Prada has joined other luxury brands in reducing prices to reflect lower value-added tax in China, but analysts and buyers are doubtful whether this is enough to boost sales in China amid a softening in consumption. From April 1, Prada Group has reduced prices on all Prada and Miu Miu products sold through its directly operated stores in China and online by 3 per cent, the company said in an email on Wednesday evening. China lowered its VAT for the manufacturing sector from 16 to 13 per cent effective from this month, as part of a broader effort to reinvigorate the slowing economy and bolster growth. A Prada spokeswoman told the Post that the price cut would at least reduce the price gap between Europe and China. A reasonable price gap between Europe and China will remain to cover the higher costs an European company incurs when selling its products in China, she said. Rivals Gucci and Louis Vuitton have also lowered prices similarly. In a statement, Louis Vuitton said it was “fully supportive of the Chinese government’s ongoing efforts to narrow the price gap between China and overseas”. But Chinese consumers complained on social media that despite the price reduction, luxury goods are still more expensive than those sold in Europe or across the border in Hong Kong. Others said that the products are still unaffordable for them. “Am I short of a few hundred yuan [to buy luxury goods]? No. It’s more like thousands of yuan,” a social media user named Yunfeide said sarcastically on the Twitter-like Weibo microblogging site. Prada’s shares plunged nearly 11 per cent in Hong Kong on Monday after it reported disappointing earnings late on Friday. Net profit dropped 17.5 per cent, significantly missing consensus. “Prada has taken some initiatives to improve its business ... but global economic uncertainty, weak consumer sentiment in major markets and the China-US trade dispute may continue to cast pressure on its business this year,” said Terry Hong, an analyst with Guotai Junan Securities.