Consumption practices in China have been transformed at an unprecedented pace. Under Mao Zedong, the state controlled nearly all aspects of what people consumed, from everyday necessities to entertainment and the media; today, shoddy state-run stores characterized by a dearth of choices have made way for luxury malls and hypermarkets filled with a multitude of products. Consumption in China explores what it means to be a consumer in the world s fastest growing economy. LiAnne Yu provides a multi-faceted portrait of the impact of increased consumption on urban spaces, social status, lifestyles, identities, and freedom of expression. The book also examines what is unique and what is universal about how consumer practices in China have developed, investigating the factors that differentiate them from what has been observed among the already mature consumer markets. Behind the often staggering statistics about China are the very human stories that highlight the emotional and social triggers behind consumption.
This engaging book is a valuable resource for students, scholars and business professionals interested in a deeper understanding of what motivates China s consumers, and what challenges they face as more aspects of everyday life become commoditized.
LiAnne Yu received her PhD in Anthropology from UC San Diego, and is an independent consumer consultant with particular expertise in emerging markets, having worked with clients such as Microsoft, Google, HP, eBay, Time Warner, and Global English.
Map Chronology Acknowledgements Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Spaces Chapter 3: Status Chapter 4: Lifestyles Chapter 5: Commodification Chapter 6: Awareness Chapter 7: Consumption with Chinese Characteristics Bibliography