22 October 2016
Many Chinese mothers find time for dances only in the evenings now, as they are busy trading stocks during day-time.
Many Chinese mothers find time for dances only in the evenings now, as they are busy trading stocks during day-time.

China’s dancing grannies and office workers go crazy over stocks

In China, there is a golden rule for investing: “Don’t go against the government”.

This prompts people to always time their speculative bets in line with perceived policy changes or initiatives.

Right now, the general feeling is that Beijing wants to use a buoyant stock market as a stabilizing element for the society to offset a tepid actual economic situation on the ground.

Given this view, is it any surprise that mainland retail investors have turned more bullish about the prospects for the A-share market?

We now have Chinese mothers and youth eagerly participating in the market in a fresh speculative frenzy. And their new-found interest has started to affect other aspects of their daily lives.

Usually, square dancing or plaza dancing is popular among Chinese middle-aged and retired women as the activity costs next to nothing and it’s easy to join.

One could always find in the plazas or parks groups of Chinese mothers dancing to loud music every morning and evening.

But now, it’s now hard to see such groups in the morning.

Each group of “dancing nannies” needs to have several experienced leading dancers to lead the dance. Now such people are in short supply as most of them are busy trading stocks.

These days, the majority of Chinese mothers only dance in the evening, and their conversations are always about stock market as they exchange trading information and results after the dancing session.

And it’s not only the Chinese mothers who have turned crazy about equities. Many white-collar workers are also finding it hard to concentrate on their duties as they feel the urge to keep checking on stock prices constantly through the day.

Amid this situation, some companies have tried to stop their employees from trading stocks during office hours by blocking trading software and websites. Tech firm is one of them.

But the corporate efforts can go only so far in this era of smart mobile devices. 

“Luckily, we’ve entered the age of mobile internet. I have downloaded trading apps on my phone. I have invested all I have in the market, and I will go crazy if they stopped me from checking the prices,” a worker told a Chinese reporter.

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EJ Insight writer

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