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Consumption downgrading in Chinese media: A fraud or a hideous truth

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Author: Yang, Muyi
In 2018, according to the data from Weibo, one of the most popular terms in China has been ‘consumption downgrading.’ The discussion online about 'consumption downgrading' gradually changed into a national panicking because the Chinese relate it with such as economic slowdown, rising living cost and house price, widening gap between rich and poor, and anxiety of China-U.S. trade war. My research explores how this term became a trend, and how the meaning behind it changed through time in the first part. In the second part, the article analyses the economic definition and mechanism of structural changes in consumption to see whether the ‘consumption downgrading' phenomenon in the media is real. In the third part, the article examines the deeper factors that caused the national panicking led by the discussion of ‘consumption downgrading.' In the last part, the article summaries the government's role in channeling public opinion and regulating the market.
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