.6 billion (NZ$21.5 billion) on luxury goods, surpassing Japan as the world’s largest luxury goods consumer market, according to People’s Daily Online.

As of December 2009, China’s luxury goods consumption has increased to US$9.4 billion, or 27.5% of the global total, the report said, citing the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

For the first time China’s luxury goods consumption surpassed the US and is now second only to Japan.

Despite the financial crisis in 2009, the Chinese appetite for luxury goods remains high. While luxury goods sales in Europe, Japan and the United States declined, sales in China rose more than 30%.

According to statistics cited by the report, 80% of the world’s leading luxury brands have entered the Chinese market, and China accounts for an ever-increasing share of the total sales of many brands.

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