Chinese Consumers Spend Twice as Much

Luxury retailer Shanghai Tang CEO Raphael le Masne de Chermont told the Wall Street Journal that its Chinese customers spend an average of 500-600 euro per year, which is about twice as much as their counterparts in New York and London.

Chermont also said that Chinese consumers are getting more sophisticated, meaning they are now less about big brand names to show off their status, but more about consuming the luxury.

However, Chinese consumers still want to be re-assured that Shanghai Tang is not just a Chinese brand, but a brand with stores in Paris and New York.

As Chermont pointed out, even though Chinese economy may slow down a little in the coming years, there are still a lot of potentials for growths.

Seeking Research Analyst Interns

The Helen Wang Group is seeking research analyst interns to help with a major research project. You will have an opportunity to gain significant knowledge on the Chinese economy, its new middle class, and the Chinese market. This position is perfect for students who want to learn about this field and prepare for future careers in multinationals. As a research analyst, you are responsible for both primary and secondary researches. You will work with other researchers to conduct case studies and produce reports. The work is very intellectually stimulating and challenging. The person must have a desire to learn new things and be a quick learner.

Job Descriptions

  • Conduct market research on targeted industries and companies
  • Design survey questionnaires and conduct online surveys
  • Analyze data, trends, and interpret research results
  • Develop business cases and write research reports
  • Identify useful resources and compile information
  • Assist in producing seminar materials and workbook

Skills Needed

  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Resourceful and creative
  • Experience of market research a plus
  • Proficient with Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Knowledge of Google Doc, and other Google products
  • Ability to take leadership role as well as follow instructions
  • Bachelor or advanced degree in business

This position is based in Silicon Valley, California, but you can work remotely. If interested, please send an introductory email to info@TheHelenWang.com. Continue reading

Secret to Succeeding with Chinese Consumers: Reflections on BYD

Forbes: Helen H. Wang

Ever wondered what BYD stands for?

“It stands for Build Your Dreams,” Xin Jin, a business manager at BYD’s Cupertino, California office told me.  Or that is what most people think. Definitely, that is what Warren Buffett thinks.

In a recent to trip to BYD’s headquarters in Shenzhen, Buffett gave the Chinese electric car maker a big show of support.  “I like the name,” he said, as cited by the Associate Press, “let us ‘build our dreams’ together.”

The America’s most famous investor owns a 10 percent stake in BYD, a $230 million investment that is now worth more than $1.5 billion.

It does not take much research to discover that BYD are the initials of the Chinese characters Bi Ya Di, which does not mean anything but sounds foreign or Western. Continue reading

China’s Smart Grid Boom

China has surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest energy user, according to Paris-based International Energy Agency. As a growing Chinese middle class demands cars and homes with modern appliances, it will continue to drive up China’s energy consumption.

Achieving greater energy efficiency has become a top priority of China’s leaders. According to China Daily, China’s state-owned State Grid Corp. plans to invest $586 million constructing smart grids that incorporate wind and solar energy, energy storage, energy transmission monitoring, intelligent substations, and smart meters.

There are plenty of opportunities for Western companies in China’s soaring clean tech industry. Continue reading

21 years after Tiananmen Square, will the Chinese middle class push for democracy?

Twenty-one years ago, thousands of Chinese students gathered at Tiananmen Square demanding more democracy. The world still remembers the stunning image of a lone student standing in front of armed tanks in an attempt to block the tanks from entering into the Square.

At the time, I had just arrived in the United States as a student and watched the entire demonstration on TV. Like other Chinese students in the U. S., I protested with them on the streets and wept with them when the crackeddown came.

Twenty-one years later, China has changed to a very different country. Today’s new middle class Chinese have little in common with the idealistic students. They are the beneficiaries of China’s economic reform. Most of them approve what the government has done. They are all busy trying to keep up with the swirling changes. Continue reading

My First Taste of Freedom

In January 1989, I came to the United States to pursue my graduate study. Like thousands of Chinese students, coming to America was not merely a chance for academic advancement. It was a way to seek a better future in this “land of opportunity” and “country of freedom.”

Today, these phrases sound more like clichés. But for those of us who had not known the meanings of words like “opportunity” or “freedom,” America was a place for the impossible, a romantic version of what the world was not, and a fantasy land with the glittering skyline of New York City, wild cowboys in California, and humming boatmen on the Mississippi River. For me, America was a dream coming true.

Shortly after I arrived, I went on a school-organized field trip to Washington DC for a conference. The world was still in the grip of the Cold War. Continue reading

Chinese Consumers Helped Pull American Companies through the Recession

A new breed of enthusiastic Chinese consumers helped to pull many U. S. companies through the global recession.

While older Chinese still save almost 50 percent of their incomes, younger generations are “shopaholics” and save next to zero. Salaries for young Chinese aged between 20 and 30 almost tripled in less than a decade. The number of credit cards exploded in China, from 13 million in 2005 to more than 115 million in 2009.

A typical young middle class Chinese drives a Buick, talks on an iPhone, eats in MacDonald’s, and wears Nikes.

Continue reading

Chinese Consumers Have a New Wish List

When the Communists took over China in 1949, some of the most highly sought luxuries were a sewing machine, a wristwatch and a bicycle.

Now, 60 years later, urban Chinese people have a very different wish list, which includes big ticket items – cars, houses and traveling for vacation. Alison Klayman reports from Beijing, September 29, 2009.

Unlocking the power of Chinese consumers

An interview with Stephen Roach by Clay Chandler, the McKinsey publishing group’s Asia editor in Hong Kong.

In China’s rush to join the global economy, the country stoked exports and government-led investment but neglected to build social and economic institutions needed to encourage consumers at home. Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley Asia’s chairman, says its time for the world’s fastest-growing economy to find a “back-up plan.”