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Posted Sat Jun 26 2010: from Guardian:
China: the next superconsumer
Liu is a member of the fastest-growing consumer class: single women - or xiaobailing (white-collar princesses). They have high levels of disposable income and a craving for designer labels. For marketing moguls, they are the future face of consumer power. State planners forecast that half the population will be middle class by 2020. Until recently, China was living within the planet's means. If everyone in the world consumed what the average Mr or Mrs Wang did in 2007, we'd just about stay within the sustainable resources of our planet. Humanity would have a balanced ecological budget. But, understandably, Mr and Mrs Wang wanted to keep up with Mr and Mrs Jones on the other side of the Pacific. That was human nature. It was also bad news for the environment, because if we all ate, shopped and travelled like those average Americans, we'd need 4.5 Earths.... At her first sale, she blew a third of her salary on Fendi sunglasses. "It is like a fever," she says. "The price is so low, you cannot refuse."
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