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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The Chinese Dream Book Trailer for the Chinese Edition

This is a book trailer for the Chinese edition of my book The Chinese Dream, now available in China:

I really like this version. I think it is good for Chinese audiences. What do you think?

The Chinese edition of The Chinese Dream is available at and, a clone of Amazon in China.

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What Is the Chinese Dream?

A few months back, I wrote an article “What Is the Chinese Dream” here. In that article, I recounted an incident in which someone asked me: “tell me in one sentence or two, what is the Chinese dream?” I stuttered, and then said, “This is a simple question, but there are no simple answers.”

Since then, I have been thinking about this question, “what is the Chinese Dream?” I feel a little foolish that, having written a book titled The Chinese Dream, I still cannot articulate what the Chinese dream is.

When I speak to an American audience, I often say “the Chinese Dream is like the American Dream” (and this has even offended some of my Chinese compatriots). Yes, the Chinese middle class wants what Americans have – owning a big house, driving a luxurious car, and living a comfortable life.

But many would argue with me that that is not the essence of the American Dream. Continue reading

Will China’s Consumer Driven Middle Class Become the Saving Grace for America’s Economic Woes?

Surprisingly, The Chinese Dream may just turn out to be the American Dream.

PALO ALTO, Calif. March 14, 2011 – Helen Wang, the author of The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You will speak to The INSEAD Alumni Association of Northern California on April 4, 2011 in Palo Alto about the challenges and opportunities of a rising Chinese middle class. Continue reading

What Is the Chinese Dream?

Forbes: Helen H. Wang

In an event in Silicon Valley, someone asked me: “In one sentence or two, would you tell me what is the Chinese dream?” (as he learned I wrote a book called The Chinese Dream).

A simple question, but no simple answers.

When I left China 20 years ago, there was no Chinese dream. I had to leave my country and come to America to pursue my dream of a better future. But today, many young people in China can start their own business and have a lot more opportunities. Even many of my American friends are going to China because of the tremendous opportunities presented there.

As a Chinese magazine editor told me bluntly, “The Chinese Dream is a copy of the American Dream.”

Many middle class Chinese are influenced by the American way of life. They are bombarded by many material temptations and proliferating choices. TV commercials, the Internet, and Hollywood movies give them a rosy picture of the American middle class.

One Chinese blog described it this way: “American middle class people live in a villa with a two-car garage in the suburbs. In front of the house, there is a green lawn. They have 2-3 children, and a dog. The husband goes out to work, and the wife stays at home taking care of the children. On weekends, they drive their SUVs to the countryside for barbecues and camping.”

That is the picture in most Chinese people’s minds of “the American Dream”— owning a big house, driving a nice car, and having a comfortable life. The Chinese middle class wants it all. Continue reading