(From South China Morning Post)
Byline: Mark O'Neill in Shanghai
When a young American took the train from Guangzhou to Beijing in 1980, fellow passengers always asked him three questions.
"Where do you come from? What do you earn each month? How much does a television cost in your country?" The passengers measured the wealth of a person and a country by its TVs.
In the 24 years since then, the world has turned upside down. In China, the colour TV has changed from being a luxury product available only to those with money and connections to a mass-market item, selling for as low as 800 yuan, equivalent to less than one month's salary for an average urban worker.
Among the companies credited with this transformation is the country's biggest producer, Sichuan Changhong Electric, …