While Europeans gobble up cheap goods “Made in China,” publicity surrounding Chinese shopping practices has mainly focused on the fondness for European luxury brands.
It has become commonplace to see pictures of China’s nouveau riche, bedecked in branded bling and knocking back the Krug and Cristal. However, recent Chinese consumption activity reveals much about the relative positioning of the two economies.
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel promoted the European Union’s interests in China on an official visit Aug. 31, Shandong Heavy Industries bought a 25 percent stake in Kion GmbH – the Wiesbaden-based world No. 2 forklift truck maker – for a reported 738 million euros.
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