BEIJING: Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Hermès are considered to be some of the most desirable luxury brands among affluent Chinese consumers, a study has found.

The Hurun Research Institute, the consultancy, surveyed 503 wealthy shoppers with an average net worth of RMB63m. In all, the wealth of respondents had grown by 15% year on year, but annual consumption actually fell by 9%, to RMB1.8m.

Looking at the economic situation in China over the next two years, 38% of the sample were "very confident", and more than 60% expressed general optimism regarding the financial outlook.

When it came to the most popular high-end brands to give as presents, Louis Vuitton, the French fashion label, led the charts on 14.9%.

Three more French brands followed, with Cartier, the jewellery specialist, on 10.3%, Hermès, another fashion group, on 8%, and Chanel, the apparel, accessories and fragrances firm, on 6.2%.

Maotai, the rice wine made by Kweichow Moutai, was fifth and the top Chinese brand on 5.9%. Apple, the US consumer electronics pioneer, was next, posting 5.7%.

"Gift-giving is an essential part of Chinese culture," Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun Research Institute, said. "The money spent on gifting, especially at Chinese New Year, is staggering compared with the West."

Elsewhere, 29% of the panel primarily access information on television, reaching 23% for newspapers, 21% for the web and 14% for magazines. Social interaction also plays a meaningful role here.

Currently, only 40% of contributors have taken to microblogging, an online pastime which has seen rapid growth in China. The typical person engaged in this activity had 50,000 followers.

The average millionaire has two bank accounts, three cars and 4.2 watches. Members of this demographic also usually travel abroad three times a year.

Some 23.4% of interviewees bought timepieces when they were overseas, a figure standing at 17.8% for jewellery, 15.6% for leather goods and 15.5% for clothes and accessories.

Data sourced from Hurun Research Institute/China Daily; additional content by Warc staff