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    Creative Commons, pictobank (2008) ©

Splurge protection: China's cautious middle class

Tom Doctoroff takes a critical look at the causes, the unique conditions and the opportunities for marketers to succeed in China.

Location China

The underlying drivers of the recession are different in China versus Western countries. In the latter, times are toughest for low-end workers and entrepreneurs who have been hit by the slowdown of export industries. While aggregate savings rates in the PRC remain high – there is much cash stashed away under mattresses and in low-yielding bank accounts – confidence has been hit due to fear of losing a job sometime in the future. Consumers are looking right, then left, surveying the landscape for clues of when it will be safe to wade back into the water. In the former, ...