A watch, a bicycle and a sewing machine are the three must haves for a family in the cities in China in 1970's. The watch is for time check, the bicycle is for daily commute and the sewing machine is for clothes DIY.
When it came to 1980's, Guangdong's economy started to take off under the reform and opening up policy, local residents' income increased and the retail market started to thrive. Electric and electronic appliances appeared on the shelves of the department stores and became affordable. Television, washing machine and refrigerator became the three must haves of the decade. Almost every woman had a full time job and in the same time did most of the housework, washing machine and refrigerator lessened much of their housework burden. While at the end of 1980's, many Pearl River Delta families had televisions and watched Hong Kong dramas. For many families, sitting together in front of the television is the time for daily family gathering. Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau became household names for their appearance in the hot tv dramas. Mr. Liu, a resident in Guangzhou, said: "My parents' salary for a month was only 500 yuan at that time, and it took them about a year to save enough money to buy a television, which was much more expensive than today. Then television became the recreation for my family every evening."
In 1990's, air conditioner, hi-fi and computer/mobile phones became the fashionable three must-haves. As the economy developed, air conditioner and hi-fi, once "so far away from reality" for many Guangdong families, became affordable. Computer and mobile phone were the most fast spread appliances in the past ten years, it is a half-half result in choosing one out of the two as the must have in the last decade. It cost over 10,000 yuan to buy a mobile in 90's, and the number was only 7 digits, and now it is 11 digits already and the price of the mobile phone is much lower. Computer was for the youth only ten years ago, while now even the primary schools have computer class and some of the old people, who read newspapers for years, started to surf on net for daily news.
When it came to new century, house, cars and stocks rank top on Guangdong families' purchasing list. Mrs. Qiu said, "I am 80 years old now, and never had I imagined living a life like today - my family live in an apartment as high as 27th floor and have a car!"
Is that anyone can predict the purchasing list for a Guangdong family in the next decade or in 2030's?