If a man has no house, then he may probably not be able to get married with his beloved. The difficulties Chinese people have in seeking their spouse are now significantly impacting the global economy because they are currently reducing consumption and saving money in order to attract potential partners.
According to Chinese tradition, a single man must possess a house before he gets married, while nowadays buying a house entails a lump sum of money. It compels a lot of people to hew daily costs by a large margin and control consumption to increase deposits. If there is little consumption in the most rapidly developing market, the global economy will fall into stagnation.
Among the young Chinese who give up their deserved comfort and luxuries for the sake of getting married, the 20-year-old Yang Jiayin is a typical one. Yang lives in a big community in Beijing. To go to his room, we, instead of going upstairs, went downstairs to a windowless basement, which was not designed for long-term living for Yang and some other 100 people(including children), but to be used as an air defense facility.
It is estimated that around one million of people are now living in basement and air defense rooms. In the basement where Yang is living, there are many aisles leading to different rooms. Yang’s room was very small and can only accommodate a small bed. The bulb hanging on the ceiling is the only source of light in the room.
The washroom and the kitchen in the basement are for public use. Actually Yang does not have to live in such a harsh condition and obviously, he can afford a better and healthier room. He said, “Now I am in Beijing. My priority task is to work and save as much money as possible.”
The rent for the room in the basement only accounted for 10% of his total income from selling mobile phones and he could thus save more money. Yang has two wishes: one is to buy his own house and the other to marry a good wife. He said, “if I have not my own house, no good girls in China would like to marry me.”
The link between house and marriage forces many young people in China to adopt similar lifestyle like Yang’s. Gong Benrun, a successful computer programmer, is also saving money to buy house like Yang.
In Chinese people’s eyes, a monthly salary of 1000 U.S. dollars is a decent pay. But Gong still chooses to live in an illegal apartment above a department store with his two friends. His friends are sleeping on bunk beds, while Gong is a bit lucky to have his sing bed. The room has windows, but stinks with sweat and dirty socks smell. Gong said he has no choices at all.
He said that nowadays Chinese girls are very realistic and that “you must have your own house before you can draw the girls’ attention. So I am living in such a harsh condition in order to buy my own house.”
Many Chinese parents are concerned about their children and begin selecting partners for them. The close link between house and marriage is the key force driving Chinese people to save money, which is not only the problem lying ahead of Chinese single young men, but also the problem facing the global economy. Generally speaking, more than one third of personal incomes in China will be banked, far higher than the 5% in America.
Many countries call for China to increase domestic demand and hope the Chinese government can talk their people in saving less money and buying more imported goods. But under the scenario where having no house means having no spouse, it takes far more effort to persuade young people like Yang and Gong not to hide their money under the quilt.