China’s New Middle Class: A Moving Target

China’s New Middle Class: A Moving Target
China’s explosive economic growth has fostered the development of an urban upper class whose new-found wealth has opened a significant market in luxury goods. But trend-savvy companies are recognizing another consumer group in China: an emerging middle class that presents opportunities and challenges. However you define the Chinese middle class — by income, occupation, or Western spending habits — the economics of China’s population will change dramatically in the coming decades: Continued growth will see the incomes of most Chinese citizens rising, with fewer people living in poverty. More people will move from rural areas to cities in search of higher paying jobs. As a result, experts predict that in 20 years the urban middle class in China will become one of the world’s largest consumer markets. Continue Reading →

A New Year in China

A New Year in China
Many Americans were still finishing off Valentine chocolates wrapped in red foil on February 18. But if you were in China, the color red would be associated with money, clothing, and a PIG. February 18th was the Chinese Lunar New Year of 4704—the year of the Red Pig and the first day of a 15-day festival. Recent events have left many wondering what the Red Pig year holds for China. Analysts cite many possible reasons for the biggest downturn in China’s stock market in a decade including: the pressure for profit-taking days after the market hit a record high, growing concerns that China’s government will seek to slow its tremendous growth, and even comments by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to a business conference in Hong Kong that the US may be nearing the end of its prosperous economic cycle—proof that we are truly in a global economy. What does all this mean for firms looking to enter the China market? Continue Reading →