On July 18, 2023, there were few customers in a shopping mall in Beijing. (GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)
[The Epoch Times, November 10, 2023](Epoch Times reporter Cheng Jing and special reporter Chang Chun interviewed and reported) The Weibo topic “Young people only go to B1B2 when shopping in shopping malls” has become popular recently. Experts analyze that this reflects the downgrade of consumption. At present, domestic demand in China’s economy is weak, purchasing power has declined overall, shopping mall performance and value have “flowed downwards”, and the economy continues to decline.
Young people only go to B1B2 shopping malls, public opinion is hot
Recently, the Weibo topic “Young people only go to B1B2 when shopping in shopping malls” has triggered widespread discussion and ranked second on the hot search list, with over 180 million views and a cumulative total of over 110,000 interactions.
Regarding the topic of “young people only go to B1B2 when shopping in shopping malls”, netizens commented on the topic, “The higher the floor, the more expensive things are.” “Because the things we can afford are all at the bottom!” “That’s why we only go to B1B2.”
Some netizens also said, “Haha, I was shopping with my friends and suddenly one day I had a surprise: Have you noticed that we go straight to the underground every time?!” “The limit on which floor you go to is not the height of the floor, but the price of the products on the floor!! “.
Wang He, an expert on China issues, told The Epoch Times on the 9th, “The heated public opinion shows that everyone feels the same way. This topic has been on the hot search, with hundreds of millions of clicks, and it has become an important part of ordinary people’s daily lives.”
Wang He said that this corresponds to the latest data just released by the Chinese Communist Party.
Data released by the Bureau of Statistics of the Communist Party of China on Thursday (9th) showed that China’s consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.2% year-on-year in October. This is the second time that China has fallen into deflation after falling by 0.3% year-on-year in July. The producer price index (PPI) fell by 2.6% year-on-year, which was the 13th consecutive month of decline.
“This means that the demand for the entire Chinese economy is now very weak and very weak. From these indicators, whether it is from a macro or micro perspective, people are unwilling to consume, or they are unable to consume.”
Wang He said, “This has become a very difficult fact for China’s current economy. But it is basically unsolvable.”
The sinking of purchasing power groups has become a significant trend in consumption this year.
According to the traditional division of shopping mall floors, basements such as B1 and B2 and UG ground floors are usually relatively popular areas. The higher the floor, the higher the grade of merchants, such as mid-to-high-end fashion stores, boutiques, jewelry stores, etc., which are generally located on the third floor and above.
But even if the shopping mall is B1B2, Lu media said that most people now “just browse but don’t buy”, and it has become a happy home for “poor shopping” young people.
Netizens said that B1B2 is crowded and often people are close to each other. There are all kinds of high-quality and cheap food there, such as Uniqlo and Starbucks. The ones that young people like are also in B1B2. The upstairs sells high-end cosmetics, gold and silver jewelry, and parent-child stores. , or car exhibition area, the consumption level of hotels is generally much higher than B1B2…
From outside observations, from “Zibo Barbeque” and “Guizhou Village Supermarket” to the expansion of foreign catering brands such as Starbucks to third- and fourth-tier cities, to the “B1B2 phenomenon” within shopping malls today, the sinking of purchasing power groups has become a significant trend in consumption this year. .
Xie Tian, a professor at the Aiken School of Business at the University of South Carolina in the United States, analyzed to The Epoch Times on the 9th that this actually reflects the socio-economic decline and recession in China as a whole, the reduction of people’s spending power, the downgrade of consumption, and the future economic outlook. Not optimistic about the outcome.
“These young people go to B1 and B2 more. They are actually underground food streets, food stalls or low-priced shops. This is low-end, affordable, and easy to satisfy. consumption.”
Wang He also believes that this phenomenon occurs because the foundation of China’s economy has been basically exhausted during the three years of dynamic clearing.
Officials previously reported that the youth unemployment rate exceeded 20%, but they have stopped reporting the unemployment rate recently, raising suspicions that the unemployment rate is too high.
Wang He said that consumption will collapse in 2023 and will be incomparable with previous years. So now we are on the road of consumption downgrade. “If China’s economy continues to be so sluggish, this problem will become more and more prominent. Because everyone has less and less money. So it is even more necessary to live a careful life.”
However, he believes that “China’s business structure is actually very distorted. For example, if the same piece of clothing produced in mainland China is sold in mainland China and sold in an American mall, it will be cheaper in the United States.”
“Items produced in China, after long-distance shipping to the United States, are actually cheaper than those sold in shopping malls in mainland China. This shows that this deep-seated problem in the entire Chinese economy is very serious.”
He believes that the current economy is in trouble, everyone’s income has dropped, and the entire Chinese business structure itself is actually very distorted and unreasonable. Under this situation, the entire Chinese business needs to make a deep adjustment.
Shopping mall performance and value “flow downward” and the economy is also going downwards
The basement floors and mid- and high-rise floors of many large shopping malls are “ice and fire”. At present, the market is not only facing “consumption downgrade”, but also performance and value are “flowing downwards”, which reflects that the economy is also going downwards. Wang He said, of course it is.
“The economy is declining, unemployment is increasing, the entire industrial chain is moving overseas, factories are closing down, and companies are closing down and moving to other countries. Especially when people see the real estate crash, they will not continue to invest money in houses, and their savings will also increase, and then at the low end This is the situation with consumption.”
Wang He said that the retail economy actually accounts for a large and important part of the economy. In China, this proportion is relatively small, but in Europe and the United States, retail consumer spending accounts for 60% or 70% of the economy, while in China it may only be about 30%.
Xie Tian also said that in fact, this consumption downgrade reflects the economic decline. What consequences will the decline in consumption have on the economy? One part of the economy, the domestic demand part of consumers, has shrunk sharply; coupled with the CCP’s infrastructure and exports, the two carriages have stalled.
Wang He added, “As for the troika of the entire economic power, foreign trade, exports have continued to decline for several months; in investment, private investment cannot be raised at all. We can only look at official investment, and the growth rate of official investment is very limited. . So it can’t boost the economy in this area; now that consumption has declined so much, China’s economic troika has all stalled.”
Editor in charge: Ye Ziming