Well, the Guardian article on binge drinking in China undoubtedly got the attention of others than me. Here are some choice quotes:
'"If I drink, it doesn't necessarily help me get promoted. But if I don't, it's less likely that I will be. So I must drink, even if it's not pleasant at all," Chi explains. "People want to show they are forthright and try to get along with others … It's very normal to get an order to drink from bosses."
'In fact, some job adverts explicitly demand applicants who can hold their alcohol. "Candidates with good drinking capacity will be prioritised," says one..."The job is to develop business through establishing closer connections with our clients. Drinking is a big part of the work," explains the recruiter, adding that the successful candidate will need to handle 250 to 500ml of baijiu at a time.'
'...in the last few decades, consumption has soared, fuelled by increased personal freedoms and rising incomes. "Excessive drinking, frequent drinking [five to seven days a week] and binge drinking behaviour have reached epidemic proportions among current drinkers in China," warned a study published in the journal Addiction last month.
'Bingeing and excessive drinking were most common in men aged between 35 and 44; and frequent drinking increased significantly with age, whereas in "Anglo" cultures alcohol consumption usually peaks in the late 20s or early 30s, the paper noted.'
From personal experience I know that a few jugs of Maotai passed around the table at business dinners can create a lot of good will, but also many red faces and stumbling staggers to the restroom, and worse.
So can it perhaps be that experienced marketeers in Europe, Oz and perhaps North America are looking at ways to get the Chinese to shift from baijiu to wine, just as the Japanese shifted a fair degree from sake and shochu to wine? The older demographic for heavy drinking obviously means purchasing power, too. Of course it also means the potential for worse health problems as an older liver has to process too much alcohol....
Binge drinking means more marketing opportunities in China?
- Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Aug 24, 2011.
They need a few jaegermeister machines.
- Reply by dmcker, Aug 24, 2011.
Having consumed the better part of a whole bottle of Jaeger at a going-away-party in a beer palace last Friday, I'm thinking at the moment that even Maotais might be tastier. At least with some good Chinese cusisine by their side....