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[–] Zardoz 0 points 49 points (+49|-0) ago 

So here's the inside story IMO (I might do a proper article on this soon).

'Daytraders'. Americans may well remember when everyone and their cousin let you know they were now in the stock market from home? Remember all the advertisements for all the newest do-it-yourself at home Stock Software? Remember your friends tipping you off their brother-in-law is making like a $1000 a day just from buying and selling from his laptop! Around oh... 2007ish man oh man that was the hottest thing.

Anyways, that's China. Only difference is that its almost exclusively smart-phone Apps now. Its more popular among the wealthier new emerging middle-class (and up to wealthy). They LOVE IT. I remember really starting to hear about this a year ago and almost always like I was being let in on a little secret. It caught on like wildfire in my circles! Oh boy... every Zhao and his cousin and every auntie is on 'day trading' apps.

We've all heard of 'gaming addiction' but holy wow 'stock market traders' are the new thing. One businessman here sits outside chainsmoking for no less than 8 hours a night. Seriously. His phone literally doesn't drop but for rare calls. He has a battery. If it rains he will move 20ft to be under an awning. We wondered WTF and finally recognized it was these STock Market Apps.

Now its everywhere! Now that I recognize what the screens look like I see it EVERYWHERE. At night there are rows of people on park benches out here waiting-clicking-waiting-clicking.. then just watching little 'graphs' moving. I now see this on the buses everywhere. In fact, women LOVE IT. You'd think its dudes but in China women LOVE this iPhone Stock Trader biz. I see 'Hello Kitty' bejeweled iphone cases whipped out and there are those stock market apps again.

At first my partners obsessed with this used to spend a lot of time 1) letting you in on their secret 2) showing me what stocks they were making huge money on "Look I made 500 rmb today!" (i have no idea.. like 'pea curds' or whothehellknows stock) and I think the idea was I should get on board and start investing in pea curds ASAP (only for me.. don't tell my friends.. our secret!).

Now, I don't even need to continue here because I think everyone gets the idea. When 50 million Zhaos are all getting their Aunty to buy Pea Curd Stocks and they are all getting their cousin Chens to .... Bubble Bubble Bubble... POP!!!

Now, thing is. In a way this is awesome. This, IMO and prediction, this is a classic welcomed self-correction. Its not really going to be a constant trend either like this is about Chinas greater economy. Its about popping that fake bubble on top and GOOD.

Oh.. yes I just recently noticed a lot of chatter and sad faces from those involved since last year. Some of the 'originals' (seemed to get in early on the fad) seem to be the ones complaining or when I ask now "Dont' want to talk about it" sorta thing.

This was going to happen anyways. I guess I'd have been cool and awesome had I wrote this prediction on the internet last year when I already spotted trouble BUT it was going to happen either way.

*good thing is that having been through this back in the USA around 2007-08 when it was the hottest going thing among my circles there - I did NOT invest a single mao. not a 'penny' in anything.

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[–] Brushstroke 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Fascinating. Making a smartphone game out of stock trading seems like an excellent way to get people actually involved in the stock market, kinda surprises me that something like that hasn't caught on in the US. It also apparently is a way to create an economic crash. Cool!

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[–] DownByTheRiver 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

It's a terrible idea because of transaction costs. There are fee, commission, and tax implications every time a trade is made. Trade made with small dollar amounts are going to have a large percentage of the value lost to fees. For trades executed online, the commission is going to be around $7. So someone investing $100, would instantly be down 7% after their purchase.

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[–] oooWooo 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Seems like an easy way for your average person to develop a sort of gambling addiction.

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[–] Zardoz 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I know a bunch of the University students here do have some kind of Stock Market game. A 'simulator' thing of some kind. Its part of their course. I think the software things you can buy in the USA all have 'practice modes' as far as I can recall (Ive never used them outside of friends dicking around and showing me).

Chinese friends of mine are definitely buying and selling with real money. I have a running joke with one about who pays for lunch based on seeing her days' wins. Which seemed to be every day. I have noticed she has not bought me lunch lately for what its worth.

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[–] knuklz 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Fascinating diatribe on the culture and the virility of the trend. I would love to understand the psychology of it all at a deeper level. The addictive nature and the rush of the win, much like gambling perhaps? The interesting component is how credibility is exchanged, having the inside scoop, sharing it with a trusted confidant. If you do write the article I will consume it voraciously.

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[–] MetalCoreMeatWad 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

If you look at current trends with addiction and mobile gaming, it's not hard to see how apps like this would balloon. You're replacing the artificial reward typical mobile games give in exchange for cash, with real, tangible rewards. You've also simplified and lowered the barrier of entry something like trading, to a level where even the food shack owner down the street can get in. It's wonderfully genius and evil at the same time.

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[–] oooWooo 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Do you believe that this is their 'bubble' bursting before it has a chance to inflate to unmanageable levels? I'm not very well educated in the situation in China outside of the couple articles I've seen about them being on their way to the American 2008-style crisis.

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[–] Zardoz 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

honestly I'm not a financial guy at all but I went through 2008 like I was a bowling pin directly in the way of every consequence and one thing I just cannot get my head around here is the ridiculous housing prices. Which reminds me so very very much of USA 2008 :(

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[–] BPwBGm 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

so are these games or are they real stock market apps?

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[–] Zardoz 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

They are real. I'm not even sure if they are 'legal' or rather some kind of verfied commercial products or not so that's something I should ask about.