Bring shoppers back home: Wanda's Wang Jianlin

Updated: 2016-08-26 16:43

By Hu Yuanyuan(

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Bring shoppers back home: Wanda's Wang Jianlin

Wang Jianlin, chairman of China's Wanda Group speaks during an agreement ceremony in Beijing, February 10, 2015. [Photo/IC]

The government needs to take measures to encourage Chinese shoppers to spend money at home instead of overseas, Wang Jianlin, who runs China's largest chain of department stores, said on Thursday.

As investment and export's contribution to China's economic growth is weakening, consumption is regarded as an increasingly important driver. But the growth of Chinese overseas consumption, according to Wang, has far outpaced domestic consumption. And overseas consumption has changed from just in luxury products to daily products.

"Policy makers need to study this very seriously and come up with policies to curb excessive overseas consumption and pull consumers back home," the Wanda Group chairman said at a conference in Beijing on Thursday. The government needs to promote local brands and take measures against "shoddy" goods to regain consumers' confidence in domestic products, he said.

Chinese consumers spent about 1.5 trillion yuan ($225 billion) overseas in 2015, with about half of that going toward shopping, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said in a briefing in February.

Wang said he rejected a proposal from Korean government officials to provide him with a piece of land near Seoul on the condition that he uses it to build 20 to 30 plastic-surgery clinics geared toward Chinese visitors. He said he turned down the offer because it would result in more Chinese consumers going to Korea for plastic surgery.