The Rise of China (part 3)

It's always interesting to me to see how government policies and changes in law affect consumer trends and overall shifts in culture. In China, one of the most prominent examples of this has been the institution of a one-child policy in 1978.

The result of this change has been an interesting situation known as the 4-2-1 Problem, where one adult child, having no siblings or cousins, will eventually be left to care his/her two parents as well as four grandparents.

Many of the companies we visited outlined a variation of this 4-2-1 problem, and the incredible opportunity associated with it. Because so many children don't have siblings or cousins, they become the sole target of attention and care for two parents and four grandparents.

Embedded in this dynamic is the evolving cultural attitude among many Chinese families that since they only have one chance, they will do absolutely anything and everything to give their child everything s/he wants or needs.

Whether its diapers, food, clothing, or toys, every choice you make for your child - your only line of posterity - is an important one. Multiply that attitude by six providers per child and 17 million new babies a year, and you've got yourself a significant consumer trend.