China goes (baby) boom!

  @FortuneMagazine December 19, 2013: 7:18 AM ET
FIO13 china baby boom

On a recent Saturday, Larry Kung, the co-founder of Leyou, a Chinese baby retailer that sells everything from imported infant milk formula to Chinese-made Huggies, made a surprise visit to his store in Beijing's newest mall, Aegean. Kung has spent the past two weeks tallying the estimates of expected new babies in China after the government announced the monumental step of relaxing its one-child policy. Best Kung can tell, China should deliver at least 1 million more babies a year, total. The boom for Kung will begin right here in the maternity section. He gestured toward a line of anti-radiation clothing.

Inside otherwise normal-looking blouses and dresses is a blended silver weave that supposedly prevents electromagnetic radiation from entering the womb. The clothes are some of the most popular products among new and soon-to-be mothers; the dresses cost $100. Kung asks a saleswoman if there's been a surge of buyers. Not yet, she says, adding that this item only sells after a couple months of pregnancy. She and her colleagues have been doing a bit of their own unscientific research, asking shoppers who arrive with a child whether they're planning to have second. She proudly tells her boss, "They say, they are considering!"

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