It is estimated that in 2015, China will bring to the global arena a total of one hundred and fifty million consumers most of which will be spending close to forty thousand dollars in annual incomes. These staggering figures indicate that China will take centre stage to the world's biggest spender. (Davis, 2000)
Experts assert that one of the major reasons behind this spending boom is that the Chinese posses characteristics similar to their American counterparts; they have a huge appetite for material things. Consequently, most of them are willing to embrace whichever products or commodities are presented to them.
Consumerism is also determined by a country's overall population. Because of China's huge geographical size and their corresponding population sizes, China has a large internal market for purchasing items from the international arena and also from within their country. (Zhao, 1997)
It should be noted that most people have assumed that the Chinese are too conservative with their money (this is true when compared to the US since China has a forty percent saving rate) but this may not necessarily have caused low expenditure in the nineteen nineties. At that time, most people were not interested in purchasing things because there was minimal competition in their product and service industries and this presented them with very few options to choose from.
The latter issues have however changed over the past few years. This is largely manifested by the surge in the real estate or housing sector. Electronics goods available to the low end consumer can be found quite easily. The country's entertainment and sports arenas have grown by leaps and bounds and rising cities are found all over. These sectors all provide room for the Chinese buyer who is eager to spend his or her money.
Problems brought by consumerism in China
Most economists assert that China's rising consumerism will have an effect in almost all parts of the world. The United States will be particularly affected by this issue owing to the fact that different parts of the Stock market have to take these issues into account. For instance, treasury bonds sales are affected by China which currently accounts for a huge chunk of US debt (approximated at one hundred and eighty dollars) besides this, the US economy has to take into account some of the costs of goods and the interests rates that companies in the country have to tackle because of the goings on in China's market. (Edmund, 2006)
Many experts assert that the growing consumerism within China is not a common trait in all parts of the country. Certain provinces such as Ningxia are subsistence based as most of them may not have the money or the ability to buy some of the luxury items that other provinces can afford. In fact, this pattern has been repeated in so many other areas in China. The urban areas are largely populated by many high income workers and this group is what makes up the consumer market. However, rural areas (which account for a large portion of China) are not in a similar position. Experts claim that the rising consumerism in China could lead to greater disparities between the rural poor and the urban rich. This may impede the overall development of the country. (Li, 2008)
Many environmentalists also