French luxury brand tycoon Bernard Arnault now in China

AFP
The French billionaire and luxury brand magnate is in China this week, social media posts showed.
AFP
French luxury brand tycoon Bernard Arnault now in China

A screenshot from a video on social media shows Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH group, and his daughter Delphine Arnault in a Christian Dior store in Beijing on Tuesday.

French billionaire and luxury brand magnate Bernard Arnault is in China this week, social media posts showed, the latest visit by a foreign executive keen to reconnect to the world's second-largest economy.

The world's second-richest man after Elon Musk and Chairman of LVMH group, Arnault was seen in Beijing visiting the upscale SKP mall and the Sanlitun Taikoo Li shopping center on Tuesday, posts widely circulated on Weibo showed.

He was then spotted in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Wednesday, where he toured the city's International Finance Center and other upscale stores, posts said.

Chinese state media also reported the visit was taking place, citing the social media videos.

Arnault is accompanied by two of his children – Delphine, who heads the Dior perfume and fashion brand, and Jean, who is director of watch development and marketing at Louis Vuitton, videos showed.

China is critical to the luxury market, and before the pandemic made up a third of all global luxury goods spending.

The pandemic hit the industry hard, with China's share of the market sinking to 17 percent in 2022, according to analysts at UBS, who have said that 2023 will be the "year of the Chinese consumer."

"The Chinese clientele is much more important than it was in 2019," LVMH's financial director Jean-Jacques Guiony recently told journalists.

Arnault's LVMH group – which includes dozens of brands including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Kenzo – has continued to post strong revenue and profit growth despite global economic headwinds.

Arnault has said he is "optimistic about the Chinese market."

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