mandag 20. januar 2020

China’s middle class frets the ‘good times’ are over amid sliding house prices, stagnant wages

While the US-China trade war has been on the lips of politicians and analysts from Beijing to Washington, millions of middle class Chinese are increasingly anxious about a problem closer to home: the sliding value of their incomes and assets as the country’s breakneck economic growth begins to stutter. China’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow to 100 trillion yuan (US$14.4 trillion) in 2020, with per capita GDP having already passed the US$10,000 mark last year, both much to the pleasure of Beijing, although this is not being felt by well-educated, white collar workers and middle-sized entrepreneurs.

“There is no doubt that our family’s net worth will shrink this year,” said Alice Zhou, a Beijing-based businesswoman in her 40s. “This can be confirmed from the obvious decline of business and property prices among my friends and I in the past couple of years.” According to Zhou, the “good times” of 2015-16 are over having been forced to close around half of the cafes and indoor amusement parks she owned in Beijing and Tianjin since 2018.