DICKSON Concepts (International) yesterday opened its exhibition of famous brand name watches and jewellery in Beijing, worth a total value of HK$100 million, to signal the formal beginning of the group's ambitious penetration into the untested China market. The exhibition features representative models, limited editions and special pieces from eleven world famous brand names, including Chopard, Bulgari, Audemars Piguet, S. T. Dupont, Hermes, Sonia Rukiel, Charles Jourdan, Guy Laroche and Carrera. Chinese leader Mr Li Ruihuan, who is chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was also invited to tour the exhibition hall. Dicskon Concepts chairman Mr Dickson Poon, announced that the group would open a total of 20 multi-product boutiques and 10 watch and jewellery outlets in five Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Mr Poon said the five cities had reached a more mature stage of economic development and their geographical positions would enable the shops to cater for neighbouring regions. This will form a nation-wide sales networks in the shortest possible time span, he said. ''For example, our shops in Beijing can not only satisfy the local market, but can also develop business in the neighbouring Tianjin city, which is also a industrial and commercial city with high purchasing power,'' he said. So far Dickson Concepts has committed about US$100 million in China and the group is also planning to venture into the property and manufacturing sectors. Mr Poon said that for the time being fashion and middle price watches would be the mainstay of business volume. The retail prices range from as low as 300 yuan (HK$405 at official rates) up to 3,000,000 yuan, enabling Dickson Concepts to offer a comprehensive selection to Chinese consumers in different market sectors. ''The more expensive items can give consumers some idea of what first class brand names are like. But of course with the increase of their income and exposure to the brand names, they will gradually move towards more expensive items,'' Mr Poon said. ''In addition, the mixture of different classes of products would prevent the saturation of one particular market sector and would ensure the stable increase of the group's profit.'' Asked if the sale of the luxurious products would be affected by economic fluctuation in China, Mr Poon said that at China's current level of economic power, there was already a sufficient market for Dickson Concepts' products. ''Even if there is a downturn now, there will not be a substantial impact on us,'' he said. He also said the devaluation of renminbi would not affect the group's profitability because the risk was minimised by arrangement under which it purchased products from suppliers with renminbi. In order to further the exposure of the brand names to Chinese consumers, similar exhibitions will be organised in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai. Mr Poon said business for the first two weeks at the Beijing shop, located in a five star hotel, was better than expected. ''This proves that our products are acceptable and affordable to consumers,'' he said. With more than 120 shops worldwide, the group would not neglect other markets, said Mr Poon. ''We are continuing to look for business opportunities in other markets,'' he said.