Yachten sind der neue Luxus-Hype-Artikel aus China, schreibt die New York Times. Allerdings ein Markt mit Schwierigkeiten: Among the carp ponds, duck farms and moldering plywood huts that have long lined the bank of a Pearl River estuary here, a most incongruous newcomer has appeared: a long, towering shed for building very large luxury yachts, a product that has no market in mainland China. Lion dancers bobbed and weaved as strings of firecrackers sizzled and boomed on July 3 at the official opening of the yacht factory - an emblem of how China is shifting its sights upmarket. Having mastered the manufacture of many inexpensive goods for mass consumption here and abroad, the country is getting into luxury goods, the kinds coveted by the world's most demanding buyers. China's competitive advantage is that it is doing this at lower cost. Increasingly expensive brands of shoes, clothing and furniture are being made in this country, mostly for domestic consumption but sometimes for export. BMW has begun assembling some of its latest models in China for sale here, and Mercedes and Cadillac are preparing to do the same. With yachts, though, China is braving a market where it has little recent experience or demand at home. The economic boom has certainly created plenty of fortunes big enough to afford yachts. But they have never caught on among rich Chinese, who, unlike the boating set in the West, tend to keep their consumption as inconspicuous as possible.
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