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Consumption in Postsocialist China

Between the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and China's entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the Chinese economy shifted decisively from socialist autarky to a globally connected, consumer-oriented political economy. In 1992, the government ended rationing for grains, cloth, and other basic consumer items, and in 1993, the National People's Congress passed the first Consumer Protection Law. In 1995, the six-day work week disappeared for city workers, and the weekend became a pivot for commercial and social life. In 1993, China had its first public Internet connection, Yahoo! entered the China market in 1999, and by 2008, China had more Internet users than any other country in the world.

At the start of the twenty-first century, most of China's 350 million households ...

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