Chinese economy undergoing drastic reforms to compete more effectively in international market
Beijing, Aug. 29 (ANI): The Chinese economy has undergone many drastic reforms in an effort to compete more effectively on the international market in the past two decades, according to a study.
These reforms include allowing foreign banks to offer credit cards to Chinese citizens.
Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found about 30 percent of Chinese urban households own at least one credit card and the growth rate of credit card adoption has been an average of 40 percent per year between 2004 and 2009.
Rui Yao, an assistant professor of personal financial planning in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at MU, said that this large growth in such a small amount of time has positive and negative implications for the Chinese economy.
"With more and more people taking advantage of credit in China, it certainly increases potential consumer buying power," Yao said.
"However, we found that more than 90 percent of non-credit card users were unaware of safety issues inherent in credit card use and more than 60 percent had little knowledge of the consequences of credit card default. This lack of knowledge could create problems as credit card ownership is expected to grow at a rate of 11 percent a year," Yao added.
Yao studied data from the 2008 Survey of Chinese Consumer Finance and Investor Education conducted by Tsinghua University in China and found that a large portion of new Chinese credit card holders are very young.
"We found that 58 percent of Chinese credit card holders are younger than 35, while only 3.3 percent of card holders are older than 50," Yao said, adding: "This result may reflect some unique aspects of the Chinese culture. The concepts of credit and debt are quite contrary to the principles of Confucianism, so it may take a while for older Chinese citizens to adopt those concepts."
Yao found that while 72 percent of Chinese credit card holders were never late on their payments, only 55 percent were able to pay the full balance.
Yao believes the Chinese could benefit from financial education designed to help them plan for their financial future in a manner consistent with Chinese cultural values, the study concluded. (ANI)
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