I’ve recently completed a body of work on China’s domestic consumer market. Long dormant, recent years have shown the billion or so potential consumers make an attractive target for the companies throughout the world. Coca-Cola knew this early on, but now companies such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Mercedes-Benz, H&M, Louis Vitton, Pizza Hut, and any other brand you know have opened shops in major urban centers in China.
Politicians in Beijing have been downplaying the severity of China’s share of the global economic crisis. Outlooks remain optimistic and, thanks in part to half-trillion-dollar stimulus plans, the country’s economic growth has not declined as rapidly as some had predicted. Through tax incentives, government-provided shopping vouchers, a lowering Consumer Price Index, and a nationwide “Buy China” movement, consumer spending in China has remained strong throughout recent months and is expected to grow in the near future. While many doubt that the country’s domestic market will bring swift respite to the world’s economies, evidence suggests it has done much to soften the blow to China’s bottom line.
More work from the series can be seen on my website, “Hao shaoxi, hao shaoxi: China’s domestic consumer market”.