BUSINESS EDGE: "China's Booming Consumer Economy: An Opportunity for American Businesses" -- Fall, 2008

How has China's economic growth affected consumer purchasing power? "The average 9% annual growth rate in the Chinese mainland since 1978 has helped the country's per capita income to grow from $168 that year to $2,458 in 2007," says Anita Tang, managing director of Royal Roots Global Inc. 

"If an American firm wants to go into a new market in the Far East, learn the culture," Tang advises. "Learn the habits. Learn the income level. Then figure out a business model - including marketing - that can sell to your target market."