Changing China

Giant on the move

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Supply Push?


This is almost certainly not what Chinese policy makers had in mind when they started encouraging exporters to explore the domestic market to help make up for a drop in Western demand: sex toy makers opening flagship stores in Beijing.

But as an article and a video by my colleagues Ben Blanchard and Kitty Bu explore, that is just one of the side-effects the global slowdown is having on the world’s most populous country.

With factory owners looking to tap the local market to soak up excess capacity now that the export market is less reliable, many are setting up their own local brand names and retail outlets.

In the case of many products, like clothing and electronics, that does not necessarily portend any significant change in habits or lifestyle.

Olympic-sized “Guanxi”


Wang waves goodbye to reporters after closing remarks for the Strategic Economic Dialogue at the Treasury Department in WashingtonIt’s not often that speeches by Chinese policy makers make you laugh, but that was certainly the case on Wednesday evening when Vice Premier Wang Qishan spoke to an audience of U.S. business leaders after two days of high-level economic talks in Washington.

Speaking off the cuff, Wang had the audience rolling as he delicately broached the subject of the negative publicity surrounding the Olympics, which reached a cresendo earlier this year when riots in Tibet sparked protests along the Olympic torch relay in cities such as London and Paris.