Fear and face dictate what China does with its money

China saves out of fear, and it spends to show face, and these attitudes — found in the household, in businesses and in government — aren’t changing anytime soon.

The world wants China to spend more and save less, and urges Beijing to allow its currency, the renminbi, to appreciate to increase the nation’s purchasing power. But to understand this culturally sensitive topic, it is worth understanding how Chinese people think about money.

Official statistics show that total savings make up more than 50% of the country’s gross domestic product GDP, significantly higher than the previous world record held by Japan’s 30% total...

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