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Beijing postcard, 2:22 p.m.

The Audis came by in a line, like carriages on parade. Then the men in black shirts and black pants, with white gloves. There was a bustle of instructions being shouted into walkie-talkies and people pointing this way and that for where to position the luxury cars. The Audis were getting lined up for a "brand event" in Beijing's Central Business District this afternoon.

I wondered how many hundreds of thousands of dollars were before me. (I now know that the black car, for one, is the R8 Spyder. It apparently has a manufacturer's retail price starting at $127,000, and costs a lot more, I'd bet, in China with its high luxury taxes.)

Audi sedans are often the car of choice for the elite here. Bloomberg News last year described A6s as the "official cars of the nation’s top leaders." That in a country where the annual per capita disposable income of urban residents was reported to be $2,900 last year. 

Anyway, I was watching them this afternoon when I noticed the man next to me, holding a broom and also watching them. He turned as I took the picture.


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WFG Online

My top most favourite car is Audi..The Audis were getting lined up for a "brand event" in Beijing's Central Business District...Really great blog

CGS intake

It's a nice photo. The man felt glad when you took that one with him. It's good to experience events such as this one, not to mention the different luxury cars on display here.

Tom Lasseter

Hi Paul,
I live nearby as well. When I come back from a reporting trip, especially those that take me to poor rural areas, passing by these events boggles my mind.
Best, Tom

Paul Adkins

Tom, I live very close to where that event took place. Hardly a week goes past without some marketing event being staged there. Everything from Scotch Whisky to computers to cars. Quick - buy shares in Beijing event management companies!

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"China Rises" is written by Tom Lasseter, the Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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