The French Are Building a Mall by the Eiffel Tower, and China Wants to Buy It
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China’s quest to diversify its trillions of dollars in foreign reserves away from U.S. government debt continues. Its latest foray: A Parisian shopping mall in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
Shops include high-end fare like jeweler Baccarat and Petit Bateau, known for their precious (and expensive) kids-wear, along with middle-class foreign favorites like Marks & Spencer, a Chipotle Mexican Grill and a Bermuda Onion restaurant. Perhaps not coincidentally, Chinese tourists are among the biggest-spending shoppers in Paris. According to the French government’s “Do You Speak Touriste?" site, "Les Chinois" spend 40 percent of their travel budgets on shopping, mostly for luxury goods.
Le Figaro seemed somewhat aghast that China’s government might actually buy property right in the heart of Paris. “A few years ago, the assumption seemed preposterous," the paper wrote. "Today, it is very plausible."
This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.