Expert says UK shops will need Chinese currency to meet demands of China tourists

February 11th, 2011 - 5:23 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb.11 (ANI): British shops will soon need to start keeping Chinese currency amid a surge in tourists and brands becoming owned by China businessman.

Oxford University experts have warned that these days many Chinese want Western experiences and lifestyles.

The Telegraph quoted Dr. Karl Gerth, from Oxford University’s Faculty of History, as saying “Already shops on Bond Street (central London) are accepting renminbi from Chinese tourists and in years to come the tastes and desires of Chinese consumers will have to be at the forefront of every successful shop owner’s commercial considerations.”

Having studied the growing influence of Chinese consumers and tourists worldwide, Dr. Gerth writes in his book titled “”As China Goes, So Goes the World”, that in the coming years it will become routine for the Yuan, known officially as the renminbi, to be stocked alongside the pound, euro and the dollar.

He also predicts that a growing number of UK and US brands will soon come under Chinese ownership.

Dr Gerth, from Merton College, Oxford, said China’s acquisition of Western firms has “established them as the world’s next branding superpower”.

He said during his travels he found that Chinese people, particular in rural parts were very familiar with “all these American brands”.

“China doesn’t simply want to buy Western goods. The Chinese want to create internationally competitive brands of their own, and if they can’t spread brands which originated in China around the world, the natural alternative is to seek to take over brands which are already established,” he claims.

“Simply put, for all the West’s concerns about China, our economy needs Chinese consumers to continue to adopt Western lifestyles in order to keep our own economy afloat,” he added

A recent study published in the journal Tourism Economics found that the Chinese made 3.67 million passenger trips to Europe last year, an increase of almost a fifth on the previous year. It also found that every Chinese package tour to Britain is now “expected to include luxury shopping”.

Separate figures show that Chinese buyers now represent almost a third of luxury goods market in Britain. British shoppers only make up around 15 per cent.

“In less than a decade, China has gone from an almost insignificant consumer to a key consumer of global luxury brands,” Dr Gerth said, adding that China had also become “the world’s largest consumer of luxury cars”.

His comments come amid growing concern about China’s foreign exchange rate policy.

This week, Ben Bernanke, the US Federal Reserve Chairman, urged Beijing to let the value of its yuan currency rise.

Dr. Bernanke called this week’s interest rate hike by China’s central bank, which was aimed at fighting high inflation, a “surprising” way to curb prices. (ANI)

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