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The Socionomics of China


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I have to apologize that I have not been updating my blog regularly the past few months. Quite frankly though, I haven’t been feeling the urge to share my thoughts about the economy because nothing has really changed. We are still stuck with sovereign debt issues in Europe and the effect of the jobless recovery in the US.

More on that later, but right now I would like to focus my discussion on China. Recently, I was on vacation in China and I was truly amazed by its pace of progress in different areas of the country. The country has definitely come a long way on the road to Capitalism.

One thing that is quite visible in China is the many Commercial and Residential projects, which are fueled by the credit boom due to rising demand. This was not intentional by the government. The credit ease measure was meant to help out businesses and factories to coup with the downturn due to the financial crisis. A lot of the money ended up being used in speculating the property and the stock market. As a result, property values have gone up dramatically especially in the most economically vibrant cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing.

Not all the money is being put in unproductive areas though, many entrepreneurs are putting good use of the money to fuel their innovative ideas. One industry that is leading the way is the automotive industry. The Chongqing province is one of the major automotive regions in China. All majors domestic players such as ChangAn(Chana), DongFeng and HenTong as well import brands that we are familiar with have presence there. China recently announced a massive infrastructure-spending project for Western regions to boost domestic demand. A total of RMB 682 billion in 23 new development projects ranging from transportation to power grids. This should further help the domestic automotive brands to build their presence globally.

However it’s not all rosy in the road of Capitalism in China, it is creating many social issues. Historically, China has always had the “One-Child policy” and because the Chinese culture favors boys over girls, this has led to an imbalance in the gender ratio. In 2005, the ratio for newborn babies was 118 boys for every 100 girls. This imbalance is making it difficult for men to find partners. To make things worse, the widening gap between the rich and the poor is further forcing many men out of the “eligibility” pool for marriage. This has led to the rise of the “Concubine Culture” that was popular in HK in the 90s because the competition for “eligible” men is getting more fierce amongst women. Many women would rather be mistresses than marry “ineligible” men. To be considered “eligible” in the pool, a man needs to have financial stability and the indicator that most women and their family look for is the ability to own properties. In fact, if you ever have a chance to walk around the People’s Park in Shanghai, which becomes an outdoor marriage agency on a Saturday morning, you will notice that this is a common criterion being posted. There is no doubt that the role of women in China is on a rise because they know that they are in demand and they have choices. In fact, women initiate most divorces in China, which are becoming quite common. As their role in the society rises, many women, especially the ones in major cities, are becoming very name brand conscious; they are willing to spend a large majority of their salaries on high–fashion goods by Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Prada just to make themselves stand out from the crowd and to be able to compete for the top “eligible” men.

Some women are so aggressive that they have recruited their family members to help in the hunt. Every Saturday morning in the People’s Park in Shanghai, you can see parents doing recruitments for eligible husbands for their daughters. They are all looking for someone who can be financially independent, which means owning one or multiple debt free properties in China.

If you are a bachelor who is looking for a mate, you definitely have a lot of opportunities in China. Just remember though there is a price to pay.

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