The Recent Portrayal of Chinese People



        In the past decade, China’s economy has been growing at the incredible high speed that has made the word “Chinese” is more frequently appeared in the world. Along with the Chinese people’s living standards improved, more and more Chinese people would like to go to different countries to study, experience, and even live. According to “Arriving Soon: More Chinese Tourists and Students – Part 2”, Ken Fox stated that as of November 2015, Chinese tourists travel to North America increases 151% from 2011 to 2015, and he highlighted that there were more than 100 million outbound Chinese travelers in 2014; in addition, 2014-2015 academic year, there was 304,040 Chinese students, increased 10.8% from 2013-2014 academic year, who have studied at the U.S.(Fox, 2016) Simultaneously, some stereotypes of Chinese people have been formed by other countries’ people, who have been in touch with some of Chinese people, just like rich investors, fuerfai (the rich second generation), and etc.; however, it can’t represent all of Chinese based on the big gap of Chinese income and the new generations’ economy model; by the way, the new generation’s consumption conception is affected by the Chinese one child policy. In this essay, I am going to discuss Chinese stereotypes, the causes of its formation, and its bias; finally, I will summarize what I learn during this course.

Discussion of Chinese Stereotypes

        Although some of countries’ economic has been stimulated by a large number of Chinese people who go and study abroad to consume, it probably has made some unwelcome, weary feedback from foreign. As Yoo reported, Chinese private consumption in the USA is $10.7 trillion in 2011, $12.6 trillion in 2015, and has been estimated to $15.3 trillion in 2020; in addition, Chinese government’s consumption in the USA is $2.5 trillion in 2011, $2.6 trillion in 2015, and has been estimated to $3 trillion in 2020. (Yoo, 2013)consumption Actually, this crazy spending power that makes Chinese people has been identified rich investors and fuerdai. During my research, I definitely found many articles, journals, or blogs to mention the rich investors. Just like Dan Levin pointed out, “the average price of a detached house in greater Vancouver more than doubled from 2005 to 2015, to about 1.6 million Canadian dollars ($1.2 million)” based on the flood of Chinese capital into the Vancouver’s real estate. (Levin, 2016) Indeed, this phenomenon has occurred not only in Canada, but also in the USA. real stateFor my experience, my family was going to buy a house in the Portland couple years ago, and we found a satisfactory house and made an offer; then, the agency asked us whether we were going to a one-time cash payment. We answered her, “No, we need a loan to buy it”; however, she was surprised to tell us that recently, many oversea Chinese investors have bought real estate, and they always paid off one-time by cash; thus, it was the reason why she ask us to do the one-time cash payment. Interestingly, here was an experience which was wrongly labeled my family as a rich Chinese investor. However, the local people don’t welcome these Chinese investors. Their crazy investments make the local real estate be skyrocketed that cause an affordable housing crisis. Indeed, some of the local people can’t afford the rising price, it definitely influences to the local people’s life. Thus, it is a double-edged sword.

        For some rich Chinese, they not only invest money into the foreign properties, but also prefer to purchase luxury goods. Levin also pointed out that “a large number of luxury car dealerships here employ Chinese staff, a testament to the spending power of the city’s newest residents. In 2015, there were 2,500 cars worth more than $150,000 registered in metropolitan Vancouver, up from 1,300 in 2009.” (Levin, 2016) However, this part of the Chinese consumers is known as fuerdai, which means the rich second generation. They like to show off their wealth through the purchases of luxury good, and post to the social network. Just like the son of the richest man in China, he had posted a photo to show off his dog wearing two gold Apple Watched in the social network.(Beam, 2015) In addition, a lot of media has reported that it is easy to see Chinese people wait in a line to buy luxury goods in many international brands’ retail stores. Interestingly, I found a video on the YouTube which reported a secret meet-up. The video recorded that a party gathered many fuerdai who have spent more $100,000 to buy super sport cars in Southern California, and they gathered together to show off their cars.

Causes of Its Formation

        According to the article “Young Consumers Drive China’s New Economic Model”, it pointed out that China has became a “consumption powerhouse” from the “world manufactory” during its the 12th Five-year Plan (2011-2015). (Yoo, 2013) This plan was going to reduce the urban and rural income inequality through stimulating domestic consumption to help the economic growth and employment environment. However, four main customer forces are formed during this policy, such as the post 1980s generation, the post 1990s generation, the second generation of the rich, and the young rural-to-urban migrants. There are the reasons why these four generations prefer to spend money on the luxury good, or become the purchasing power: first, the post 1980s generation was growing during the period of the social stability and higher economic growth, it cause them like to pursuit of personal satisfaction; secondly, post 1990s generation born in the period of the family police, thus, most of them is no siblings, and their parents will satisfied their needs that made them enjoying material prosperity; finally, the second generation of the rich and the young rural-to-urban migrants are the same age, but their background is very different. The young rural-to-urban migrants has a humble rural background, and they are affected by high economic growth and social change; thus, they tend to be urban residents and have a urban standards of living. In contrast, The second generation of the rich (also calls fuerdai) has wealthy family, and their parents earn a lot of money during China’s high-speed development period. At the same time, their parents pay great attention to their career, and ignore to concern for their children; thus, they will try to provide every best things to their children for compensation.fuerdai

        In addition, Xuefeng Chen stated that the family under China’s one-child policy are over-indulging their children, even called them “little emperors”, one childand the parents would give everything, which they can afford, to their children without hesitation; at the same time, these children are more eager got the attention from others, so they show off or flaunt their wealthy to catch others’ eyeballs.


        I think that the negative stereotype definitely misled people thought fuerdais who just spend their parents’s money, and the idle people. In fact, they are also a group of people who need to be more concerned about. Because parents spend more time on their careers, and they wrongly thought that their children need material compensations, it led these children who has formed the false consumption values; furthermore, the parents have not noticed that the children was under pressure based on their outstanding achievement. In addition, they also will help people who really need a help. As Bean stated, “there are two groups of poor people. One is, you don’t work hard. You deserve to be poor because you don’t work hard. Second is, you work hard but can’t succeed. I think we should help the second group of people. … There’s a saying, jiu ji bu jiu pin—‘We’ll help you if you have an emergency, but we cannot help you if you’re poor.’ ” (Beam, 2016) Finally, according to “The Urban-Rural Income Gap and Inequality in China”, it points out that the PPP (purchasing power parity) between urban and rural is 4,259 Yuan and 1,899 Yuan in 1995, and 7,798 Yuan and 3,434 Yuan in 2002. In addition, the minimum wage is still under 2,000 Yuan recently in China, which means there are too many people who still don’t have enough purchasing power to consume luxury goods. It is just a few of wealthy Chinese’s consumption phenomenon.



        During my research, I definitely found many media described Chinese people has crazy purchasing power; indeed, Chinese economy is going to transform to the consumption pattern, so it has promoted the global tourism industry and retail industry. However, this strong consumer group is just a small part of China’s population, but these few of population has occupied most of the country’s wealth. China still has a lot of poor people, and they are not able to buy luxury goods, even they have to work hard for the basic problem of food and clothing. The media reports are only superficial, and they didn’t really comprehend deeply with the local Chinese people.Therefore, I think that the recent portrayal of Chinese people is just stereotype and surface. In addition, through this study, I think that some of Chinese imperfect policies have led to the present generations formed the new consumption concept, and this concept is not correct so that I think Chinese government and society should pay attention to this issue, and find a solution.

Learning Moment

        During this course, I think the most interesting and important is the media literacy. In the college, whether it is teacher or student has to contact media, use media, or pay attention on media; thus, when people face various kinds of information from media, selection ability, comprehension ability, evaluation ability, creation or production ability, and speculative response ability are pretty important in order to enable students who have positive attitudes towards media, and use media with an academic view. Therefore, I think that I will continue to train these abilities to help me gain useful and helpful information from the daily media.

Work Cited

Beam, Christopher. “Children of the Yuan Percent: Everyone Hates China’s Rich Kids.” Bloomberg, 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 30 May 2016. < >.

Chen, Xuefeng. “THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF CHINA’ S ONE-CHILD POLICY.” THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF CHINA’ S ONE-CHILD POLICY (n.d.): n. pag. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 2003. Web. 30 May 2016. < >.

Fox, Ken. “Arriving Soon: More Chinese Tourists and Students- Part 2.” The Soundings Group. N.p., 01 Apr. 2016. Web. 30 May 2016. < >.

Jin-Seok, YOO. “Young Consumers Drive China’s New Economic Model.” Department – SERIWorld. Consumer & Society, Oct. 2013. Web. 30 May 2016. < >.

Levin, Dan. “Chinese Scions’ Song: My Daddy’s Rich and My Lamborghini’s Good-Looking.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Apr. 2016. Web. 30 May 2016. < >.

Sicular, Terry, Ximing Yue, Bjorn Gustafsson, and Shi Li. “THE URBAN–RURAL INCOME GAP AND INEQUALITY IN CHINA.” Wiley Online Library. Review of Income and Wealth, 28 Feb. 2007. Web. 30 May 2016. < >.

VocativVideo. “Chinese Kids Driving Supercars: Inside the Secret Southern California Meet-up.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 30 May 2016. < >.


6 thoughts on “The Recent Portrayal of Chinese People

  1. Hello Dahui! It was a pleasure to read your blog post! It’s really cool that we have had the opportunity to not only develop our own theses and essays, but watch others develop theirs too. You have done a fine job going from the research process to this polished draft. Your images work really well with your blog post, since there are both statistical charts and humorous cartoons. This lends credibility and interest to your essay, showing this trend to be something studied in the academic and media spheres. I liked too that you brought in your own experience to analyze the stereotypes of Chinese in Portland. If you think about it, it’s crazy to think that an entire country is all rich and no one is poor. Do you think this stereotype has arisen primarily because only the rich/not poor can afford to move to countries like the US? Perhaps China’s restrictive media too has a role in this?

    Great essay and it’s been wonderful having a class together this term! 🙂

    • Hi Julie,
      Yea, it is a really good learning opportunity to observe and experience the process of self/others’ writing. I did learn a lot how to do a research paper during this term, and that was great. In addition, I also think there are only riches who can afford to migrant to foreign countries in China, so foreigners often expose to Chinese people, most of them are rich. Thus, it makes the recent media tends to portray the wealthy Chinese.However, the current Chinese media is more transparent, not restrictive as strong as before; moreover, the Chinese media are very critical of this phenomenon, because they think these riches are against the traditional virtues – thrift.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hi Dahui,
    I really enjoyed reading your final post, which was more polished than your draft! The pictures and videos really stand out your points. I learned that China economy has been growing with the high-speed, but we are just seeing the best of it. I understand that there should have some hidden information which many people in China are still poor, especially those live away from urban cities. Like Julie mentioned above, “If you think about it, it’s crazy to think that an entire country is all rich and no one is poor.” I can think of that there is a deep wealth gap in China, so do you think that popular culture/media, can it have any effects on changing such circumstance?
    Thanks for sharing,

    • Hi Jing,

      Nowaday, media not only has changed the speed of human communication, but also changed the entire human society’s cultual, and even changed the way of life; thus, I think that it definitely affects these stereotypes. For example, foreign people have always thought that Chinese people are mathematical elite, Kung-Fu master, and hard workers through their daily contact with Chinese people before the internet is widely spread; but now, because of the existence of the network, it is easy that people get a lot of information from the internet, and these amounts of information will slowly change their thoughts. Just like my paper, because recent media frequently portray rich Chinese, it let more foreigners think Chinese people are rich. Thus, the impact of media on our lives is always remarkable.
      Thanks for comment!

  3. Hello Dahui,

    Thank you for your post. It was very impressing to see how fast the Chinese economy has grown, and what are the pros and cons that come with it. I’m also amazed by how all the people from the video that have luxury cars are actually students, and there’s even one person with 3 Ferraris. I think the stereotypes you mentioned about Chinese families are rich did come from a good reason. As we can see, there are these many “fuerdais” who are spending their parents’ money without blinking their eyes. Yet, there are also normal Chinese families like yours and mine who needed to take out loan to buy houses, and go to college. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with either situation. I want to say that the big wealth gap is really what we need to think about, and what’s maker rich people richer, and poor people poorer.


  4. Hi Dahui,

    I was not surprised by reading your post, Chinese is a word means luxury things nowadays. Chinese has took the first place of the biggest economics in the world. More and more people are getting rich and going out to the world get a lot of luxury things. The stereotype that you point out is very comprehensive for the society that is not living in China. I can’t agree more with the one time paid off payment of anything. Being a Chinese, I feels a lot of the things that you mentioned in the post. But I know most of the immigrants are not as rich as other people thinks. They are just work hard for what they want. And anyone can get that if they work as the same way. thank you for your great post! I saw a lot of change between the post and your first draft. Good job!


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