One of the most common characteristics of high net worth consumers in China is a desire for privacy. Many of the ultra high net worth individuals do not want anyone to know that they have money, and are typically discrete when spending their money, often using different names and purchasing through family or assistants. While working in PR in China, we were once hired to get someone off the rich list in China!
It is difficult to understand this extreme need for privacy unless you dig deeper into the current landscape of China and the political ramifications and issues associated with wealth and stature. In a country that is technically still communist, although the middle class is growing quickly, wealth disparity and abuses of power and stature are lightning rods for discontent. With the upcoming political change over in 2012, these issues will only become more and more sensitive this year, and is something every luxury brand should understand.
For a great look into the issues underlying the need for privacy, read the below article: The End of the Chinese Dream by Christina Larson of Foreign Policy.