Declarations of love do not get much more highly charged than the one Zhao Xiuxia received from her husband recently on an LED screen bigger than a football pitch.
“Dear wife, I adore you. You work so hard for our family. Let’s struggle together for a better life,” scrolled the giant letters on an electronic ceiling above one of Beijing’s glitziest new shopping centres. As well as being a message of devotion, the mobile phone text message – magnified by 5m pixels – highlights the dramatic increase in the wattage of China‘s economy. The giant 250 metre-long screen at The Place retail centre is one of the most conspicuous symbols of an increasingly affluent and energy-hungry nation, which was said last week to have overtaken the United States as the biggest consumer of energy in the world.