Living in China in 2008 is very different to living in China in 2018. If you have not been to China within the last 5 years you are in for a shock. Here David Joseph CEO of Hub of China discusses what he notices when walking the streets of any 1st or 2nd tier city in China.

1.Bike Sharing

The overwhelming number of bikes on every street corner – it’s difficult to miss them. Pay with Wechat or Alipay from normally 5 mao to RMB for 30 minutes.

2.Wechat and Alipay Digital Payments

A society that predominantly relies on Wechat and Alipay digital payments. It seems that locals have even started to see cash as an inconvenience. From my taxi driver to the local fruit market lady grunting with annoyance in having to provide change instead receiving the the exact amount digitally. Living in China in 2018 is predominantly cashless.

3.Pollution Masks

The use of pollution masks. During a polluted day you will see at around 40% of locals wearing a mask. If you go back a decade it would have been a real rarity to see any mask in site.

4.Delivering Agencies

Delivery agencies scootering around on e-bikes delivering food to and from every restaurant in site. In the UK we have Deliveroo in China it’s Meituan and  ‘Eleme’ (饿了么) (which literally means ‘Are you hungry?’).Related image

5.New Breweries

New breweries popping out around the city. China used to just have a taste for local beers such as Tsingdao and Harbin, now German and Belgium beers are common place. There has been a huge cultural change here, the Chinese don’t seem to be drinking beer anymore with the objective of getting drunk but are starting to gain the acquired taste of a couple of delicious beers on a quiet evening.

6.Western Bakeries

Bakeries that have cakes and pastries with real butter! It would have been very difficult to find any bakery items which resembled what we have in the west. Now it seems commonplace.

7. English Speakers

English ability. In all the 1st tier cities it will be quite easy to find a local around you who will have a reasonable level of English. A decade ago you would have to be very lucky to encounter anyone who could speak any English.

8.Modern Shopping Malls

Large modern shopping malls, with high end brands.

9.Modern Subway Lines

A complex network of subway lines in most of the 1st and 2nd tier cities. The majority of these have been built in the last 15 years and offer a cheap convenient and reliable service all around the city

10. Live Streaming

People out on the streets doing live streaming shows to their fans. This normally involves singing, talking or just showing them around the area. These shows will normally be transmitted to thousands of people all around the country.

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These 10 developments in China encompass living in China in 2018 and are pretty hard to miss.