Helen Wang On Chinese Millennials Using Social Media To Buy Properties Overseas

I was interviewed by CBC News, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, on how Chinese millennials are using social media such as WeChat to buy real estates overseas. See the interview below.

Believe it or not, Chinese millennials have more cash to burn. As I wrote here and here, they do not have student loan debt. And most of them don’t have housing expenses. Most importantly, they are the “One-Child” generation. They grew up privileged, entitled, and wanting to enjoy life.

The Chinese social media sites such as WeChat has integrated payment system. Millennials are very savvy in using social media for all sorts of purchasing, from beauty products to real estate properties.

Apparently, they are also pooling money from family members to buy properties overseas. One reason is that they are hedging against Yuan depreciation. Another reason could be that they feel lack of security under currently system. They want to move money out of the country, and this is another way to do it.

See the original interview on CBC site here.

CCTV Interview: Chinese Spring Festival

I was interviewed on CCTV-America on Friday to discuss the gigantic human movement during the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival – 3.6 billion trips, according to an official estimate.

The Spring Festival, which will officially start on January 31, is the Chinese Lunar New Year. It usually lasts for at least two weeks. During this period, many businesses are closed, and people go home to visit their families or travel for vacation. It is like Christmas in this country.

China has over 260 million migrant workers. They will be going back to their hometowns or villages for the Chinese New Year. For upper middle class Chinese, they will be traveling to overseas. I have seen many Chinese coming to this country for vacation during the Spring Festival.

Still, 3.6 billion trips is a mind-boggling number. That means every single person, including infants and elders, will make 3 trips during the holidays, which seems very unlikely. Perhaps they have a different way to count trips.

Regardless, it is a good sign for the Chinese economy. The Chinese government wants China to move more toward domestic consumption. As Chinese have more income, they will travel more, which, in turn, contributes to a more “service-oriented economy. “

Why Some Brands Succeed While Others Struggle in China

I was invited to be on CCTV-America, the America bureau for China Central Television, to discuss China’s middle class and what it means to Western brands. Here is a clip:

Apparently, CCTV-America was launched last February in the United States. It broadcasts a daily program from its Washington DC production center.

 

My Interview on CNNMoney

This week, CNNMoney is running a series of articles about China. I was interviewed on the topic of China's growing middle class. It is a good thing that mainstream media has started to pay more attention to China.

Among the series, an article "US Companies Betting Big in China" showcased some of the most successful US companies in China:
  • Apple's sales in China reached $12 billion in 2011
  • KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco bell opened 656 new restaurants in China last year alone
  • Boeing predicts China's aircraft market will generate $200 billion revenue
While multinationals have made significant inroads to China, small and medium sized companies face entry barriers due to lack of resources. To address this problem, I will launch seminars later this year to help small and medium sized companies to take advantage of China's growing market. Stay tune!
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All the Jobs in China

I was quoted on The Daily, a new media for iPad, about Starbucks and PriceWaterHouseCoopers massive expansions in China: “All the jobs in China:  2 companies looking to hire from Asian giant’s huge middle class”:

Yesterday, accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers trumpeted plans to expand massively in Asia by hiring 15,000 people in China and Hong Kong over the next five years.

In fact, the firm said it will bring thousands of jobs to Chinese college graduates in the next few months, according to Dow Jones.

Starbucks, meanwhile, announced its own blistering expansion, vowing to more than triple the number of its mermaid- themed coffee shops in China by 2015. It’s aiming to get up to 1,500 locations in four years.

And here is where I was quoted:

Still, that doesn’t mean everything is gravy in China. According to Helen Wang, consultant and author of “The Chinese Dream,” even with companies bringing new jobs, China’s middle ranks are as worried about the future as we are.

“They have extreme anxiety because they don’t know how long this window of opportunity will be open,” she told The Daily. “They worry when the optimism will be gone, and if they don’t make enough money, the government won’t take care of them like before. So they grab what they can grab.”

Read the full article “All the Jobs in China” here.

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Boston Review: When the Chinese Government Will Throw Away the Communist Hat?

Helen H. Wang

This article is part of China’s Other Revolution, a forum on political and social change in China.

No one in China believes in communism anymore. The Communist Party has abandoned Communist ideology. A friend of mine joked that the Chinese government wears a Polo shirt and Nike shoes, but still has a communist hat. The Party is simply a ruling outfit that practices what seems to be quasi-capitalism.

To a certain degree, I agree with Edward Steinfeld that China has gone through profound changes in recent years. However, China’s political system is ill fitted to address the needs of an increasingly pluralized society. The government has not allowed any political opposition that could become a rival of the Communist Party. Continue reading

The Chinese Dream Featured in the Front Page of China Daily

My whirlwind book tour to China in June generated major media exposure. China Daily has a front page article about my book The Chinese Dream.

For a PDF version, see here.

In addition, I am pleased to see that China Daily even featured it on its front page.

“Author Helen H. Wang says the country’s growing middle class holds the key to deepening trust between the West and China and realizing the value of ‘our global oneness’. Chitralekha Basu reports.”

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