Beijing, China — MININGREVIEW.COM — 25 January 2010 – China has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest diamond market behind the United States, with trade on the Shanghai diamond exchange rising 16.4% to more than US$1.5 billion (R11.25 billion).
The official Xinhua news agency reported from here that the year-on-year rise, when much of the rest of the world was mired in deep recession, had been due to China’s boisterous economic growth in 2009, which reached 8.7%.
“As the economy continued to develop in a stable manner, consumer demand for jewellery continued to grow, especially for diamonds for the wedding market,” Xinhua said on its website
“In 2009 China overtook Japan to become the world’s second largest diamond market for consumers behind the United States,” it confirmed.
Reuters reports that China’s increasingly affluent middle class and vast pool of customers are seen as key factors for the rise in diamond sales in the world’s most populous country.
Chinese demand for diamonds only really started to develop in the 1990s when De Beers brought its global advertising campaign to China, tapping into the Chinese desire for conspicuous consumption and pursuit of Western lifestyle trends.