In the past, Chinese people appreciated the traditional family concept of having children and enjoying the happiness of a family reunion. In today’s society faced with the rapid growth of an aging population, an increasing number of single people, and the dropping birth rate, Chinese society is gradually moving away from the traditional concepts that they once valued.
Due to the changing demographic structure and the one-child policy, the aging population in China has surpassed that of the U.S. Pension schemes and healthcare systems are challenging for Chinese society. Meanwhile, it is shown that the middle classes are willing to spend more money on overseas travel and education for their children than in the past. This has even become the way of showing their social status and flaunting a new image within their circle.
The Ping An Healthcare and Technology Company Ltd went public in Hong Kong in May 2018. In August 2019, they launched the platform “Private Doctor,” aiming to provide services such as medical consultation, prescription, and appointment making by connecting patients and experienced doctors online. The company states that over 300 million accounts have been registered in under two months, while Ant Fortune, the brand under Alibaba Group, signed a 5-year cooperation agreement with Fidelity last year, targeting the issue of retirement and pension schemes in China.
Private enterprises are still restricted to enter the Chinese market in regard to retirement and pension schemes. However, once the Chinese government relaxes the policy, these companies will surely grow exponentially.
Apart from an aging population, China is facing another critical issue which is the growing number of single people. According to official statistics, by the end of 2017, the number of singles had reached 222 million, accounting for 15 percent of the total population.
Meanwhile, couples are choosing to be childfree and their numbers are increasing. This fact reveals that the current Chinese society is moving away from their traditional values of forming a family and having children, which they once valued. The prosperity of the middle class may be temporary because society now lacks the younger generations that can sustain society.
Spending on education and traveling
Guo Kai, a resident of Shanghai, told CNBC that he spent up to 80 thousand Chinese yuan (about US$11,428) on education for his 13-year-old daughter last year. The expenses included five extracurricular courses, such as Chinese calligraphy and physical education. This money excludes online regular courses like math, physics, and chemistry. Apart from spending as much as possible on their children’s’ education, Chinese middle classes also spend generously on traveling.
It is worth considering, with a rapidly aging population, increasing numbers of single people, and a dropping birth rate, where the Chinese middle class goes in the future.
Translated by Sharon L and edited by Helen
Source: The Epoch Times