Consumer Tidal Wave on the Way: China’s middle class – Peter Ford
“My ideal picture,” says the marketing director of Galanz, the largest microwave manufacturer in the world, “is of a Chinese peasant coming home after a day in the fields and cooking supper in a microwave.”
Until recently, most people – including Chinese peasants – would have laughed at such a vision. Galanz built its brand, as did almost every other consumer goods company in China, by selling to the prosperous citizens of boomtowns on the east coast.
But now, say business analysts and economists, China is poised for a consumer-products revolution. Whereas the burgeoning elite in China’s major industrial cities has spent the last several years cashing in on an export boom, an emerging middle class in the country’s interior has only recently begun to see the fruits of economic liberalization. As government policies shift to encourage consumer spending, businessmen may finally realize their fantasies of an enormous, untapped consumer marketing frontier.