Why subscribe?

You may know Chinese consumers by their strong spending power, their age group, their gender and more recently, their protests against Western brands like H&M and Dior. But who are they and what do they want? How different are they from Western consumers? How easily are they weaponized by the government?

A human-centered angle is what I see lacking in business reporting about the consumers, it’s what frustrated me in China newsrooms, and what drove me to start this newsletter.

In Following the yuan, I aim to provide color, insights and alternative views on Chinese consumers in the fields of food & beverage, fashion & beauty, pet, tourism, and more.

Join nearly 2,000 subscribers in China investment, journalism, marketing, academia and policy research today. (What you get as a paid subscriber.)

Who am I?

A business reporter who was born and bred in China. Growing up in the 90s, I’ve breathed, witnessed and lived through the opening up of China in terms of culture and business: I listen to music from Taiwan, the US and the UK, watched cartoons from Japan and TV shows from South Korea, and had gotten used to overseas brands entering the market, full of hopes and dreams.

Today, China is shrouded by the looming shadow of its leadership, much like X. My goal is to document and translate how people are reacting and acquiescing to these changes, which will shape the contours of tomorrow's largest consumer market.

Feel free to connect with me via LinkedIn where I try to sound more like an adult.

Developer Notes

Sep 29, 2023 — Launched paid plan including 5 main columns: Weekly consumer news, Deep dives, China explainer, Personal essays and Web3

Jan 2, 2023 — I’m getting into a groove to publish a weekly news roundup every Tues EST, and planning to do ad-hoc commentaries when the occasion presents itself.

May 10, 2023 — It’s been over month since I started the Entrepreneurial Journalism Creater Program at CUNY remotely. I’m learned to zero in on my target audience and have a few tests on content forms/revenue models in the pipeline!

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See China through its consumers


Yaling Jiang

As translator-turned-business journalist who’s influenced by design thinking, Yaling is driven to catch signals before they turn into trends, and interpret nuances of the complicated China consumer market. Graduate of Columbia Journalism School.

Rongrong Zhuge

Graduate student at the University of Tokyo; Sociology major.

Richard Whiddington

Brooklyn-based writer.