Shopping abroad for safer and cheaper products has become common for large numbers of Chinese. Now the country wants to curb cross-border flow of goods by raising customs fees and import taxes. Since China has such extremely high tariffs, prices of imported goods are significantly higher in China than in their countries of origin. In recent years, many Chinese have gone overseas to shop.
The number of Chinese traveling overseas has grown by 20 per cent each year for the fifth consecutive year. When Chinese people return from overseas, their bags are stuffed with their favorite items, and often those of their friends’. These range from luxury watches to saucepans, rice steamers, brand-name clothing, luxury leather goods, milk formula, perfume, and even toilet seat covers.
With Chinese-made goods sold all over the world, Chinese people should not have to travel abroad to shop. But what’s available in China is either far overpriced or a poorly-made imitation. That’s why Chinese consumers have lost confidence in Chinese-made products and have turned into an army of overseas shoppers.
In addition to brand and quality, price is another important consideration. In the US Chinese tourists find all kinds of dazzling well-known brand products, including big-name apparel and leather goods that even without discounts are only about one third of what they cost in China.