Digging for Work: Mining Unemployment in China’s Shifting Economy

After its astronomical rise to the world’s largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) over the last 35 years, the Chinese economy is experiencing a major transition from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy. In 2015, the tertiary sector climbed to 50.5% of total gross domestic product (GDP) while industry continued to fall to 40.5% of total GDP. While this economic trans…

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Smog: It’s a China Thing

PM2.5 are fine particles of air pollution smaller than 2.5 micrometers — small enough that they can pass through our body’s filters and enter our lungs and cells. In fact, PM2.5 pollutants can be touched, tasted, and obviously seen whenever you look out the window at a Shanghai skyline or a Beijing avenue. Smog and urbanization go hand-in-hand around the world, and China is certainly no exception.…

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What Brexit Might Mean for Global Trade and Policy

In an historical decision last week that shook the world, the United Kingdom voted through referendum to "Brexit", or leave the European Union, giving rise to numerous political, economic, and social implications. The social implications were already visible on a personal level over the weekend, as many people living in the UK — particularly ethnic minorities and foreign workers — have experienced…

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Off the Books: Informal Recycling in China

Resting at the forefront of nearly any discussion relating to the future of China’s rapidly developing economy is its rising urban population, with over 1 billion residents living in China’s cities by 2030. Since China has already established itself as the world’s largest waste-generator, rising levels of output due to increasing levels of affluence, consumption, and population stimulate many ques…

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The Elderly Challenge – China’s Graying Population

China faces an imminent and multifaceted challenge regarding its elderly population. It has the world’s largest aging population of 202 million people over the age of 60, a number that is expected to increase to 300 million by 2023 and 400 million by 2033. We can attribute China's aging dilemma to a myriad of factors, one of the most prominent being the 1978 One-Child Policy. While limiting each f…

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Labor Displacement and Industry 4.0 in China

Talk of robots replacing labor is everywhere, and a quick search will bring up a host of articles proclaiming our “jobs are at risk” or “the robotic revolution” is upon us. Over the last couple of months we at Collective have been conducting research into the future of labor in China and understanding robotics and automation has been a key area of interest. Throughout this period we have found…

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US Exports Trillions of Showers to China

Water is our most important natural resource, it has no replacements or substitutes and all human activity in some way relies on it to function – from the basic biochemistry of the body to large-scale thermal electricity production. Once abundant in many areas, as the planet’s population has grown and poorly managed industrial processes have polluted water sources all over the world, scarci…

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5 Factors that Keep Manufacturing in China

With the rising labour costs that have occurred in China over the past decade and the introduction of the 2008 labour laws the climate for low skilled manufacturing is not what it once was. As a result there is much talk of new manufacturing frontiers and the potential for them to take away jobs and production from China. ASEAN, India and Africa are all areas that are being touted as new, affordab…

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Sustainability and the Five Year Plan

Given the recent commitments to curb coal consumption, and the signature of carbon agreements in Paris, it should come as no surprise that the recently announced 5th year plan would heavily emphasize sustainability and the continued need to address China’s mounting environmental and social challenges. Within the recent plan, which you can access here, there are a lot of measures for corpora…

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Urban Mobility in China: Air Travel

Air travel is fast becoming the most popular form of international travel, and the industry in China is no exception to this. Commercial flying in the world’s second largest economy has had an immense amount of investment over the past decade, and it is the fastest growing passenger air market in the world. With the expectation that 300 million more people will move to cities over the next twenty…

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