Cars reflect social status, feel Chinese youth

A nation-wide survey conducted run by the China Youth Daily found over half of the respondents are planning to buy cars very soon.

The survey polled 1,541 respondents, 40 percent of whom were from small and medium-sized cities, and 43 percent were from provincial capitals.

Of the respondents, 60 percent said they were planning to buy a car in the next five years, while 16 percent already had one. Only 21 percent ruled out buying a car.

Many respondents wanted to buy cars out of peer pressure and associated cars with their social status.

Sun Shijin, professor in psychology in Fudan University said: "More and more people tend to use cars as show-off to satisfy their spiritual emptiness."

A few respondents considered the "convenience" of having a car as the main reason for wanting to own one.

Ma Liwei, a graduate student of Tsinghua University, bought a car a month ago. "The outreach of buses and subways is still limited, but with a car, I can go everywhere. Besides, driving saves time and effort compared to catching public transport," he said.

However, as China's car ownership skyrockets, traffic jams are becoming a huge problem in many cities. According to statistics, the number of cities with over one million vehicles has reached 15.

The Beijing Transportation Research Centre has predicted that Beijing's average driving speed would drop to below 15 kilometres an hour by 2015.

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