Celebrity author Helen Wang of The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You addressed last month the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and focused on the opportunities for US companies in China. “Opportunities abound in luxury goods, healthcare, education and clean technology.”

From the Amcham report:

Wang, a native of Hangzhou who now lives in California, began by showing a two-minute video that captured the essence of the book and her work. The Forbes columnist then went on to offer her definition of the Chinese middle class: someone who earns about US$10,000 to US$60,000 a year, is college educated with a stable job and sets aside a third of his or her income for discretionary spending. She also spoke about Jack Ma, the Internet mogul behind Taobao.com and Alibaba.com, and how he used his experience in the U.S. to succeed in China. She also talked about how many U.S. multinationals fail to succeed in China because they did not adjust their business model to suit the Chinese market.

For example, she said Home Depot is failing in China because most Chinese do not have the experience in improving their homes the way Americans do and may do well in offering pre-made home decorating options. On the other hand, she said Pizza Hut has been a success story because the company repositioned itself as an upscale dining establishment instead of a fast-food eatery.

Helen Wang

More at Amcham Shanghai.

Helen Wang is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.

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