No rules for the rich: How China spends its new wealth
A group of Chinese businessmen arranged to meet up one evening for a drink. They were asked to bring their best bottle of wine.
Here was a selection of some of the best-known fine wines in the world. Chateau Lafite 1962, Chateau Latour 1970 - bottles that cost in the region of $1,600 (£1,000) each.
On arrival, the host said: "Gentlemen, show your wines," and the guests presented their bottles for each other's approval.
The host then called: "Gentlemen, uncork your bottle," which they did.
He then indicated a vast silver punchbowl and ordered: "Gentlemen, pour your wine," which they did - into the punchbowl.
The mingled contents of some of the most distinctive clarets in the world were then ladled out between them.
It is a memorable anecdote. But it is also instructive, because it illustrates the way China's new rich approach established luxury goods.
Rich keep spending
As the country sucks up more and more of the world's luxury goods production, producers are growing in their understanding of Chinese tastes.
End Quote Donald Holdsworth Kinectic Associates
The answer, he thinks, is rooted in demographics: "The average age of a Chinese millionaire is 39 - that's 15 years younger than in the developed world.
"It happens to coincide with the start of the one-child-per-person policy - the year of the Little Emperors. These children were given the very best by their parents."
So the Little Emperors grew up with as many resources as could be mustered by their parents - at the same time as the economy shifted from communism to capitalism.
That, says Donald Holdsworth, sheds further light on Chinese tastes: "If you've grown up in a conformist society where there's no freedom of speech, once a chance appears for you to express yourself without danger you are going to take it.
"It's like unscrewing the top from a bottle of fizzy water."