Two things occurred just a few days before I got to China. The first was a record-setting $5.4 billion on-line shopping day I had read about briefly here, described as “Bachelors’ Day” that I now understand is better translated “Singles’ Day” — for the day it falls each year, November 11. Get it? That’s “11/11” . . . all ones . . . Singles Day.
. . . Today, millions of unattached Chinese took advantage of online shopping specials tailored for them—travel deals for lone travelers, single-serving rice cookers, boyfriend pillows, and deals on BMWs (helpful for shedding one’s single status).The holiday reflects the growing spending power of young Chinese professionals who are increasingly marrying later or not at all. . . . There are between 50 to 60 million bachelors in China who may never find a life partner because of China’s large gender imbalance. . . .
It’s actually worth reading the whole story if you have time and want a novel look at China’s domestic economy. Great photos! Love that dude on the red chair.
China’s on-line sales that day topped even our own record for post-Thanksgiving “black Friday” on-line shopping.
Happy Thanksgiving, by the way!
Turns out, turkey contains no more tryptophan than chicken — slightly less, according to this — and that eating either is not what makes you sleepy in any event. (Could it be the wine? I know: the kids don’t drink it, and they get sleepy, too. For them, it’s the conversation.) So eat all you want. We, and hundreds of millions of no longer impoverished Chinese, have a great deal to be thankful for.
Which brings me to the second thing that occurred shortly before we arrived in China: release of “A Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensive and Far-Reaching Reforms,” a 60-point plan from the Third Plenum of the 18th Congress of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party — widely hailed as the most dramatic since those of Deng Xiaopeng in 1978 that have so astonishingly transformed China.
These reforms include upgrading free-market forces from “a fundamental factor” in determining resource allocation to “the decisive factor” . . . relaxing China’s “one-child” policy for parents who are both only children themselves (giving rise to the popular riddle: if a 42-year-old woman and her 21-year-old daughter are both eligible to have two children, which should get pregnant first?*) . . . phasing out forced labor “re-education” camps . . . reforming the judiciary . . . and more.
But it’s Thanksgiving Eve, for crying out loud, and I have a whole load of floats to blow up, so let’s put further details of my China trip on hold until Friday or Monday.
*The daughter — lest she lose her eligibility once her mother has a second child.
Quote of the Day
Guys, just remember: if you get real lucky, if you make a lot of money, if you go out and buy a lot of stuff, it's gonna break. You got your biggest, fanciest mansion in the world. It has air conditioning. It has a pool. Just think of all the pumps that are going to go out. Or go to a yacht basin any place in the world. Nobody is smiling and I'll tell you why: something broke that morning. The generator's out, the microwave oven doesn't work, the cook's gay. Things just don't mean happiness.~Ross Perot to Harvard B-School students, quoted in Forbes
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