Wealthy Chinese are dipping into the heady world of luxury yachts
China has become a new focus for Western luxury yacht makers after the global downturn hit Western buyers hard and emerging markets such as Russia and the Middle East are still to mature.
Karaoke bars and mahjong tables are increasingly becoming common on luxury vessels, whose makers were once content to install sunbathing decks and fine-dining tables to meet customer demand.
The yachts, priced at as much as a few hundred million dollars, are widely seen as the ultimate status symbol, after sprawling mansions, expensive cars and private jets.
The market is relatively new for China. Western brands are keen to seize the first-mover advantage as the market grows.
"The Chinese market is extremely important," says Mohammed Al-Barwani, chairman of the Dutch yacht maker Oceanco.
"It is a fast growing market and it is getting more and more sophisticated."
Oceanco has attended the annual Chinese yacht exhibition, Hainan Rendez-Vous, for the past four years, Al-Barwani says.
"The idea is to invest today for a market that will develop in the next four to five years."
Some Chinese have expressed an interest in Oceanco's yachts and have visited the company's manufacturing site in the Netherlands, he says.