A Shanghai family’s relationship with foreign products
2018-05-04 09:43:00

China opened its doors to the outside world in the 1970s, triggering a flood of imported goods into Chinese homes.

For many of the nation’s city-dwellers, products made by foreign hands have been part of daily life for decades. Zhang Baolin comes from a typical Shanghai family. She said they’ve had imported products in their home since the 1980s.

"The first foreign item I bought was a 12-inch black and white TV from Japan”, said Zhang.

(A 12-inch Sanyo black and white TV, the same model Zhang bought. /Web Photo)

That TV cost 400 yuan, an amount that took 10 years to save. "These things were few and not easy to purchase. I stood in a line the whole night to get it”, said Zhang.

Many in Shanghai started flirting with imported goods through electronics. Back then, China’s economic reforms and the nation’s manufacturing industry were just in their infancy. While imported goods like home appliances were a big deal for Chinese families back then, they’ve now become much more accessible and affordable.

"Today our fridge, our washing machine and TV are all from foreign brands”, said Shi Wenchao, Zhang’s daughter.

Shi has foreign bags and cosmetics, but those are products she can do without. What she must have in daily life is imported milk powder for her son.

"Although many Chinese products are very good in quality now, I want my kid to use the best milk formula. Mine is imported from Switzerland”, said Shi.

As China's e-commerce sector grows, people like her are finding it easier to buy goods from overseas. China now has over 50 million people who use digital platforms to shop for foreign goods.

"There are so many e-shopping platforms now. I just have to move my fingers and place an order”, said Shi.

Source:CGTN Editor:Hiram
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