‘We’ve got two generations of single children that not only don’t have any brothers or sisters but also don’t have any aunts or uncles,’ Paul French, the chief China analyst for the research company Mintel, says. ‘They’re married, and if they live in a city like Beijing or Shanghai, they’ve got a lot of pressure on them: very high mortgages rates, rising living costs, a lot of pressure in the job market, a wife who wants Louis Vuitton; got to have a car, got to have a holiday, a little emperor who wants everything and has to go to Harvard. And you’ve now got Mum and Dad and the in-laws living into their 90s.
‘For years, the Chinese have been told, “This is our moment,”’ he went on. ‘Then all of a sudden along come these things that say, “Actually, it may not be your moment.” The problems may outweigh the benefits. You’re probably going to get old before you get rich. You’re probably going to be a squeezed middle class before you’re a corpulent middle class. You’ve risen really quickly but you’re going to fall really quickly. You’ve stacked these problems up and the chickens will come home to roost. That’s a very nervous thing for people at the moment.’
On Thursday November 8 the China Weekly Hangout (10pm Beijing Time, 3pm CET, 10am EST) will focus on the future of nuclear power in China, what are the risks after Fukushima, and might a successful NIMBY protest be possible? Here you can register at our events page. Or see the announcement here.
- Will China become a consumer paradise? – Paul French (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- China consumer market is getting crowded – Paul French (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Food scares are not going away – Paul French (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Burberry runs out of steam – Paul French (chinaspeakersbureau.info)