Does China today resemble South Korea in the 1980s or 1990s?

Tech wise, I’d say China has caught up with current day South Korea – the bullet trains in China are actually faster than the KTX, and there’s nothing Kakao can do that Wechat can’t do. The electric bikes and scooters in China are more popular than such things in South Korea as well.

I’d say the main difference lies in general prosperity of the average person. The average South Korean still makes way more money than the average Chinese person. That’s why the average Korean person has more disposable income to look better, spend money on fashion and makeup etc while Chinese seem to be obsessed with showing off their wealth (which Koreans did in the 80s/90s) that’s a common thing that happens with nouveau riche. Over time, as the average Chinese person makes more money, you will see less and less of that cause it won’t be that special anymore. “Ok so you got a LV bag, so what?”