China’s online retailers are now providing cheaper access to foreign luxury products than ever before.
However, some businesses operating in the sector have had to face criticism from the very brands they carry. Gucci, Swarovski and other luxury brands recently claimed that several Chinese business-to customer (B2C) retailers, including the well-known Taobao mall, 360buy and Dangdang, are not authorized to sell their products online. Online retailers have seen booming sales of luxury goods, largely because they sell them for far lower prices than China’s brick-and-mortar stores. A small Swarovski pendant can be purchased on 360buy for 450 yuan (US$71), or 60 percent of the 720 yuan price tag typically seen in stores.