The Chinese Dream 2nd Edition with Foreword by Lord Wei

I am delighted to announce that The Chinese Dream 2nd edition, with Foreword by Lord Wei, will be out soon. The 2nd edition has new materials, updated data and more stories.

Below is the new Foreword by Lord Wei:


Helen Wang’s book represents a powerful contribution to a timely debate about China’s role in the world and how changes wrought by her rising middle class will affect us all. In the past the Chinese Dream spoke of centuries of innovation that have given us gunpowder, beautiful ceramics, and gigantic monuments that speak of the Middle Kingdom’s civilization, inventiveness and its ability to organize its affairs over a vast land mass and population covering many millions.

The Chinese Dream today as portrayed in Helen’s book speaks of a changing China that is discovering consumerism, that is increasingly globalised, and also at a crossroads. Will her path in years to come continue to be one that resembles that of Western countries with all the benefits of further urbanization, wealth, and industrialization, but at the same time challenges in managing scarce resources, population migration, and the social problems that affluence can bring, elsewhere called ‘Affluenza’? Or will the Chinese people themselves inside and outside China create a new sustainable Chinese Dream, based on their ancient values of respect for culture, family, and nature, harnessing technology and creativity?

Only time will tell, but Helen’s book gives insights into how middle class Chinese consumers are thinking, what they are buying, and the lifestyle pressures they are facing which hints at the possible paths ahead. Over time the symbols of the Chinese Dream will emerge, just as red pillar boxes and the English countryside did for the British Dream in the 19th century and white picket fences and jeans have for the American Dream in the 20th century. The enduring symbols of the Chinese Dream are being invented at this very moment in time.

Above all, and whichever Dream emerges, Helen’s book is a reminder of how China’s destiny and that of the rest of the world are now inextricably linked, in a Oneness, that can no longer be ignored. To act in ignorance of this interdependence could tear the world apart; embracing it on the other hand may provide a way out of the many challenges we face in the early 21st century. If Chinese and non-Chinese can build on their mutual strengths and come up with innovative solutions that bring together the best of the East and the West then we will all increasingly benefit from the Chinese Dream.

Lord Wei of Shoreditch

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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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Reviews of The Chinese Dream – Please Share Your Thoughts

I told myself that I would not work during vacation, but here I am, blogging. Well, since several reviews about my book The Chinese Dream surfaced on the Internet this past week, I thought I might as well sacrifice a couple of hours on the beach to write a summary of them.

First, a review by Xujun Eberlein: The Ambivalent Role of China’s Middle Class. Eberlein is the author of Apologies Forthcoming. She has been active in blogging about politics and culture related to China. Eberlein shared her fair views about what she agrees and disagrees with the book, and raised some good questions. I appreciate her opinion and skepticism, which is important as a book reviewer. I would say, though, she might have misconstrued the concept of “oneness” as “monotheism.”  By “oneness”, I mean dynamic balance of differences among different parties that ultimately creates unity. I understand this is a novel idea, but this is the subject of another article.

The second review is by Sinalunya: The Chinese Dream – A Review. Sinalunya is a website aimed at compiling information about Chinese economic, social and cultural relationships.  Sinalunya is obviously a fan of The Chinese Dream. It believes that The Chinese Dream is equivalent to Robert Kaplan’s “An Empire Wilderness: Travel’s into America’s Future”. Frankly, I didn’t know who Robert Kaplan was until I googled him. Now I have to read An Empire Wilderness.

The third review is by Jing Daily: Q&A: Helen Wang, Author, “The Chinese Dream”. Jing Daily publishes articles and newsletters about luxury business and culture in China. Jing Daily posed excellent questions such as what is the negative impact of the Chinese middle class on the global economy, how communism and capitalism coexist in China, and what are the key strategies for Western companies to enter the China market. If you are interested in tapping into the opportunities of the Chinese middle class, be sure to check this out.

What do you like and dislike about The Chinese Dream? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts below in the comment area or click the “Like” button.

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INSEAD Speaker Event: The Chinese Dream

I will be speaking to the Insead Alumni Association on April 4 in Palo Alto about my new book The Chinese Dream, and discussing following topics:

  • What does China’s rapidly growing middle class mean for you and your job?
  • Secrets of succeeding in China, opportunities and pitfalls
  • Will the Chinese middle class push for democracy?

Please join me to discuss one of the most dynamic forces shaping our world today. Event RSVP:

Watch the video (2 min.):

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Chinese-American author breaks ground on China’s middle class growth explosion

“The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You” by Helen H. Wang brings a fresh paradigm on how we view U.S.–China relations

PALO ALTO, Calif. Nov. 29th, 2010 – In her new book, “The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You” (ISBN 1452898049), Helen Wang examines the impact of a growing Chinese middle class on the United States and the world. As a Chinese native and American citizen, Wang challenges readers to recognize that some of our fears about China are misplaced.

Over the next 15 years, Wang estimates China’s middle class to reach a population of 800 million, more than double today’s number. While some in the West fear the fast growth within China poses a global threat, Wang presents readers with information and research showing how this rising middle class will provide enormous opportunities for Western companies and become a balancing force that could help with America’s economic struggles. Continue reading

More on Demystify China’s Middle Class

Since my last post about the definition of the Chinese middle class was considered “all too simple,” I dug out a comprehensive study: Emergence of the Chinese middle class and its implications. It’s a well-researched and well-documented research paper by He Li. The paper approaches the definition of the Chinese middle class from different angles such as lifestyle, income classification, occupation, and self-perception, and here is what it says:

Economists and sociologists have defined what they believe will compose the Chinese “middle class” of the future. They suggest that five categories of people will represent the middle class: scientific development entrepreneurs, Chinese managerial staff working in foreign firms in China, middle level managerial staff in state-owned financial intuitions, professional technicians in various fields, especially in intermediary firms, and some self-employed private entrepreneurs.  Continue reading