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CHANGING CURRENTS
20 YEARS of REFLECTIONS
CYCLING to XANADU
THE CHINESE DREAM
CHINESE NEW YEAR ADS
The MEDIUM, the MESSAGE and the SAUSAGE DOG
ANYONE FOR TENNIS?
VIEWS FROM ABOARD THE CHINA EXPRESS:
1 Zola and Retail Marketing
2 Playing the Waiting Game
3 Beware the Ides of March
4 The county not on a map
5 Chinese Chess in Beijing
6 Build it and They'll Come
7 Riding the Water Dragon
8 The Best of Both Worlds
9 Storming the Great Wall
10 Welcome to the Wangba
11 The Catcher in the Rice
12 The Marriage Business
13 The Crouching Dragon
14 Counting the Numbers
15 A Century of Migration
16 Shooting for the Stars
17 Rise of Yorkshire Puds
18 Harry Potter in Beijing
19 Standing Out in China
20 Self-pandactualisation
21 Strolling on the Moon
22 Tea with the Brothers
23 Animated Guangzhou
24 Trouble on the Farms
25 Christmas in Haerbin
26 Dave pops into Tesco
27 A Breath of Fresh Air
28 The Boys from Brazil
29 Rolls-Royce on a roll
30 The Great Exhibition
31 Spreading the Word
32 On Top of the World
33 Moonlight Madness
34 Beijing's Wild West
35 Avatar vs Confucius
36 Brand Ambassadors
37 Inspiring Adventure
38 China's Sweet Spot
39 Spinning the Wheel
40 Winter Wonderland
41 The End of the Sky
42 Ticket to Ride High
43 Turning the Corner
44 Trouble in Toytown
45 Watch with Mother
46 Red-crowned Alert
47 In a Barbie World
48 Domestic Arrivals
49 Tale of Two Taxis
50 Land of Extremes
51 Of 'Mice' and Men
52 Tour of the South
53 Brooding Clouds?
54 The Nabang Test
55 Guanxi Building
56 Apple Blossoms
57 New Romantics
58 The Rose Seller
59 Rural Shanghai
60 Forbidden Fruit
61 Exotic Flavours
62 Picking up Pace
63 New Year, 2008
64 Shedding Tiers
65 Olympic Prince
66 London Calling
67 A Soulful Song
68 Paradise Lost?
69 Brandopolises
70 Red, red wine
71 Finding Nemo
72 Rogue Dealer
73 Juicy Carrots
74 Bad Air Days
75 Golden Week
76 Master Class
77 Noodle Wars
78 Yes We Can!
79 Mr Blue Sky
80 Keep Riding
81 Wise Words
82 Hair Today
83 Easy Rider
84 Aftershock
85 Bread vans
86 Pick a card
87 The 60th
88 Ox Tales
CHARTS
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2001 to 2007
BIRDS IN CHINA - PHOTOS
BIRDING in CHINA
PORTS of CALL
FROM BEYOND THE WALL
ABOUT & CONTACT

ABOUT ChineseCurrents.com 

Thanks for dropping by. 

For me, the "Chinese Currents" metaphor conveys a sense of the incredible scale and complexity of change that the people here have had to navigate through since the flood gates of economic development were finally forced open.  The economic "sea-change" over the past 30 years has, in varying degrees, affected and continues to affect all 1.3 billion Chinese people.  The extent of the social change that has been driven by this force has to be seen to be believed. 

The "sea-change" has been mostly good.  In fact mostly very good indeed.  Tens of millions have been lifted out of poverty.  Hundreds of millions have witnessed an amazing increase in their disposable income.  And also, much further upstream, there are now more than a million people who have accumulated wealth in excess of 10 million yuan.  This group are powering the development of the private sector, as well as the incredible growth in the luxury brand category.

As with all "sea-changes", however, there is also a large degree of unpredictability, not to mention disorientation.  As a society shifts from "fairness" (everyone in the same boat, having very little) to increasing inequality when neighbours who used to have as little as everyone else suddenly and conspicuously have more than those next door then discontent is inevitable. 

This "proximity of inequality", as I call it, is the most dangerous current on China's development voyage, because the increasing "closeness" of inequality has a far bigger effect on the psyche  and, in particular, on people's notion of status and well-being than inequality per se.   

In the 30 years since my first visit, I've been lucky enough to journey to all of China's 34 provinces, municipalities and regions, and to more than 100 cities. My constant exposure to the complexity and magnitude of China's changing currents continues to remind me that, even though so much water has passed under the bridge since my first visit in 1988, my learning curve is as steep as ever. I love to photograph what I see, and write about what I see and hear.  My longest trip was a 35-day 10,603-mile rail journey from Beidaihe to north-eastern China, then to Tibet, and from Tibet to southern and then eastern China, and back to where I started from.   

On my travels I am always keen to listen to local people telling their own stories of what has changed in their lives over the years, and what they think is likely to change in the near and not-so-near future.  I try to go that extra mile to find out what excites and inspires them, and what washes over them.  The key question I continue to ask myself is, how are the sea-changes here reshaping people's lives, opinions and also their relationships with brands.

Talking of which, for the last 35+ years, my day job has been helping Clients build brands (and, of course, writing has always been an important part of this).

Wherever in the world you are, if you think I might be able to help you, please let me know.

Thanks and best regards.

Steve.

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