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Asia

Why are the Chinese a more materialistic people than that of the Western brethren?

Developing countries tend to be more materialistic than developed countries. This is because in a poorer society with a lot of population, there are very few ways to stand out and prove your worth.

One of the easiest ways to ‘prove’ that you are higher social status is to buy expensive clothes or electronics or a car/house – because those are hard to afford for most of the population. So being able to purchase those things is an indicator of wealth and status. And higher status means more benefits, access to better networks and connections to more powerful people etc.

In a developed society, the middle class is already wealthy enough to afford most of the things that a developing society would consider ‘status symbols’. Therefore even if you buy a fancy Lexus or Mercedes or expensive Chanel bag or iPhone it doesn’t really have as much as impact on your status as it would in a developing society. In a rich neighborhood, who cares if you own a Tesla or Lexus? So what? does it make you a better person?

In developed societies, increase in your social status comes almost purely from merit – you have to be really earn your higher status either through being an entrepeneur or getting a promotion or being able to network well with people. Just buying expensive stuff isn’t really going to get you anywhere in society.

This is also why in poorer communities in the US, especially black communities (because more blacks are impoverished on average), they tend to show off or brag more about the things they own. Whereas if you are Bill Gates or Warren Buffet for example they don’t really care what they wear or what they own anymore. They wear $30 sweaters from Ross and Marshalls. At that level of wealth it doesn’t matter what you own anymore. This is also how you know that Donald Trump probably isn’t really all that rich – or he is really insecure – if he feels the need to show off or brag all the time.

So being materialistic is not really exclusive to China. Chinese people just seem the most prominent conspicuous consumers out there because there are so many of them. But I think its a sign their middle class isn’t fully developed yet to a point where most people would be able to afford these luxuries. Thus creating the demand for status symbols. India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Africa, Middle East etc in these places I would also presume buying expensive items to be an indicator of your social status.

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Asia

What do Chinese people misunderstand about America?

  • Americans != White people

almost 30% of Americans are not white. But whenever Chinese (or other Asians) think of ‘American’ they think of a ‘white’ person. You cannot generalize all Americans as this or that, since America is one of the most diverse countries in the world, even more so than China is.

  • Americans do not directly elect the President and they do not elect by popular vote. They elect their President using an archaic system called the United States Electoral College – Wikipedia which is quite different from any other democratic country. The Electoral College can in fact be quite undemocratic in that a minority of people (NOT the majority as in a democracy) can actually elect the President and this has indeed happened in 2016 with Clinton getting more votes but Trump becoming President. Furthermore, the votes for President are cast by electors, not by the people. The people merely decide who the electors *should* vote for, but in many cases like in 2016 the electors don’t actually vote for who they are supposed to vote for. It is more about who wins more states, not who wins more votes. So next time Chinese people want to talk about Trump being a result of the ‘failure of democracy’, it is incorrect because Americans did not directly elect Trump by popular vote, like in other countries.
  • Americans are not as nationalistic as Chinese think. In fact, more than half of Americans disapprove of the job President Trump is doing. How Popular Is Donald Trump? 54% disapprove of the President. Every mainstream news channel (except Fox News) and late night talk show constantly derides and mocks the President. This is in my opinion, one of the major differences between America and China. You will never hear about Chinese state media or a Chinese talk show mocking the President of China, Xi Jinping.
  • Americans are not ‘brainwashed’ by the media. In fact, the vast majority of Americans don’t even believe their own media. ‘Fake News’ Fears: 95% of Americans ‘Troubled’ by Current State of Media, Poll Finds
  • Not all Americans have an unfavorable view of China. Yes the number is higher now than before due to the trade war, but many Chinese believe that all Americans are brainwashed to hate China, and that’s just not true. In fact at one point (2006) the majority of Americans had favorable views of China. It is due to the recent trade war + increasing nationalism and hostility towards America from Chinese people themselves, that has caused this unfavorability to grow

  • Not all Americans own guns. There are a lot of guns in the US, but this is due to a large number of people owning multiple guns. What Percentage of Americans Own Guns? 30% of American adults own a gun. This is not a small number – but it also means 70% of American adults do not own a gun.
  • America != Western countries. Chinese people like to use America as a proxy for ALL Western countries, but it’s not true. All the above I just mentioned makes America quite different from Europe, or Canada, or Australia. I really dislike it when as a Canadian, our country gets grouped together with America as the same type of country, what a broad label and brush to apply to millions of people.

I just want to clear these things up. I see many Chinese people on Quora (obviously either overseas or using VPNs since Quora is not accessible in China) claiming that ‘Americans are like ___’ ‘America is ___’ American news is biased and brainwashes Americans to hate China etc. You cannot generalize Americans as this or that.

Yes there are a lot of questions on Quora that are basically trolling Chinese people or insulting China. You know what you should do? Ignore those trolls and move on. Don’t be a hypocrite and start insulting or generalizing Americans/America back. America is a very diverse country, that particularly prides itself on individualism, which means that everyone is going to be very different from one another and have very different opinions from one another. I don’t think its fair to take some online trolls as an example and extend it ALL Americans + ALL Westerners. That’s over a billion people on 3 continents (Australia is considered a Western country and is its own continent). That’s just ridiculous.

Categories
Asia

What do you think of Chinese people?

Things I like about Chinese people:

-Hardworking

-Ambitious

-Confident

-Willing to take risks

-Brutal honesty

Things I don’t like about Chinese people:

-Too nationalistic, they like to brag about China and how its better than other countries a lot, their cities, their food, their women etc I wish they had more humility

-Ironically even though they criticize other countries like USA/Japan/Korea etc all the time they cannot seem to take criticism of their own country well. They share this in common with Americans. Dude, just accept that the CCP makes some mistakes and that China isn’t perfect. Don’t jump down by throat for giving some honest feedback/criticism about your country. And they will inevitably talk about you are ‘brainwashed’ by Western media even though you are being the open minded one here.

-Face culture. Hate it. Created a generation of materialistic snobs.

-Gender inequality. I hate the BS ‘women hold up half the sky’ talk. If they hold up half the sky shouldn’t they pay for half of everything too? I don’t get why in the country with the lowest gender wage gap, the men still gotta pay for everything. Everything should either be equal and fair to both sexes, or if they insist men pay for everything, then they should do more than men at home or something. Otherwise its not equal.