Helen Wang

Author Helen Wang of The Chinese Dream introduced her book on December 5 at the Asia House in London, on the invitation of Lord Wei. Here is what she had to say about the Chinese consumer.

Helen Wang:

Now, here are three truths about Chinese consumers:

First, Chinese have more money than you think. Chinese households hide “grey income” that is never reported. For example, many state companies give big bonuses that are not accounted for as official salary.

Second, Chinese are status conscious people. They would pay premium prices for products and services that can enhance their “status.” But for products and services that their neighbors and friends cannot see, they would be very price conscious. For example, the woman who bought Gucci shoes would not spend more money on first class airfare.

Third, the next big opportunity is in smaller cities. Recently, I visited a second tier city in Western China, called Chengdu, with about 5 million population. At Chengdu’s downtown, you can see big signs for “Cartier,” “Louis Vuitton.” Chengdu’s retail was booming. And China has hundreds of cities like that.

A recent Credit Suisse report indicates that Chinese consumption will reach $16 trillion by 2020, and China will become the largest consumer market in the world. This just shows how big the opportunity is, and that’s why I said the rise of China’s middle class is the biggest story of our time.

The full speech is at Helen Wang’s weblog.

More links for Helen Wang and the Chinese Dream at Storify.

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.


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