Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shopping habits of China’s ‘suddenly wealthy...’

In the past decade China has become the workshop for the world, its low-cost labour force toiling in factories to churn out cheap goods destined for western consumers. Many of the raw materials needed to feed this industrial juggernaut have to be imported from other countries and today China is the biggest driver of markets in commodities such as copper, oil and iron ore.

But as well as a multitude of low-paid factory workers, the country’s manufacturing boom has also created a large and growing number of baofahu – literally, the “suddenly wealthy”. Their shopping habits and changing tastes are reshaping global trade flows at the other end of the production chain. More...

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