China: the urban middle class under the microscope
More than half of Beijing's and Shanghai's inhabitants can now be considered as part of the middle class, according to a Chinese university study that put the customer group and its growing awareness under the microscope.
The average salary of the middle glass is reportedly €27,900 (CNY200,000), i.e. three and a half times that of the less affluent categories. Salaries in Beijing and Shanghai are above average, with average earnings of €35,800 and €30,500, according to the Chinese Social Sciences Academy.
What is even more interesting is that these people are increasingly aware of their standard of living. In Shanghai, 61% of members of the middle class are aware of their status, as opposed to 48% in the past. The figure is lower in Beijing, where however it shot up from 30 to 40%.
The evolution of this mentality doesn't fail to have an effect on social attitudes, accelerating the decline of the bling associated to newly-rich people who wish to flaunt their success. The 'normalisation' of the middle class in major cities, through the kind of privacy sought after in secondary towns, will quickly lead this new type of consumption behaviour to extend nationwide.
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