According to statistics from a survey conducted in five large Chinese cities, a monthly amount of over 3.5 billion yuan has been spent on children. Beijing and Shanghai take the first two places, especially Beijing with a monthly total of 1.4 billion yuan spent on children.
As a major part of family life, offspring’s clothing takes a large proportion of family spending and this has given rise to an increased amount of money to be used to deck them out. A survey by relevant department in two key high schools of Beijing shows that over half the number of their pupils have at least one name brand suit, 30 percent of them have two to three and 10 percent have above four. Another survey shows that 92.3 percent of children under 12 have a liking to between-meal nibbles and only eight percent eats no like snack food.
The survey also shows that Beijing’s children prefer imported commodities, taking a monthly sum of 0.5 billion yuan, leading the rest of China.
As revealed by the survey, a three-person family’s spending on child rearing basically decides the consumption direction of the family and even a greater sum of salaries has to be spent on their offspring than on an elder by 80 percent of like families. In a city that provides lots of chances and a high consumption level like Beijing, people’s spending on child rearing, education, travel and basic necessities simply makes over half of family income.
(People’s Daily 02/14/2001)