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9 years in China... I have to admit that speak Chinese is more convenient

6 keys to perform on Chinese market

Keys to perform on Chinese market

 1.You already know it, Guanxi which means “business relationships” is the key. Probably more than anywhere else, this is one of the most important things to bear in mind in China

Most western people know business relationships are important, but it is even truer in China, as a great part of contracts you are potentially qualified to sign may come thanks to these relationships. In many cases. you will find it hard to conclude a good deal only by email. Instead, you may have to spend hours, maybe days with your potential client, talking about unrelated topics, dining or joining other activities.


Chinese businessmen work in a different way. They need to spend time with potential partners to come to trust them, and make sure it is worth it.

2.How to start creating a relationship with Chinese people

Westerners can be shy, but it is nothing compared to some Chinese people. As a result, western people often have to take initiatives, and starting conversing about positive topics can be a good way.

Chinese cuisine is generally a good topic since many Chinese people are keen on educating western people about it. It is a perfect ice-breaker and will help to start a deeper connection. If you know enough about it, you can also discuss Chinese ancient history or various aspect of Chinese culture like tea. Or even the best baijiu (Chinese traditional liquor) in the country. In any case, it is better to avoid any political issue as it is not the most relaxed topic, and cuisine is the safest as you will not find many Chinese who do not like food.

Here is a really interesting article about speaking Chinese and get more responsibilities.

3.Learn the Chinese definition of leadership

guanxi business people

Traditionally in China, the leader is whoever has authority or power. He can influence people and his decisions are seldom criticized. Although it is becoming less true in recent years, leaders are sometime less respected for their skills than for their title and attitude, and that is a point worth to be considered in some situations.

4.The “Face”, or Chinese concept of Mianzi 

The Chinese concept of Mianzi, the Face, corresponds in the West to the concept of “keeping someone’s face”, in other words avoiding any situation that would lead someone to “lose face”. But in China, it all takes another dimension and you’d better keep this well in mind. One of the safest rules is to avoid criticizing anyone or any project in public as it could result in insulting someone, and you may lose potential clients or partnerships. Stay focused on positive aspects until you are in private.


5.Chinese people seldom say no

Saying “no” or refusing to help can be considered in some situations as a disrespect, and can lead the other person to “lose face”. Therefore, Chinese people will often say no in an indirect way, like “I agree with what you said, but…”. At this point, you are almost sure the other person disagrees with you, while in the West some will add a “but” for more precisions, or just for sport J. One of the most annoying case you can face in China is when you ask for directions in the street, and nice people without any clue will answer your different things.

6.Understand Chinese people, do not judge them

China is a large and diverse country. It is also a country with a long history of traditions that went through extreme changes in the past 40 years. People from Beijing are different from those living in Shanghai, and they are very different from those living in Guangzhou. Well understanding Chinese culture and adapting as much as possible without judgement will be the key to conquering China and develop a lasting business relationship.

Read more:

5 innovative social media strategies in China
10 key factors of success for E-Commerce in China
Doing Business In China? You Need Help
What do you need to know before doing business in China?

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    Most famous apps to meet lovers in China!

    Or how to meet Chinese girls with these apps ☺

    Love is always a good market, as we can see with the rise of dating applications in the world and even in China. Three of them are the most famous in Middle Kingdom: Jiayuan, Momo and Tantan. A fourth one can also be added to the list: WeChat. This latter is not a dating app but is used like one by a lot of Chinese people.


    Jiayuan, rise and fall

    First was Jiayuan in 2003, offering online dating services in China, then abroad with the dating website It was then launched in 2011 on Nasdaq stock market with $11 per stock, and at that time Jiayuan was China’s leading site for matchmaking and dating.

    This success was not very long: since this launching year, Jiayuan is not leading the dating market anymore and is mostly falling…

    Why this downward?

    The emergence of smartphones


    This drop can be explained by the incapacity for Jiayuan to anticipate the emergence of smartphones. The company simply did not manage to adapt itself to the mobile market in which it operates. With more than half Chinese people using internet daily (25 hours per week on average) on their mobile, and the fall of PC, using mobile apps for marketing campaign and e-commerce seems to be the only way for a brand to survive.

    Moreover, Jiayuan did not succeed to monetize its services and devices in a smart way.

    As a replacement, two apps specialized in dating services were born, Momo and Tantan. And another one… WeChat, whose primary function is instant messaging.

    Momo:180 million of users

    Launched in 2011, Momo is a free location-based instant messaging app for smartphones which allows users to expand their social relationships by chatting with nearby friends and strangers, based on similar locations and interests.

    MOMO appli

    Tantan : 16,5 million of users

    Tantan is a new dating service, similar to Tinder. Users can start a conversation only if two persons like each other’s pictures. Tantan system is simple, you have just to swipe people’s profile on the left if you do not like their picture, moving on to the next person’s profile or to swipe it on the right if you like it. And it also works by GPS localization.


    WeChat: 640 Millions of internet users

    WeChat is maybe one of the biggest mobile application which was hijacked by users. WeChat was launched in 2011 by Tencent, a giant Chinese company which also leads Sina Weibo, a social network similar to Twitter.

    WeChat is a multi-function mobile app and was originally just for instant messaging. WeChat is now a multi-tasking tool, especially with a “shake” feature which allows you to be found and contacted by anyone close enough.

    features wechat

    But it seems this dating landscape is changing with the rise of a new state of mind, which is more close to long relationship with wedding plan than just a short relationship or simply a night date. Behaviors are changing, and we can bet that social media and dating applications will succeed this new challenge in the future.

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      Speak Chinese and get more responsibilities in China

      Speak Chinese and get more responsibilities in China

      China is racing ahead as a world-class economic power. It has officially left Japan behind as it became the world’s second biggest economy in 2015. It has also overtaken Germany as the world’s biggest exporter and is also a huge contender as one the world’s biggest car markets.


      Chinese economic growth has been known to have its cracks and weaknesses but is it stopping? The short answer is no.

      So does that make anyone feel like they should start to learn Chinese? The idea would not be unjustified. Wherever you are from there is a good chance that Chinese cities have a relatively better job market for you, and all you need to unlock all of those possibilities is the key, the lingo.

      It goes without saying that for anyone who wants to set up camp and make a living in China, knowing the language is an advantage, and even more so if you know some of it before arriving.

      Bilingual is better, of course.

      And we don’t just mean that for the expats. If you live in the U.S. or in Europe, it won’t be difficult for you to find some evidence of Chinese implantation at least on a national scale, and this implantation is generally getting stronger and stronger with the time. So at home as much as in Asia, you will surely benefit from mastering Chinese. However, if you really want to fully enjoy the potential of your Mandarin skills, you should try to make sure to reach a high-enough level so that you are able to speak directly with clients or suppliers from China as well as Chinese businessmen in your country, a rather large group of people all things considered.


      There are many benefits to picking up this language

      Not to fear though, for although there are many benefits to picking up this language, mandarin is not yet close to becoming the world’s language for business. The fear that all self-respecting business men will have to know Chinese to survive in the next few years is a bit extreme and much of world trade can still thrive on good ol’ English. For sure, Chinese language skills will help anyone standout on the job market, because for one thing it isn’t the easiest language for a foreigner to learn. But speaking Chinese does in no way guaranty your employment. It all depends on how you use it, how far you understand the “Chinese system” and how good you play at it.

      Brian Renwick, an executive Boyden China Ltd recruiting says that Chinese firms still prefer to have main executives from mainland China. He affirms that cultural adaptation is becoming more and more important to Chinese companies. He adds also that if employment candidates with Chinese language skills are lacking in supply, Chinese firms will be much quicker to turn towards other Chinese speaking labour supply such as that from Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Singapore and such.


      But the fact remains that there are many opportunities for westerners who speak mandarin. A chief executive of a search firm based in London, Chris van Someren, suggests that the demand for executive positions multinational companies in China has risen by 35 percent in the last year, resounding similarly to figures from other research firms.

      So Chinese language skill are a certified advantage for opening up the job market based in another continent, but what is also fully appreciated by such potential recruiters is a sensitivity towards China’s very strong tradition rooted culture. If you were thinking of learning Chinese for future career development, it’s a plus. But if you want to go all the way in riding the wave that is China’s world expansion, learn some about China’s unique culture and specific ways of doing things.


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        Five interesting tips on Chinese economy

        Five interesting tips on Chinese economy

        China is on its way to become the largest economy in the world. This history of this growth is fascinating because of the many challenges it has successfully met along the past 35 years, and the challenges that lie ahead of this semi-industrialized economy.


        1- A successful evolution to market economy

        In 1978, China had a centralized economy, which was inefficient and slow without any possibility of an economic market.

        In order to avoid discontent from Chinese People, a new Chinese Government then restored a new policy reform little by little, starting with the dissolution of Communes. Each reform led to the next one and were entitled “reform without losers”.


        Mid 1990, China works on a reform coalition which opened the economy to market, and privatized it on several front.

        This way, Chinese government achieved creating a semi-marketised economy, in which the government continues to play a major role, for instance through the power of the remaining state-owned enterprises and the state’s domination on the financial system.

        2-  An amazing growth

        This new policy has allowed an increase of the Chinese economy of 10% per year during more than 30 years. This policy succeeded “thanks to’’ a 300 million people population and the famous dollar a day poverty.

        This high rate of accumulation was actually necessary for a quick growth which was assisted by several factors like a ready supply from the rural areas and a new policy about primary and secondary schooling.


        Furthermore, a high rate of productivity allowing a labor-intensive manufacturing at low cost has contributed to make China the Workshop of the world.

        3- China is the most inegalitarian country in Asia

        This quick growth created more inequality between rural and urban areas: discrepancies in income compared to the cost of life of skilled workers in urban areas are one of the key factors.


        High-productivity and very low income even for skilled workers has contributed to this rise of inequality. Chinese government considers this phenomenon as a threat to social instability and is currently trying to reduce it.

        4- China: a political economy success which still has weaknesses.

        If China has centralized a political governance, its economic governance is decentralized. According to some economic experts, this sharing of government power is dangerous for economy itself, because the government cannot control if these economic decision-makers pursue the aims decided by the Head of power.

        Furthermore, after a quick and powerful economic growth, China seems to see its economy slow down because of a lack of labour-workers and a rise of corruption, together creating more social instability.

        Chinese political economy has been a success but is now very fragile and needs a financial adjustment program to secure avoiding a financial crash.

        5- The life satisfaction of Chinese people

        chinois famille

        In China, measures are regularly taken regarding life satisfaction. With a rise of household income, we could expect a rise of life satisfaction too. But some studies revealed that the average was not higher in 2010 than in 1990. Actually, it depends of several key factors such as relative incomes (which has not risen), people’s sense of economic and social security (China has seen the biggest migration in human history with 100 million rural migrants heading to cities for work), perception of corruption and environmental degradation.

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          10 tips on Chinese couple VS Western couple

          10 tips on Chinese couple VS Western couple

          Because everyone is different, naturally Chinese couples are often very different from Western ones. Let’s go through a few interesting behaviors with these 10 tips on differences between Chinese and Western couples!

          1- Eating

          Chinese couple: Can share food but do not speak, and each other on mobile phone.

          Western couple: No phone, some little talk but DO NOT TOUCH TO MY FOOD!



          2- Partying

          Chinese couple: KTV, some beer and singing.

          Western couple: Loud music, Vodka and dance, let’s go party!


          3- Fighting and apologize

          Chinese Couple: Girl Power. Run boy, run. Or just cry (the man, not the girl.)

          Western couple: Fighting talk, screaming, crying and conversational. A psychological analyze and talk, at least something that looks like.


          4. First time saying “I love you”

          i love you

          Chinese couple: they fight between themselves in order to be the first to pronounce these famous three words.

          Western couple: the last one to say these three words wins. The first one is courageous, or just crazy.


          5- Shopping together

          Chinese couple: Best time together ever! And the man wears all the bags! (he doesn’t have choice)

          Western couple: Best time with… who? Girls make shopping alone or with some friends. Boyfriend is at home, playing video games…


          6-  Paying the bill at restaurant

          Chinese couple: Sweet eyes from the lady, the man shall pay the bill (always as a volunteer of course)

          Western couple: Man: we share the bill! (but still not sharing food…)


          7- Marriage proposal

          Chinese couple: 6 months and three days, he is horse, she is dog, it is time to plan a wedding.

          Western couple: 11 years, 7 months, 1 dog, they are (maybe) ready for marriage.

          marry me chine


          8- Meeting parents 

          Chinese couple: What is your job? How much money do you earn? Do you think you will be able to take care of my daughter? Can you drink an entire bottle of Baijiu?!

          Western couple: You are with my daughter? Ok good. Do you play Rugby? (it works with any kind of games such as golf, football, …)


          9-  Pregnancy


          Chinese couple: 7 months, one wedding and being pregnant: This is perfect, now parents will leave them alone for a while!

          Western couple: 13 years, 2 dogs, 1 wedding, and being pregnant: Are they sure to be ready? Maybe it is too soon…


          10-  Having a baby

          Chinese couple: let’s leave the baby to our parents!

          Western couple: Do you think about all baby’s stuffs? Diapers? Cuddly toy? Bottle-feeding? Baby clothing? Blanket?!…. We can’t leave the baby…

          And you, what is your favorite kind of couple?


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            Most useful apps

            9 apps that will make your life much easier in China!

            Everybody owns a smartphone nowadays, and it is even truer in China, the country with the most connected people in the world. Along the last few years, a great variety of very useful aps in China were developed, some specially designed to ease foreigners’ life in China, others targeting the huge local market. Among those apps, some progressively became unavoidable. From simple dictionaries, daily news, weather forecast to online platforms facilitating commercial exchanges through this vast country, here are 10 apps that will be of great help in China:

            1- WeChat (or Weixin in chinese)

            With more than 650 million of active users, WeChat is the very first application you have to download in China. It is the most used mobile instant messenger and social network in China, and it is gaining in popularity worldwide. Quite similar to WhatsApp in Western countries, it allows you to send texts and vocal messages, photos and videos, phoning some friends, to make voice or video call, all that for free since you just need Internet. Beside communicating, WeChat can be used as a simplified Facebook, as you can publish pictures, short movies and messages on your “moments” page.

            features wechat

            2- Waygo: the instant camera translator for Chinese and Japanese

            You can speak a few words of Chinese but cannot read Chinese characters yet? This application is made for you: use the camera on your phone to take a picture of a restaurant’s menu for example, and Waygo will instantly translate it from Chinese and Japanese characters into English.
            It doesn’t work so well with very stylized Chinese character and calligraphy but does a good work for most of other things. And more importantly: it works offline.

            3- Pleco: Chinese dictionary


            One of the best offline Chinese/English dictionary app, with 130 000 chinese words and 20 000 sentences in pinyin, English, and Chinese character. A perfect tool for anyone who wish to translate some words, sentences or just wants to learn Chinese.

            A basic version is free, a pay-version will include more functions, similar to Waygo.

            4- How to learn Chinese Mandarin with LITE

            A very easy to use application for anyone in China who does not know Mandarin. A free version will teach you some basics and essential sentences, such as general conversation, greetings, places, directions… This all comes with Chinese pronunciation, pinyin, Chinese characters and the corresponding English. One great advantage is that it works offline.

            5- Explore Metro Maps

            Another quite smart and practical application. Explore Metro Maps will be very useful if you use metro in Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou (and you probably will). This application will help you to find the closest metro stations and plan your itinerary. It will also provide schedules, or some information about prices, and it works off line.

            metro map

            6- Google Maps

            Everybody knows this application which is currently one of the best on the market. It is very useful and usually works pretty well, but in China it will not work without VPN because of censorship. You can try some local map mobile application, however Google is still the best and safest one, so you’d better to figure out how to install a VPN on your mobile.

            7- China Air Quality

            Air pollution in China is a very serious issue affecting hundreds of millions of people, especially younger ones and seniors. Another efficient way to protect yourself, beside wearing a mask, is to regularly check the Indice Quality of Air (IQA) before going out or engage in any sport activity. Even though some others similar application does exist; China Air Quality is still the best one, and it works in all major cities in China.


            8- Dianping (only in Chinese language)

            Similar to Yelp!, Dianping offers comments and tips from its users, details, locations for restaurants, pubs, and accommodations all around China. You also can use some of Dianping’s tools to find some very well ranked restaurant in your surroundings, or to subscribe to Groupon Discount.

            9- Taobao (only in Chinese language)

            Taobao is the biggest e-commerce platform in China, quite certainly in the world as well. You can find everything you want and even more: from clothes, food, to computers and even helicopters…And all that comes with a very efficient delivery system and smaller prices than in most of stores. One down point though is that some products may be fakes or counterfeits, a situation that has a lot improved along the last years but still exists.

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              5 things Western managers need to know about Beijing

              5 things Western managers need to know about Beijing

              You are going to move for work to the Middle Kingdom, maybe even to Beijing? If that is the case, and if you want to be a successful manager in China’s capital, you’d better assimilate as early as possible some essential aspects of Chinese culture and local business practices.

              1 – The concept of face = mianzi

              The “face culture” in China, or how to “give face” = gěi miànzi (给面子) to someone, is something that although more complex could be compared to what is simply called in English “Saving Face”. It represents a person’s reputation, and one of the most basic aspects to be able to well perform in Business is to “have face” (having a good reputation and good standing). As a concrete example, criticizing someone in public even in the lightest form can lead this person to lose face, and in this case, you may lose your potential business partner or client.


              2- The importance of relations and networks = the guānxì (关系)

              Your future clients, associates or partners will choose you if they trust you and believe you are a good opportunity for them. A good guanxi will bring you more opportunities, credibility and as a result success, at least if you manage to maintain and even develop these business relationships over the time through regular dinners, events or even small gifts… Obviously, you should avoid corruption and legally, the maximum value for a present to be considered as a gift and not a bribe is 200 RMB.


              3- Respect of Chinese culture and tradition = zhōngguó wénhuà (中国文化)

              Understanding Chinese culture, being aware of its history at least know the big picture and respecting it is also very important to understand how business works in China. Small mistakes regarding basic politeness can cost a lot as it can make someone dislike you for a detail, and in the opposite a good knowledge and understanding of most basic Chinese customs will be a great advantage to develop your business, it may also help you to win some projects by understanding what are your clients’ real needs. Finally, you will be more credible, and mastering these aspects will demonstrate your great adaptability to Chinese market.

              CNY red envelopes

              4- Speak Chinese, at least some! shuō zhōngwén / hànyǔ / pǔtōnghuà (说中文 / 汉语 / 普通话)

              Obviously, if you can speak some Chinese, things will go smoother in China. It is of course better if you are fluent in Chinese, and almost perfect if you speak with a Beijing Accent. But even some simple Chinese will be of great help. You will feel much more respected by your Chinese partners and prospects, you will also better understand situations, people’s positions, and as a result better identify or even concretize opportunities that may appear to you.
              When it comes this aspect of learning Chinese, naturally we would recommend you to learn through a teacher (a Chinese one), and ideally in 1 to 1 classes. Even with a busy professional life and loads of business trips, it is still possible to follow a regular training as several Chinese schools propose online lessons via Skype or other software, WeChat for example which is quite more stable at least in China. You can in fact also download some mobile apps that will help you learn basic words and expressions in a first time. However, at some point if you really want to speak Chinese, you will need a Chinese teacher and some real situation practice.


              5- Having a Beijing business associate, if you find one ☺

              Ask you could imagine, having a Chinese business associate can be of great help for your own business. And having one from Beijing especially if you intend to start your business there is of course even better. Your local partner will be useful for better understanding government policies, for any administrative tasks as well. He will also share his knowledge about local market, but most importantly, it will help you much faster develop your guanxi, a critical aspect for the success of your enterprise.


              Meanwhile, probably even more than anywhere else, you should pay great attention to whom you will choose, and make sure you are an essential element in your business model… or you may end up with bad surprises.

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                3 things that you need to know about the Chinese New year

                3 things you need to know about Chinese New year

                Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important event in China. It is like a mix between Christmas and New Year for Western people. But as you know, Asian culture is quite different from European and American’s ones, and here are 3 basic things you should know about the Chinese New year.

                1 – The largest annual migration in human history, again every year

                For the Chinese New Year, a great part of Chinese population travels back to their hometown for one week or more, in order to be reunited with their relatives. Every year, the record for the largest human migration of history is beaten, and almost 2.91 billion journeys are expected for this 2016 Spring Festival.

                Since many among Chinese people living and working in urban areas are from rural areas or simply from other Chinese towns, they come back home during their annual holiday for Spring Festival.

                During this holiday, most of popular stores, shops and restaurants in big cities like Shanghai or Beijing…are closed. And streets are almost empty, except for seaside towns that are crowded most of the time.

                migration CNY

                2 – Chinese New Year Food: good luck and best wishes.

                As Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival in China, Chinese people will cook and eat special food for their symbolic meanings: some food symbolizes happiness, good luck and best wishes for the coming year. A “lucky food” is served during 16 days and especially at the New Year:

                • Cabbage and radish dumplings, which mean wealth, a fair skin and gentle mood. Beware of sauerkraut dumplings since they symbolize a poor and difficult future
                • Niangao, the “Year Cake” which symbolizes an increase in prosperity. It is a glutinous rice cake, sign of a very bright future in business or studies

                There are as well other symbolic types of food such as fish, longevity noodles, fortune fruits…
                So many delicious dishes with beautiful meanings for most of them. So pay great attention to what you choose to eat for Spring Festival!

                CNY celebration table

                3 – Red Envelopes = 红包 hónɡ bāo = Lucky Money

                Red envelopes represent the most traditional of Chinese New Year presents.

                Parents usually offer money in red envelopes to their children after the family dinner, when midnight approaches. In fact, single people will always receive red envelopes from their parents or parents’ friends until they get married. At that time, they will have to offer red envelopes to younger ones, but can hope to earn back as much as they invested as soon as they will have their first child, who will receive as well loads of “hong bao” from relatives. Red in China is the color of luck, and these red envelopes are supposed to bring good luck for the coming year.

                CNY red envelopes

                Furthermore, we can now see some social media using this tradition as a digital marketing tool, just like WeChat did. The Chinese giant developed few years ago an online system where users can offer red envelops to their friends, relatives or colleagues. And in order to promote it, they offered loads of digital red envelopes to their users.

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                  China becomes the second richest country in the world in 2015

                  Practice your Chinese pinyin and characters with recent news!

                  International wealth report by the investment bank Credit Suisse

                  A new world record in its economic history.

                  According to an international wealth report published by the investment bank Credit Suisse on the October 13th, China is become the world’s 2nd wealthiest nation. The Reference News Network reported that China is behind America, and in front of Japan, the world’s former 2nd wealthiest nation. Moreover, China also has the world’s largest middle class, with 109 million people.

                  However, Reuter News Agency declared on October 13th in a report that the total value of the world’s total wealth lost 12.4 trillion USD, so a decrease of 4.7%, and ended at 250 trillion USD. The report says this calculation was made according to the currency value. Moreover, this rapport explains that this decrease in U.S Dollar value, which is affecting other main currencies values, has influenced the pressure of stock and real-estate leaning.

                  The report showed a prize list about the world’s richest countries, led by America, with 85.9 trillion USD, China, with 22.8 trillion USD and Japan, with 19.8 trillion USD.


                  China surpasses Japan

                  Chinese Kid
                  If China surpassed Japan this year and now holds the 2nd place, it is because of favorable trends for the Chinese Yuan (CNY or RMB) against others currencies. Moreover, Japan has seen his household income fall in 15%.

                  In only half a year, China’s stock exchange capitalization has risen to 150%, although this increase has not equally influenced household wealth. Indeed, household wealth is formed by a small part of financial asset, which is also constituted by a small part of shares.

                  According to the report, “in mid-June, the Chinese market was shaken, but the negative influence on overall household wealth was limited, although this will be magnified during the forthcoming year by any depreciation of RMB-USD”. However, an increase of 10.4% of the global total of 345 trillion USD in 2020 is also predicted, which represents an amount of 36 trillion USD for China’s total wealth. This would allow to the country to maintain itself to the 2nd place in the prize list.


                  jack ma

                  Chinese Middle Class

                  We already know China is increasing its wealth, although we see a slow in its economy. The report shows how much Chinese’s middle class has evolved in 15 years, from 524 million in 2000 to 664 million of people in 2015. This represents 11% of its adult population and 14% of the world’s global population. These statistics shows China is still the largest country in the world in this category, with 109 million people against America, which count 92 million middle class adults.

                  The report says however these calculations depend on America, as a standard pattern. The US define their own middle class as the population of adults who earn between 50 000 and 500 000 USD, in mid-2015. Moreover, the calculation takes into account the buying power of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Flat Values Series. This is calculated depending on local purchasing power. With this baseline, it is possible to calculate the middle class range of foreign countries.

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