• China has about $1 trillion in personal savings and a savings rate of close to 50%. The U.S. has about $158 billion in personal savings and an average savings rate of only about 2%.
• Shanghai boasts 4,000 skyscrapers — double the number in New York City. Still, 17% of the entire Chinese population lives on $1 a day. Only about 300 million people in China, or 23% of the population, are considered middle-class.
• Wal-Mart Stores bought $18 billion of goods from China last year. With China’s annual exports amounting to $583 billion, that means Wal-Mart ranks as its eighth-largest trading partner, ahead of Australia, Canada and Russia.
• In China, the 40-richest people are worth a collective $26 billion, up from $18 billion last year. China has 10 billionaires, up from three last year. The richest person is Larry Rong Zhijian of CITIC Pacific Group, who is worth $1.64 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
• China has 100 million Internet users, second to the U.S.’s 135 million users. In September, there were 62 people jailed for violating Chinese Internet laws, up from three in 2001. The word ‘democracy’ is banned in online chat rooms.
By way of comparison, India has…
* A savings rate of about 26%.
*150-200 million people (depending on where you look) in the middle class and close to 24% of the population below the poverty line.
*Wal-Mart would love to enter India if only the govt would relent on FDI in retail. The retailing giant currently purchases about $2 billion worth of goods from India.
*The richest man in India, Azim Premji, is worth $10 billion. The 4 richest people in India (Premji, The Ambanis, Sunil Mittal) are worth more than the top 40 richest Chinese.
*On the connectivity front, India lags far behind China with about 40 million Internet users and 116 million telephone subscribers. However, I hear the word ‘democracy’ can be used freely at Indian chat sites :)