China’s “Comfort Class” | The Bling Dynasty, National Geographic Magazine: 900 Million Cell Phones

A number of these ‘little emperors’ have no qualms about freely spending their wages on purchases, giving little thought to building their savings as their parents and grandparents have fastidiously done. The potential spending power of Chinese women could be enormous in the next decade. According to estimates from MasterCard International, the total purchasing power of young Chinese women living on their own or in married households with no children is likely to rise from US$180 billion in 2005 to $260 billion in 2015.

Young Chinese are the drivers and chief beneficiaries of the country’s current boom. According to a recent survey by Credit Suisse First Boston, the incomes of 20- to 29-year-olds grew 34% in the past three years, by far the biggest of any age group. And because of their self-interested, apolitical pragmatism, they could turn out to be the salvation of the ruling Communist Party—as long as it keeps delivering the economic goods.

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