By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.
It’s been a month since my last column on Reuters.com as I have been on the road for a while.
When I travel in New York and London, my identity is more like that of a consumer with a dash of journalistic observation. People usually say Hong Kong is a shopping paradise but in my view, Hong Kong is no longer my favorite city for shopping. For U.S. fashion brands such as Cole Haan or Banana Republic, prices are much cheaper in New York. It’s the same for London if you’re a big fan of Burberry or Paul Smith.
The American people I know complain far less about the financial crisis than two or three years ago. Instead, some of them say they actually enjoy some of the benefits. Rents are cheaper. Food is cheaper. Transport companies are unable to raise ticket prices.
Prices for some nice homes in the historic Embassy Row, Washington D.C., look attractive to me. How much can you buy if you have $1 million? You can probably buy a nice house in downtown Washington or a tiny flat in Asia’s financial centre Hong Kong. $1 million is no longer a dream for many Chinese people thanks to the yuan’s appreciation. Let’s face it — America is cheaper and the Chinese are getting richer.
But the Chinese have their own problems; they don’t feel that rich at home.