Rare Bikes: China’s Newest Status Symbol
In China, the rich are now abandoning flashy cars and expensive suits as ways of showing off how rich they are. Bicycles are now used to do just that — the more expensive and the rarer your bike, the richer you appear.
Even though China is known for being the world’s biggest automobile market, sales of high-end bikes increase by 10 percent a year.
Yiqun Yu rides his favorite bike to work every day — a 100,000 RMB (US$16,000) Alex Moulton. Mr. Yu is a creative director at an advertising firm.
His favorite bike is only one of the 35 high-end bicycles this 40-year-old man owns.
“It might be the only one in Beijing. It’s like the Rolls-Royce of bicycles: very classical, purely handmade.”
Mr. Yu belongs to a seemingly new trend or culture in China — wealthy people trying to change their lifestyles. Becoming more health-conscious, they now ride their expensive bicycles rather than drive.
“The high-end sector is going to be the major source of growth in the Chinese market. In China, bikes are more than just a means of transportation. They have become a fashion,” Terry Liu, an analyst at Fubon Research in Taiwan, said.