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Chinese Lifestyles Sway in Tune with the Booming Bull Market
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In ten of China's largest cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, over 40 percent of the urban residents have currently invested in the stock market. Since May 9 the index has been over 4,000 points. It has enticed everyone out for the big bucks.

On May 19 alone, 240,000 people opened A-share exchange accounts but this number pales in comparison with the record high of 368,000 opened accounts on May 8. Some investors have sold their houses and dipped into their pension funds, reflecting the craziness that bull markets often create. 

This stock market craze has influenced how the Chinese spend both their money and their time. 

For the last several months big city taxi drivers have changed their tune: they listen to stock analysis shows instead of traffic reports. Even vegetable vendors are cluing into the financial news along with (their beloved) feature stories.

Moreover, female fashion magazines now dole out financial investment advice along with their more intimate columns.

These examples, however, do not fully reflect the impact of the Chinese stock market, for the booming stock market has inadvertently prodded people to seriously study China's burgeoning economy.

In Beijing's most influential college Internet Bulletin Boards, students and white collar graduates with a simple click now log into the hottest forum: stock market discussions.

Mr. Xin Lifu is a post-graduate from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also a shareholder with six month's experience in stock investment. "In the past I just watched the CCTV News Broadcast once a while; international news interested me the most. But after I started investing in (Chinese) stocks, I started to focus on all kinds of domestic news, such as rising interest rates, Renminbi appreciation and so on," he commented.

Mr. Xin suffered several gains and losses because of considerable market fluctuation. "In the beginning I was a newcomer in the stock market so I just simply copied other people's moves. Now I understand that I need comprehensive knowledge in order to do an objective analysis on prospective companies before I decide to invest in them. In short, my inclination is toward prudent and conservative investments," he concluded. 

The Internet has various tools that help all kinds of investors to financial exchange information. Inside assorted QQ chatting groups, everyone, from housewives (up to executives), can turn to experts for stock investment advice. They can even comment on the alterations of central bank's policies. "No matter how their comments look, profound or shallow, people are learning how to observe and how to express themselves", said Wang Liming, a newcomer in the stock market and a TV financial program planner. "Perhaps most of these (new) investors just want to get an idea of China's economic trends and (understand) the already existing problems through their investment acts. I, for one, have certainly been educated by this market."

Mr. Wang added, "While the stock market is changing us as investors, perhaps it is also significantly transforming China's economic structure and social structure as well."

(China.org.cn by Pang Li, May 25, 2007)

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