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.