Why Chinese drinkers are the greatest ‘contributors’ to China’s stock market

Can you imagine a major stock market with a liquor brand showing the strongest growth momentum? In China, this can and does happen. The rising share price of China’s leading liquor maker Kweichow Moutai is a reflection of the consumption transformation in the world’s second-largest economy, which is often ignored by Western observers.

In the morning trading session Monday, Moutai saw its stock price exceed 800 yuan ($119) per share, pushing its total market value above 1 trillion yuan.

With a population of about 1.4 billion and a growing army of middle-class consumers, the Chinese economy has its own characteristics. For many Western people who have never been to China, it’s hard to imagine that a liquor maker can become a first-class enterprise, standing shoulder to shoulder with some well-known US high-tech giants, but Chinese people really did it.

Amid the ongoing process of restructuring, China’s economic picture has become more complex and uneven. Some high-tech firms, such as telecoms giant Huawei, have become world leaders in developing cutting-edge technology, while other companies in traditional sectors have become pillars of the national economy, thanks to the country’s consumption transformation. These are achievements that Western media outlets all too often ignore.