Steve's China Blog

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Economic lessons

Found this interesting article about the Chinese economy a few days ago...

Flaws appear in the Middle Kingdom’s economic miracle from the Times UK

If you picked up a cigarette lighter anywhere in the world, there is an 80 per cent chance that it was made in Wenzhou. And if your job was at a cigarette lighter factory in Wenzhou, there is an 80 per cent chance that you are now unemployed. Anywhere else, such a decline in a local industry would be considered catastrophic, but this sprawling industrial city has always taken a brutally capitalist view of life.

Seen from the gates of the 100 lighter factories in Wenzhou that are still running, the 600-odd that have fallen silent in the past 18 months were simply the unlucky ones. The people of Wenzhou realised that, beyond lighters, there are bigger, darker clouds gathering over the Middle Kingdom. The raging debate is: how big, how dark and how badly will they hit property prices?


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