Chinese billionaires snap up superyachts

yacht-shanghai-travelers-clubSuch is the growing demand in China for superyachts that yacht makers are now starting to install special features that appear to the wealthy Chinese market.
Superyachts have long been a staple for the world’s rich and famous and now, it is China which is snapping up the multi-million pound boats.
In 2013, the British yacht-building company Sunseeker was bought by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin for nearly $500 million.
Since then demand has risen, with more than half of the company’s customers now coming from outside Europe. You’d be forgiven for mistaking this yacht as a designer penthouse. Every gadget and parts in this decadent home, which sleeps 12, are made to the highest luxurious standard.
This is the world of the superyachts – a world the Chinese market is tapping into.
Stewart McIntyre, managing director at Sunseeker, said: “The way the Chinese economy works, they’ve clear got a lot of very, very wealthy people and they’ve got into boat fairly quickly along with other luxury assets like cars, helicopters and private jets.”
At the London Boat Show, there are plenty of high-net worth individuals ready to snap up luxury on the water.
And just like property in London, so many of these superyachts are being sold to customers outside of Britain.
More than a third of Sunseeker’s orders now come from customers outside of the EU and according to a report, yacht sales in China are set to grow 13 per cent from 2012 to 2017.

Such is the growing demand in China for superyachts that yacht makers are now starting to install special features that appear to the wealthy Chinese market.wealthy Chinese - Yacht - China elite focus
Whether it’s a custom made karaoke room or a mahjong table being installed on the upper deck, yacht makers are going the extra mile for the Chinese customer who is spending in excess of $16 million. ” Last year, a reader of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club contacted us discretely because he needed an introduction with a yacht broker to buy a $35 Million yacht. The deal was made less than three days after we gave him the contact. He was in a rush to buy a yacht, but he never explained why. Of course, we never asked.” said Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus and Publisher of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine, a luxury travel publication for High Net Worth Chinese

The culture of boating in China is also different, these yachts are not being used to sail the high seas – but instead being used for business and entertaining.
“Apart from boardrooms, karaoke rooms and mahjong rooms on their boats, they like luxury and the like things that are new. They like the latest products, latest materials and latest fabric according to their specifications and their lifestyle,” explained McIntyre.
Despite the growing success in China for British yacht builders, gaining an even stronger foothold will not be easy.
European yacht exporters have to pay a 43 per cent import tax on vessels sold to the mainland. But if the success continues, this slice of British luxury looks set to fill up Hong Kong harbour for some time to come.

Stretched Cadillacs, yachts and private Jets, new toys of wealthy Chinese CEO’s

The portly Wang Dong Qing sat in his office facing a wall stacked with toy fighter jets and military tanks.  On his desk, a “platinum” membership card of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club. Down in his parking lot, an eight-metre long Cadillac stood in a 40-vehicle fleet of Mercedes and BMWs rented by Chinese businessmen to impress visiting clients. “Ride my Cadillac,’’ urged Wang, waving a wrist circled with plump Buddhist beads. “For five minutes.”
The ceremonial limousine of American presidents — and lately Chinese magnates — is too long to manoeuvre the back alleys of Sanya where the only industry is luxury with Chinese characteristics. So the millionaires of the economy with a three-trillion-dollar stockpile land their jets land directly on the tropical golf courses of this southernmost island where they gamble away a fortune.
“Last month, one Chinese golfer lost 20 million yuan here,’’ Raymond Hau, general manager of the Sun Valley Sanya golf resort, told with a hearty laugh. “In one day.”

On the trail of the spendthrift habits of the world’s new rich, we took a four-hour flight from smoggy Beijing where everyone’s talking about the rich-poor gap and unaffordable housing, to a former fishing village being marked up as the ultra-capitalist beachfront of communist China.
On this, Beijing wants to beat Bali and Monaco strip of half a million people (but eight million affluent Chinese tourists). This reporter took a spin inside a limo, scrambled aboard yachts and saw blueprints for floating villas and the costliest holiday homes in China. Officials were reluctant to discuss a Chinese media report that Asia’s largest hotel is being built here — with a greyhound racing stadium.
We wandered into the resort with China’s only par-6 golf course where Chinese billionaires are known to spend the wealth they made since the last three decades when it became officially acceptable to get rich.
We asked Hau what sets apart the Chinese tycoon from his western counterpart. “Since the last year and half, people show us wads of cash and demand to play golf right away without reservations,’’ Hau said. “Golf will not develop in China without gambling — up to 500,000 yuan per hole. When Beijing golf courses close in winter, they all come here.’’
China is a developing country, its leadership repeats in every global negotiation. It is also the fastest-growing economy and the second-largest luxury market where foreign designer stores post higher profits in upwardly mobile second and third-tier cities than Shanghai.
The ‘developing country’ slogan is misplaced in Sanya where the ragtag fishing boats and imported yachts sail on separate sides outside China’s largest yacht club.
Wang Dafu is not available but his Lamborghini is parked at the entrance of the Dubai-style Visun Royal Yacht Club. Da fu aptly means big fortune. “The reason you earn money is to spend it,’’ this owner of a 72-foot Pershing yacht told NYT last year.
Private yacht racing in the southern sea is getting so popular that this club has raised its membership fees and started expanding the port for hundreds more berths.
“The fishing boats will be moved out,’’ assured the club employees. We took off our footwear and climbed aboard yachts whose owners or renters are spread from Shanghai to poorer provinces like Shanxi. The interiors were plainly furnished with no signature statements. It’s the mere ownership of ‘Monte Carlo’ that matters.
Chinese eaves were the tradition of the first rich generation homes. The current second-rich generation shops for beachfront Spanish villas and bedrooms bordered with plunge pools.
“We call it oriental Hawaii,’’ said Xu Guorong, executive director of the Yalong Development Company. This Goa-like strip of silky white sand named Yalong bay — meaning Asian Dragon for its shape — was wetland 15 years ago. Few foreigners except Russians flock to this elite hideout, but every official who spoke to HT said that India – where Forbes estimates that the 100 richest have comparable wealth to China’s 400 richest — is their next big market.
We asked Xu to describe the taste of the affluent spender. He pointed his laser to the ‘dragon’s head’ on a Florida-inspired blueprint of villas and a floating five-star resort. “Hotel guests and villa owners will take yachts directly to the lobby or villa entrance.’’
“ The new generation of wealthy Chinese consumers loves boating and private jets” said Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus, a specialized agency for VIP events targeting wealthy Chinese travelers.
State-owned companies are shadow owners in flagrantly lavish property being designed for China’s cash-rich underbelly and communist officials with a prerequisite for 170-cm hotel hostesses.
Our taxi zoomed down an empty highway with lamps powered by white windmills. The migrant driver from central China rubbed his fingers to indicate he moved here for the money.
“In the global travel industry, the community everyone wants to cater is the Chinese,’’ said Raj Mohan, the month-old Renaissance hotel’s food and beverage director.
On the eighth floor Presidential suite, we wandered into four bedrooms, two private pools and meeting rooms that look like Beijing’s great halls that await the Chinese mogul. The tag: 88,888 yuan ($13,700).
“Ninety per cent of our tourists will remain mostly Chinese for five years,’’ said tourism official Tang Sixian as he dialed a developer of an upcoming artificial island. The island will have only one oversize landmark. A row of four luxury high-rises and a luxury hotel with 360-degree sea views and balcony baths.
“When Sanya was a fishing village, I visited the developed world and saw its lifestyle,’’ Cadillac-owner Wang told us. “After many years, Chinese rich people have the ability to spend like that.’’