“The Chinese Dream Is to Leave China”

When I wrote my book The Chinese Dream eight years ago, I observed an extreme optimism and anxiety among the newly-bred middle class in China.

middle class mediocreAt that time, although many were anxious, there was still a fair amount of optimism. Even a Pew Global Attitudes Survey said that more than two-thirds of Chinese expected their personal position to improve in the coming years.

Only a few years later, things have changed substantially. According to a New York Times article, middle class Chinese are anxious to move their money out of the country. Although the government has tightened the control on capital flight, people find ways to get around the restriction. The article indicates that in the last year and half, individuals and companies have moved about $1 trillion out of the country.

And, more people are trying to leave the country:

In fiscal 2014, 76,089 Chinese were awarded permanent residency status in the United States, up by 4,291 from the previous year. Of the 10,692 investment visas provided by the United States in the 2014 financial year, 9,128 went to Chinese nationals, up about 30 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, 88 percent of Australian “significant investor visas” have been given to Chinese citizens.

More and more Chinese students are studying overseas and many of them are looking to stay abroad:

In the 2014-15 academic year, at least 304,040 Chinese students were studying in the United States, up about 110,000 from 2011-12.

The economic slowdown has certainly caused anxiety. But lack of confidence in one’s own country goes far beyond economic reasons. As I have said and written many times, without the rule of law, the Chinese middle class will never feel secure in China.

This reminded me of a conversation I had with a professor in China early this year. While attending the Stanford+Connects event in Shanghai, I shared a taxi with a Italian professor who leads the China program at Zhejiang University. Naturally, we had a discussion about China. When he learned I wrote a book called The Chinese Dream, he asked what is the Chinese Dream, and what’s the difference between the Chinese Dream and American Dream. Before I elaborated, he said something that took my breath away:

“I think the American Dream is that everyone wants to go to America; and the Chinese Dream is that everyone wants to leave China.”

The Secret of Succeeding in China

For those who have participated in our survey on The Secret of Succeeding in China seminar, thank you very much and we really appreciate your feedback!

We have received a total of 108 responses. A overwhelming majority of them says that a China strategy is extremely important to them. About 40 percent of the survey responders say the biggest challenge for them to enter the China market is “government regulations,” and 35 percent says “no connections.” Almost 80 percent people indicate that they are likely to attend our seminar.

Currently, this survey is closed. Since we have a basic account at SurveyMonkey, we are only allowed to collect the first 100 responses. If you haven’t received our free report yet, that means you are among the last 8 people who responded our survey. You can go to our Free Downloads page to download your free report.

Thank you again for your interest. Please stay tuned for our upcoming seminar The Secret of Succeeding in China.

China’s Consumption Dynamic to Surpass Any Consumer Market in the World

In this three minute vedio, Stephen Roach, a professor at Yale University and former nonexecutive chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, summarized one of the key points of my book The Chinese Dream:

China is well on its way to "create a consumption dynamic that will outstrip the growth of any consumer market in the world,” how the U. S. should embrace the opportunity, and why improving the China–US bilateral relationship is so critical for the economic future of both countries.

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Becoming a Bridge between the US and China

Recently, I participated in an International Speech Contest at a Toastmasters Club. Although I didn't win the contest, it was a great experience. Below is a video of the speech:

Please post your comments and feedback in the comment area below. All are welcome!

I Will Be Speaking at Bay Area Council on Mar. 22

I will be speaking at Bay Area Council in San Francisco on March 22, at their luncheon series “How to Do Business in China.” See the details below:

The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public policy advocacy organization for San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council has more than 275 of the largest employers in the region and is widely respected by elected officials, policy makers and other civic leaders as the regional voice of business in the Bay Area.

Please join me:

When: 12:00pm – 1:00pm, March 22, 2012

Where: Nixon Peabody LLP, One Embarcadero, 18th Floor, San Francisco, CA

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My Speech at Asia House in London

On December 5th, I spoke with Lord Wei at Asia House in London on the impact of China’s middle class to the West and the meaning of a new Chinese Dream. Sir John Boyd, chairman of Asia House, introduced Lord Wei and me at the event. Below is the speech I gave at the event.

Thank you, Sir John Boyd, for your kind introduction.

First, I’d like to thank Lord Wei and Asia House for hosting my book launch here. It’s such an honor for me. Thank you very much!

This is my second time in London. London is a special place for me because, as a native Chinese, my first exposure to the Western world was through Dickens’ novels and Shakespeare’s plays. I remember the first time I visited London in 1993, I made a point to visit the Dickens House and Shakespeare’s home.

Today, I come to London at a very different time. The West’s economy is faltering. The eurozone debt crisis is looming large. Yet, I believe the biggest story of our time is not Italy’s default, or occupying London. Although these events are very significant, there is another story that has far-reaching implications – the rise of China’s middle class.

Do you know that the Chinese middle class is already five times the size of the UK population? In fifteen years, the Chinese middle class will reach 800 million. It will change the dynamics of the world we live in, and have huge impact on everything – our life, our jobs, our economy, and the world.

Today, I’d like to talk about three things: First, I will tell you a little bit about myself – who I am, and why I wanted to write this book. Second, I will tell a story about people I interviewed in China to give you an idea what it is like to be middle class in China. Third, I will discuss briefly the main thesis of the book: “the Oneness of the World.” Continue reading

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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Helen Wang Speaks at AmCham Shanghai on China’s Middle Class

I will be speaking at American Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon event in Shanghai on June 1 in Four Seasons Hotel. Below is the announcement on AmCham’s website:

AmCham Shanghai invites you to an Author Series event on Wednesday, June 1 at the Four Seasons Hotel from 11:30-13:30, as Forbes columnist and China expert Helen H. Wang discusses her bestselling book, The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class.

In The Chinese Dream, Wang challenges us to recognize that fears about China’s rise are grossly misplaced. As a result of China’s new capitalist paradigm, a burgeoning middle class—calculated to reach 800 million within the next 15 years—is jumping aboard the consumerism train and riding it for all it is worth—a reality that may provide the answer to America’s economic woes. Through timely interviews, personal stories and a historical perspective, China-born Wang takes us into the world of the Chinese entrepreneurial middle class to show how a growing global mindset and the realization of unity in diversity may ultimately provide the way to creating a saner, safer world for all.

In a mere two decades China has developed the world’s largest middle class. Helen Wang tells that story – and her own – in this wonderfully informative and readable book.”

– Joseph Nye, Distinguished Service Professor, former Dean of the Kennedy School, Harvard University, former Assistant Secretary of Defense, and author of The Future of Power

Please see the event details and RSVP here.

If you are in Shanghai, I hope to see you there!

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Helen Wang Speaks at Kepler’s on The Chinese Dream

I will be speaking at Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park, California on May 26 about my book The Chinese Dream. Please join me as we discuss one of the most dynamic forces shaping our world today.

Watch the book trailer:

RSVP at http://www.keplers.com/event/helen-wang. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you there.

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