I am so proud that I am the first Chinese colleague of Manuel, thanks to him, I have a brand new topic to write about. lol There are countless differences between China and western countries, or shall I say between China and the rest of the whole world? China is a country filled with history, personality and emotion. I am going to share just few things each time to make my lovely readers continue like and follow my page. :-p
I was so busy shopping few days ago because of the big festival of online shopping. If you’ve read one of my article “What is 11th November”, then you will know that all the Chinese mainland people were cleaning their shopping baskets on this day. It actually does remind me of the Black Friday and Boxing day in the west. Buying and shopping is really a huge hobby of most of the Chinese people.
Before I came to England, I live with my parents in Guangzhou, so I really do not have a clue of renting a flat or a house. In China, if you are not mega rich, probably you will live in a flat in a tall building. We buy house according to the size itself, for example, my parents live in a place of 20 mins drive without traffic jam and an hour drive with traffic jam. (This is a problem of living in a big city.) The price of the estate in this area is half of the one in the centre, for example, £300,000 for 2 beds flat of 70m2. For regular Chinese, it’s real expensive, but we still love buying instead of renting.
For £300,000 you actually can rent the same size flat for around 30 years if there’s nothing change, why do we buy? In our traditional mind, we have to have our own home no matter what it is, as one Chinese old saying “Golden and Silver houses are not better than own house”(English translation: East, west, home is the best). Renting is a feeling of not stable, and we don’t like this word. So most of the people will try to get their own home before marriage or just married.
Furthermore, we love investment, real estate is a must growing investment among all the financial products. And the money is better to invest than staying in the bank, so we always choose to buy a flat if we can afford it. After years, we can still earn some money if we sell it.
As a mandarine speaker, I got more opportunity than most of the European in Bicester Village. And because of Chinese people’s “shopping hobby”, the fist and the only trainline with Chinese announcement is from London Marylebond to Bicester Village. This little village becomes a hot tourist attraction for Chinese and it’s in fact part of the travel plan for most of the tour.
Branding, which makes us feel proud of the “level” we are and the reward of our hard work. I think that’s a bit vanity of having luxury items, just as Rolex is no more than a watch, but people still buy it. The “level” is a lifestyle that you have, as a proof of a high level lifestyle, luxury brands are the easy way to show. Meanwhile using the luxury items is the way that we pursue the acme of perfection. If you know about Chinese tea, the most expensive tea is 1.3 million per kg. We do have the cheap tea, but we would rather pay more to upgrade the level of the tea when we are out for breakfast. (For this part I will talk about the breakfast in china in another article, so you will know what I actually mean.) The taste of different tea is different for us, same as different wine is difference to some people.
We love luxury brands, not only because of the brand itself, but also its quality. You cannot imagine what the most popular items in Japan are to us. 🙂 Eletronic toilet seat and Rice cooker! We love Japanese electric, TV, washing machine, wii etc. As Chinese electric has huge improvement, we starts to use more domestic electric. However, we still prefer the user-friendly Japanese toilet seat. 😛 And for our favourite essential everyday toy—phone, most of Chinese use Apple, have a look around when you are in China.
If you are shopping in a duty free or an international shopping mall, you will definitely meet a Chinese. Why do we buy a lot aboard？30%-50% of the tax is the main reason why we like shopping outside of our country. Compare the prices, we certainly buy luxury brands in other countries, and we won’t end up with getting a fake one.
Chinese purchase 70% online shopping and 30% in store. That also can explain why all the Chinese holding their phones wherever they are and whenever they can. We can literally buy everything online, in TAOBAO. We got promotion and price match online, so we always can find a better bargain. Are we the same? Because Amazon is very popular in the west.
However, I’ve never seen Chinese people buying in the store as westerners on sort of shopping festival. Instead, we rush to buy online on the festival, not only for the stock concern, also because you will get the unbelievable price for the items. We rely on online shopping more, or we are just too lazy. Don’t be afraid of your Chinese friends are “flashly” clicking the button on the mouses or phones, don’t complain that they stay up late to shop online, and shop before they close their eyes.
We have a word to describe “the really into shopping Chinese”, “Duo Shou Dang”. It means that they can only stop shopping by cutting their hands off. There’s nothing to proud of, kind of shopaholic, but that’s the real China now.