• What the end of cheap China means for you

What the end of cheap China means for you

Much about Australia's prosperity over the last three decades has been linked with the willingness of millions of Chinese workers to toil away in factories making products that Australians love, like Apple iPads, jeans, and Nike shoes.

Chinese workers have endured long hours, low salaries, and subhuman work conditions in factories thousands of miles away from their families, turning out products cheap enough for Australian consumers to buy by the millions.

Today this is all changing.

Chinese people are becoming less and less willing to sacrifice their family lives and career goals. Although China has the world's largest population, at 1.3 billion, it no longer has a glut of cheap labor. Young Chinese, having seen their country rise to become a superpower, are less and less willing to toil away in factories for dirt-cheap wages. They want a taste of the white collar and a lifestyle that affords them the nicer things in life.

This and other major changes in China's economy are threatening the easy availability of the low-priced goods that have fueled Australia's consumption-led lifestyle.

Click forward to see the ten things that the end of cheap China will mean for you.

Article and gallery based on the writing of Shaun Rein, whose book The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World is being published today. Shuan is the founder and managing director of the China Market Research Group.

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