Warren Buffett has famously told Berkshire Hathaway investors: “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”
Buffett’s market wisdom can be applied to the Chinese property market.
Now, the tide is going out and the boom days are over, the industry is rapidly slowing as credit growth is the slowest on record – pointing to a weakening in the economy in coming months.
As for “swimming naked when the tide goes out,” well, it seems like one real estate firm, in southwest China used topless models covered in body paint as a last-ditch effort to unload a new property development before the market implodes.
Nanning Weirun Investment Company, a real estate developer in Nanning, capital of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang, hired a bunch of models to advertise its condominiums by using their bare skin as a canvas, said Asia Times.
Floor plans of the condos were painted on the back of each model, and their breasts were painted with logos and other advertising slogans.
While it is unclear if the topless models helped to spur sales, Asia Times indicated that the stunt attracted many people to the showroom last Friday.
Hundreds of Sina Weibo users, China’s Twitter, criticized the promotion and called it disgusting, as others thought it was an interesting method, in the attempt to generate sales in a slowing market.
An employee at Nanning Weirun told the website Btime.com that the bodypainting promotion was a one-off event to drive sales.
The strategy is one of the more unconventional approaches being taken by desperate developers to attract new buyers as GDP growth, and the housing market are expected to fall in the first half of 2019.
Was the marketing stunt worth it for the developer?
Probably not, as the city planning authority suspended the firm’s marketing permit on Monday.
Video: Revealing the naked truth of China’s real estate slowdown