The recent U.S. election has monopolized a great deal of
our time and brains. It’s over but the
election that may have an equal or even greater impact on the toy industry is
happening right now, behind closed doors in China.
Once every ten years, China chooses a new politburo and
top leadership. A politburo is the
executive committee of the Communist Party.
How China’s leaders are chosen is not transparent to those outside of the
country’s inner circle. What is believed,
however, that there appears to be several groups who vie for power based upon
family, political ties, and economic / political views (it’s hard to separate
the latter in China).
Whichever groups and their leaders predominate will say a
lot about how the Chinese economy and the social fabric will fare over the next
decade. Needless-to-say, those of us who
China and wish to sell our products there as well will be
impacted by the decisions the new politburo makes.
China’s enormous growth has been astounding. There has, however, been a price paid in the
form of social unrest due to some of the harshness and corruption which has
unfortunately accompanied the explosion in growth and wealth. Whoever takes over will need to find a
balance between growing the economy while at the same time softening life for
those who have been passed by during the economic miracle. The country has been facing labor unrest as
well as push back from environmentalists and those who seek complete freedom of
speech and of the press.
Who will be the new leadership; that in my next posting?