Taipei 101 tips double sales from Chinese shoppers

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Taipei 101, formerly the world's tallest building, said Wednesday it expects Chinese shoppers to contribute up to 25 percent of sales as Taiwan starts allowing in mainland solo visitors.

Last year, Chinese nationals spent at least $34.6 million in the up-scale Taipei 101 mall, or 10 percent of its sales revenues, said spokesman Michael Liu, as China became the biggest source of tourists to the island.

The percentage is likely to rise, he said, after Taiwan last month lifted a decades-old ban on individual Chinese travellers, raising expectations of a boom for the tourism and retail sectors.

In the Taipei 101 mall, renovations are underway for new stores for a dozen global brands, including Spanish clothing chain Zara, which after five years of consideration is set to open its first shop in November, Liu said.

"The (government's) open policies certainly make it easier for foreign companies to expand to Taiwan while the booming tourist market also helps attract more investors," he said.

Official Taiwan data shows more than 2.2 million Chinese visitors have arrived since a new, economy-minded government relaxed rules three years ago in an effort to mend ties with Beijing, following decades of marred relations.

The influx has generated about $3.8 billion in revenue for the island.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 after a civil war but Beijing considers the island part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

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