As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers Are Transforming Everything

D&M Publishers, Inc.

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- Size: 23.5 (L) x 16 (W) cm

- Binding: hardcover, 258 pages

- Language: English

- Author: Karl Gerth

- Publisher: D&M Publishers, Inc. , 2010

While Americans and Europeans have become increasingly worried about China's competition for manufacturing jobs and energy resources, they have overlooked an even bigger story: China's rapid development of an American-style consumer culture, which is revolutionizing the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese and has the potential to reshape the world.

This change is already well under way. China has become the world's largest consumer of everything from automobiles to beer, and its people have begun to adopt such consumer habits as living in large single-occupancy homes, shopping in gigantic malls, and eating meat-based diets served in fast-food outlets. Even rural Chinese, long the laggards of consumerism, have been buying refrigerators, televisions, mobile phones, and larger houses in unprecedented numbers.

In As China Goes, So Goes the World, the Oxford historian Karl Gerth reveals why we should all care about the everyday choices made by ordinary Chinese. Taken together, these seemingly small lifestyle changes are deeper and more pro- found than the headline-grabbing stories on military budgets, carbon emissions, or trade disputes. Chinese consumers are quickly re- placing overspent Americans as the global economic engine, but in so doing they are dramatically reconfiguring the world economy in ways that may be impossible to reverse.