Much of the speculation on China’s economic and also political future focuses on the emergence of a middle class. But whatever you call “middle class” in China, is very different from the middle class in the US, warns business analyst Shaun Rein in CNN. In China everybody wants to be rich.
Much has been made of China’s growing group of super rich which has spurred record sales for luxury goods makers such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada. The nation has an estimated one million people with a net worth of $1 million or more, and that is expected to grow 2.5 times in the next three years, Rein said.
But much of the hope of the rising domestic spending rests with China’s growing middle class. There are an estimated 350 million people in China’s middle class, which are households that earn between $6,000 and $15,000, Rein said. A government think tank predicted last week that by 2020 there will be 600 million Chinese earning middle-class incomes.
“But they are not really middle class in the American sense. In the U.S., you’re born a blue collar worker, your parents were blue collar, your grandparents — and you’re proud of that, you have that identity. And you like to shop at Macy’s on special occasions,” Rein said.
“In China, you don’t have that — that doesn’t really exist. Everyone here says they’re going to be rich,” he added.
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