Sunday, November 09, 2008

Wal-Mart looks to Chinese cities in hinterlands | Seattle Times Newspaper

Seattle Times Newspaper:
"LOUDI, China — Maoming, Wuhu and Loudi.

They're Chinese cities so far in the boonies that Lonely Planet doesn't even bother to mention them in its popular travel guide. But Wal-Mart has found them as part of the company's aggressive push into China's smaller markets.

China's economic growth is rapidly spreading out from the main cities like Beijing and Shanghai into the hinterlands, where the middle class is taking off. In a report last year, the consulting firm A.T. Kearney said 75 percent of the middle market is expected to be in tier-two and tier-three cities by 2017.

These cities are 'small' only by the standards of a country with 1.3 billion people. For example, Wuhu in eastern China has 2.3 million people, and Maoming in the south has 6.8 million, providing a strong consumer base as incomes rise."

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