Well, you guys are missing the point with expensive Chinese delicacies.
The taste is not the primary factor, it's really meant to be used as a peace offering or a sign of respect.
Shark fin soup/ bird's nest is coveted for it's rarity/price.
So say you have guest over, and you take them to a dinner. It is a sign of respect to order those dishes for the table. I don't think anyone orders them due to taste.
Also Chinese new money is everywhere, and they just buy it because they have run out of things to splurge on eg: check out walnut prices, jade, real estate, gold, art paintings in China.