China, the People's Republic of Discounting

China’s economic slowdown has retailers wielding their markdown pens
Illustration by Ana Benaroya

About a year ago, Chinese shoppers were in full-on conspicuous-consumption mode. Executives routinely spent $12,900 on Rolexes and other high-end watches to give to business contacts and suppliers, much to the delight of Cartier, Financière Richemont, and Swatch Group. Gold bars carved with Chinese characters signifying good luck were also in vogue as gifts.

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