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Almost half of China’s 1.4 billion population spend less than US$150 a year on leisure activities

Almost half of China’s 1.4 billion population spend less than US$150 a year on leisure activities
December 30, 2020

While the growing affluence of China’s vast population is welcomed across global markets, a new report has revealed that almost half of the nation’s 1.4 billion people spend less than US$150 a year on leisure activities.

According to the survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Tencent Literature and Travel Industry Research Institute, China’s average annual leisure spending was 5,647 yuan (US$863) this year.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, of the 12,000 people contacted by the joint nationwide survey, 22.7% said they spent between 1,001 yuan and 3,000 yuan per year on leisure, 10% from 3,001 yuan to 5,000 yuan, 11.1% from 5,001 yuan to 10,000 yuan and 11.8%more than 10,000 yuan.

Some 4.1% of respondents said they spent nothing on leisure, while 3.4% said they spent over 40,000 yuan.

Last week, China’s commerce ministry reiterated that the government will focus on domestic consumption next year.

The first meeting chaired by the new minister Wang Wentao stressed the importance of the domestic market, a key element of the new dual circulation strategy.

In May, Premier Li Keqiang said that China had 600 million people with a monthly income of 1,000 yuan (US$140), stoking ongoing debate about China’s wealth gap as over 40% of its 1.4 billion people are still living on a daily income of less than US$5.

At the start of December, President Xi Jinping declared victory in China’s fight against poverty, claiming nearly 100 million people had been lifted out of extreme material deprivation after eight years of struggle.

Poverty in China is defined as an annual cash income of about 4,000 yuan (US$611), but critics have long argued the threshold is too low.

However, due to its severe income inequality, rich Chinese families are leading the world in travel spending worldwide.

Image: The cliff top swing at China's Wansheng Ordovician Theme Park.

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