After numerous conversations with Beijing expats, I am still struggling to ascertain whether or not China has been hit by the Western world’s financial crisis. On one hand we have luxuries I would have to sell my right arm on the black market to afford back home. Ayis and massages immediately come to mind.
However, many jobs within the expat community rely on foreign investors, if they’re not employed in foreign companies to start with. At a soirée I recently attended, everyone had a story to tell. Some people had lost their jobs, some had lost foreign clients; some just recently got new (high paying) jobs, while others were plodding along as per usual.
With much of the world in a financial crisis, the general consensus is that China is not immune from the world’s financial woes. Commentators have noted China’s economic slow-down
, with the London Times citing China’s projected unemployment rate of 10%
for the next 10 years. With such a heavy dependence on exports, China has also reported a drop in their gross domestic output (GDP)
as many Western and European countries tightened their purse strings.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about China, it’s that it’s an unpredictable place. Despite the doom and gloom, China has just recently announced a massive four trillion RMB (U.S. 586 billion) economic-stimulus package
to assist their 8% annual growth.
Is China really surviving this crisis? And more importantly, are you?