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Why LVMH chief Bernard Arnault met with China's commerce minister

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Photo : Bernard Arnault / AFP - Francois Guillo

The photographs circulating the world’s media feature a smiling luxury magnate shaking hands with a Chinese politician.

LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault met with China’s minister of commerce, Wang Wentao, at the Dior flagship in Paris on Friday. Other senior management at LVMH, including Delphine Arnault, chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture; Pietro Beccari, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, and Stéphane Rinderknecht, chairman and CEO of the group’s beauty division, also attended the meeting with Wang, reported WWD.

The meeting underscored the luxury group’s commitment to China as well as the importance of the Chinese market to LVMH, a key growth and profit driver for its maisons.

While whispers of LVMH moving assets out of Hong Kong, which has been slow to recover under China’s control, to Shanghai has neither been confirmed nor denied by LVMH, mainland China is where the opportunities lie. On Monday LVMH became the first European company to reach 500 billion dollars in market value.

LVMH posted a 17 per cent increase in revenue in its first-quarter results earlier this month after China’s luxury market began to rebound following the lifting of the country’s zero-Covid policy, reported the Financial Times.

Mr Arnault in an earnings call after reporting results from 2022 said: “I’m quite confident that the Chinese leaders, being very shrewd, they will surely take advantage of the period that is starting to revitalize Chinese growth. If this is the case — and we’ve seen signs of it in January — then we have every reason to be confident, even optimistic, about the Chinese market.”

Bernard Arnault