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2012, maybe not the last but still one of the hardest year

(Xinhua)

13:14, January 01, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- The first day of 2012 was ushered in with not only "Happy New Year" wishes, but also a spate of doomsday discussions upon the arrival of the apocalyptic year as portrayed in American disaster film "2012."

Tencent, a major web portal in China, launched a poll about how to live the "last year," which garnered more than 5 million posts on Sunday on its weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service in China.

Sina Weibo, China's most popular weibo service, also set up web topics on "End of the World". "At the doorstep of 2012, I feel worried. Will the doomsday come? Can the stock market rise? Can the property bubble be eased? Can commodity prices drop? I can do nothing but watch," weibo user "something and some love of bogui" wrote.

Few people truly believe the world will end in 2012, but enthusiasm for the topic reflected increasing anxiety over, and dark visions for, the new year, Xu Yan, dean of the psychology department of Beijing Normal University, said, using the "chill of economic turmoil" as an example.

"My company had a rough go last year, and I dare not expect a better time in 2012," said Zheng Haosheng, president of King Deer, an export knotting plant beset by the European debt morass and sluggish economic recovery in the United States.

The growth of exports, a major engine driving the Chinese economy, slumped from 31 percent in 2010 to an average rate of 21 percent in the January-November period of 2011, slowing the pace of growth for three consecutive quarters in the world's second largest economy.

Hit hard by weakening external demand, King Deer's exports in 2011 contracted a sharp 20 percent from the previous year, putting tremendous pressure on Zheng, whose duty is to prop-up the factory of 13,000 workers.


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