Discover the BRICs: 40 things you should know

Katie Zurita

Ten things you should know about China

1. China's urban and rural population.
With ubiquitous pictures of China's modern development it is easy to overlook the fact that more than 700 million Chinese live in rural areas where per capita income is a little over 700 dollars a year. This means that the products and services for these markets need to be different from those in large cities. However rapid urbanization is on the way. Over the coming years 10 million will move to urban areas every year, and half of China's population will live in cities and towns by 2015.

2. A grey population.
It is a common perception that Asian populations are a lot younger than in the West. Asians do make more babies, but lower standards of health care have, in the past, meant Asians die a lot younger. However this is changing. The Chinese market is no longer driven only by youth but also by the 'greying' consumer. While older people's incomes may be limited on an individual basis, collectively they offer a sizable target market with relatively unique physical and emotional needs. For example visits to supermarkets are not just for shopping but are also a leisure activity in China.