Over the next decade, Chinese consumers will not save the world; they can not make up for a sharp pullback in U.S. consumption. The Chinese, poor by global standards, are extremely cautious, ruthlessly price conscious and risk averse. This tendency, reflected in a bargaining impulse that approaches blood sport, is underpinned by: a) contemporary government policy and b) ancient cultural imperatives – i.e., assumptions regarding the relationship between society and individual. The relevance of the latter is indicated by persistently high savings rates even in “developed” Chinese societies such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
Tom Doctoroff by Fantake via Flickr