s a competitive soccer player. He paid former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudolph Mered
ith $400,000 to pass Guo off as a recruited player, despite Guo never having played soccer competitively.
Guo has since been expelled by Yale. Meredith resigned and pleaded guilty to federal fraud-related charges.
Neither the Guos nor the Zhaos have been charged in the investigation, which was
made public in March. Federal prosecutors have charged 50 people in six states, inc
luding 33 parents who allegedly paid a total of $25 million to Singer between 2011 and February this year.
The typical sum ranges from $15,000 to $75,000 per child for rigged college entrance exams, and $100,00
0 to $400,000 per child for what Singer called his “side door” to admission-guaranteed access to top institutions. M
ost international students gain admission through the “front door”-doing it on their own.
In court, Singer admitted using his charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation, to collect payments from parents and bribin
g coaches and others. He has pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges and is awaiting sentencing.
Parents who have pleaded guilty or agreed to do so include the preside
nt of a California real estate company and his wife, and the actress Felicity Huffman.
ities have grown more quickly than in big cities, including clothing, food, beverages and home appliances, Chen added.
During Spring Festival in February, small-town youths in third- an
d lower-tier cities outperformed their peers in bigger centers of population in consu
mption across major e-commerce platforms, including the number of orders placed and the range of products bought.
In third- and fourth-tier cities, total online spending during Spring Festival rose by 55 percent year-on-year, comp
ared with 51 percent in first-tier metropolises. Spending by small-town youths on beauty products rose by 7.8 perc
ent year-on-year, compared with a 5.4 percent increase among their peers in larger cities, according to a report rel
eased by Tmall－Alibaba’s e-commerce platform－and market research company Kantar Worldpanel.
Small-town youths have also boosted the movie industry. For example, in the first quarter of this year, some
56 percent of the box office for The New King of Comedy came from lower-tier cities, as did 46 percent for Crazy Alien.
she buys cosmetics, handbags and clothing from top brands through cross-border e-commer
ce platforms every month. Sometimes, she drives for one to two hours to neighboring bigger cities, such a
s Wuxi in Jiangsu, and Shanghai for shopping. She also plans two or three overseas trips every year.
“I don’t have any housing or car loans, and don’t have to worry about daily costs, as I live with my parents. I usually spend all my sa
lary on daily consumption and entertainment, which is quite common for people such as myself,” she said.
Jason Yu, managing director of Kantar Worldpanel, said small-to
wn youths look to the internet for the latest information, products and lifest
yles. The gap between young people in lower-tier cities and those in metropolises has narrowed greatly.
“Small-town youths now have broader horizons, are well informed, and some have even started to lead ‘avant-garde’ lifestyles,” he said.
unt for about 20 percent of the total, but they have quadrupled in the past two years.
“If you can prove to small-town youths that the products are useful, they are willing to pay,” Lan said. “Some inno
vative Saky products have also seen rapid growth in lower-tier markets, including one that removes stains from teeth.”
Chen, from Roland Berger, said that while small-town youths are narrowing the gap with their count
erparts in bigger cities in many ways, they still have many distinct demands. If companies want to win t
hem over, it is important for them to have a deep understanding of lower-tier markets and to draw up strategies acc
ordingly, whether in building brand awareness, or providing specialized products and distribution channels.
For example, while helping a jewelry company to access lower-tier markets, he found tha
t jade inlaid with gold is very popular, although it is considered unfashionable by consumers in large cities.
“Products that just scratch the surface, like simple tours of famous universities, have fallen out of favor with the market,” Zhang says.
Language training, NASA’s space camp, computer programming, homes
tays, wild animal care and desert and museum experiences are among the most popular options.
“Certain volunteering and public-welfare routes have seen a particularly fast increase in bookings,” Zhang says.
During the recent winter vacation in February, study-t
rip bookings surged by 80 percent compared with the same period of last year.
Domestic trips cost roughly 4,500 yuan ($663) per capita on ave
rage, while expenditures hit 21,000 yuan for outbound experiences, the agency reports.
Parents from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong province’s Guangz
hou and Shenzhen are the most willing to spend, according to Ctrip’s data.
Ballard County and has been set up to use the carp acquired by the fish center. Twelve tracts of land inside the park are for sale.
On opening day, eight tracts were already claimed, with most of the investors coming from China.
Jiang Chenguang, an internet businessman from the Guangxi
Zhuang autonomous region, launched the United Fisheries Group to process carp into fish balls
and fish cakes for export to China. Two Rivers Foods will process smoked fish, and has already shipped a smoker to the site.
A business called Lakeside City has been formed to process carp into salted fish, while
Eco Fish, which already existed, has hired fishermen to catch carp, process them and recycle waste into fertilizer.
Zhu Hongwei, a hotel and catering businessman from Jiangsu province, decided on the day the indus
trial park opened to buy one tract of land for food processing. “I will decide how to process the fish later,” Zhu said.