Monday, December 03, 2012

The China middle class: close to half a billion - Helen Wang

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Helen Wang
The American middle class might be licking its wounds and wonder what it means to have been middle class, in China their numbers keeps on growing and is, according to the latest figures by author Helen Wang, close to half a billion, she writes in Forbes. 

Helen Wang:
This means the Chinese middle class accounts for 68 percent of urban population, which is believable to me. Assuming two percent are super rich, still about 30 percent of the people in urban areas are poor. 
Some would argue that there are different criteria to measure the size of the Chinese middle class. A simple and important rule of thumb, as stated in my book The Chinese Dream, is that of a household with a third of its income for discretionary spending. These people have passed the threshold of survival and have disposable income to spend on leisure items. As I travel around China, it’s very clear to me that the majority of people in urban areas have reached this stage. 
The rising Chinese middle class is the biggest story of our time. However, many US companies are missing the opportunity. US exports to China account for only 6 percent of China’s total imports. The major categories of US exports to are in industrial sectors such as power generation equipment, aircraft, and medical equipment. 
The biggest opportunity, however, is in the consumer sector. On November 11, China’s “Single Day” shopping festival, online retailers Tmall (B2C) and Taobao Marketplace (C2C) generated a record revenue of $3.1 billion, more than the total sales in the U. S. on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Before long, China will become the world’s largest consumer market, and its consumption could reach $13 to $16 trillion by 2020.
More in Forbes.

 Helen Wang is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers' request form.

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