One-child Policy = Incredible Resources?

According to news from Beijing Auto Show, there are millions of Chinese under 30 who are only children, a legacy of the country’s one-child policy. And these children have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who are eager to see them get a good start in life, says Ford Motor Co. chief of sales and marketing Jim Farley. In contrast to many Americans under 30 who are burdened with college debts or wrestling with a sluggish job market, China’s young consumers “have incredible resources,” he says.

I haven’t thought about this before! But it’s unfair to say like this! China has the largest income gap among people and ordinary people face a struggling life especially in big cities, particularly for young adults. 

According to The Atlantic: China, like the United States, has an income inequality problem: the country’s GINI coefficient, a measure which tracks economic equality, was 0.474 in 2012, making it more unequal than countries like Peru and the Philippines. Often, inequality in China is blamed on the country’s high rural population—39 percent of China’s citizens worked in the agricultural sector in 2008, a number much higher than that of developed economies. The situation isn’t lost on China, either. Prime Minister Li Keqiang has unveiled a plan to urbanize the country, betting that doing so would help balance China’s economy.

Due to unbelievable high housing price in China, Chinese cities were dominated by welfare-oriented public rental housing provided by either the government or public employers. Severe housing shortages, residential crowding, and poor housing conditions were common problems in cities. Over the last two decades, Chinese cities have experienced an unprecedented housing privatisation, as the Chinese government has sold public rental housing at deeply discounted prices, encouraged developers to provide new private housing and ended public housing provisions. Meanwhile, house prices have skyrocketed in cities, with the national average house price increasing by 250% in the decade between 2000 and 2010. The house price-income ratio classifies much of China as “severely unaffordable”. In big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, a modest apartment can cost multiple millions of yuan to purchase, and thousands of yuan to rent, making housing affordability the top concern of most low- and middle- income households.

I know it is true in US a lot of students have loan in order to go to college, But in China, poor people cannot even get educated to have the chance to go to college, let alone to have a loan from the government. Chinese people are rich, Chinese people are poor. Chinese rich people buy the luxury brands and cars but the poor cannot afford even Mcdonald’s.

2 thoughts on “One-child Policy = Incredible Resources?

  1. viczhou

    Great analysis! I agree that those rich kids are just a relatively small fraction of the whole population of 1.35 billion people in the country, and many others are struggling with mega-city lives. So I think auto makers should diversify their strategies for sales, instead of purely focusing on “cool” designs.

  2. ajsanna

    Great post. I really liked your last paragraph, which I think really hammered home the different in income inequality from China to the US. Even while young Americans seem to be lacking the “incredible resources” more of our middle and lower income citizens will still have a chance to go to school, so the article doesn’t exactly tell the full story.

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