The Confucian Customer

The Confucian Customer
Design

Ad agency JWT spammed us to ket us know that their CEO in China has written a book on selling to the New Chinese Consumer. Tom Doctoroff, the CEO who's...

Guy Brighton
  • 10 january 2006

  1. Chinese people never have dinner parties. The home is
    a place of refuge, escape, and, every once in a while, self-expression.
    Comfort is key. But where you live is paramount, which is why apartment
    blocks sport such names as “The Gathering of All Heroes Under Heaven”
    and “Tycoon Court.”
  2. Chinese people put pineapple, not pepperoni, on pizza. All foods
    are divided into "heaty" and "cooling" foods, and the two must be
    balanced at all times. Pizza is heaty, so the pineapple cools it down.
  3. More than 80 percent of Shanghai couples now get married with an
    engagement ring, up from practically zero a couple of years ago. In an
    unsafe world, men have to demonstrate—not talk about—their love. Women
    are suspicious of guys who say, “I love you.”
  4. A powerful woman decorates her $1,000 mobile phone with Hello Kitty
    stickers because she wants to be soft on the outside and like iron on
    the inside.
  5. In China, feminine beauty is a tool that moves a woman forward.
    Cosmetic surgery is all the rage because it helps a young woman land a
    job, not a man.
  6. Soy sauce can save lives. The thinking is as follows: “If my food
    tastes good, my family will eat more. If my family eats more, they’ll
    get more nutrition. If they get more nutrition, no one will get sick.
    If no one gets sick, no one will lose a job. If no one loses a job, the
    family will be in harmony. If the family is in harmony, a new
    generation can be born.” Unlike anywhere else in the world, great taste
    ladders to good health.
  7. In 1995, the Chinese middle class virtually didn’t exist. By 2005,
    there were approximately 100 million individuals in China with incomes
    in excess of $4,000 (even in expensive coastal cities, purchasing
    parity power is at least 2.5 versus the U.S.). By 2010, there will
    probably be 200 million middle-class folk.
  8. The smartest guy in the class is the coolest guy in the class.
    Girls really and truly go for brains, not bodies. In a dog-eat-dog,
    hierarchical Confucian world, intelligence is the ultimate weapon.
    Health clubs will always be niche.
  9. Chinese people squirrel away 40 percent of their income, despite
    making, on average, less than a tenth of U.S. per capita income. The
    Chinese believe the fickle hand of fate can turn against them at any
    time. And there’s virtually no safety net.
  10. Germs are the ultimate evil. A Chinese mother’s primary role is to
    protect the child from harm and shield the family from invasion. That’s
    why air conditioners, washing machines, soap, food, dishwashers, and
    television sets all scream, “germ-free.”

What do our Chinese readers think? Any comments welcome. Thanks!

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