China replaces US as the people of ‘more, more, more’; more than 60% of citizens admitted to worshipping money, with more than 95% of citizens believing that Chinese people worship money too much

China replaces US as the people of ‘more, more, more’

Staff Reporter

2013-09-16

As China continues to develop into one of the world’s biggest and most important economies, the dreams of its people have also evolved. According to Chinese investment web portal Eastmoney.com, modern Chinese citizens have nine big wishes, and almost all of them are all about money. The most common wish among Chinese citizens nowadays is to make big money and become super wealthy. A joint poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos in February revealed that China ranked no. 1 out of 23 countries surveyed when it comes to agreeing with the statement that “money is the best sign of a person’s success.” Around 69% of Chinese people polled agreed with the statement compared to just 33% of American participants. A survey conducted by China’s nationalistic Global Times tabloid also found that more than 60% of citizens admitted to worshipping money, with more than 95% of citizens believing that Chinese people worship money too much.The second most popular wish among Chinese people is to buy a big house, which is hardly surprising given that housing prices in China have risen beyond the affordability of most people. America’s Franklin Templeton Investments conducted a survey of 9,815 people in 19 countries and found that 34% of Chinese people listed buying a house as their top investment goal, compared to just 8% of Americans.

In continuing with the money theme, the third biggest wish for Chinese people is to drive a luxury car. For many Chinese people, having a luxury car is the best symbol of wealth and success, and the bigger and more expensive the car, the better. South Korea-based advertising agency Innocean found in a survey of 500 car owners in Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai that nearly 60% of Chinese people believed cars were an important reflection of their social status, compared to around 44% of South Koreans. China also led South Korean in terms of showing off their luxury cars and paying more attention to brand in buying a new car.

The fourth big dream is to be the boss of a business or company. A survey conducted by national broadcaster CCTV in 2010 found that more than a third of young people in China wanted to be the chief of their own company. An earlier Beijing survey found that as many as 80% of people in Shanghai wanted to run their own business.

The fifth most popular wish is to win the lotto. In 2012, China sold 261.5 billion yuan (US$42.7 billion) in lottery tickets, an increase of 18% from the year before. That figure is expected to exceed 300 billion yuan (US$49 billion) in 2013 and reach 500 billion yuan (US$82 billion) by 2018.

The sixth wish is to become a government official, which is also indirectly related to money. While most ordinary Chinese would say they despise government officials, most of them would love to be one. Based on data from China’s 2010 national civil service examinations, there were 1.44 million participants, an 11-fold increase from 2003. The 2012 exams saw around 1.3 million participants despite a success rate of just one in 53. The main reason for wanting to be a government official, according to surveys, is the higher salary, better benefits and stable income.

The seventh most popular wish is luck with the opposite sex. This is the only wish among the top nine that appears, on its face, to be unrelated to money, though a 2011 poll by Chinese dating network Baihe revealed that more than 90% of women surveyed believed a “stable income” was an essential requirement for a potential husband, while 70% believed their future husband must own at least one house. The men, on the other hand, preferred youth and appearance in their potential wives.

The eighth biggest wish is to emigrate from China to a foreign country. A report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has found that China has become the largest exporter of residents in the world, with more than 45 million Chinese citizens living overseas. Many Chinese people have also responded in surveys that they would love to leave the country “if they had the money.”

The ninth and final of the top wishes of Chinese people is to travel the world. According to the China National Tourism Administration, there were more than 70.25 million Chinese people who traveled overseas for a vacation in 2011, an increase of 22% from the year before and a five-fold increase over the past decade.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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