A Closer Look At This Unique Market Segment: Chinese Millennials

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Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a 2-part blog series about China market and the role of language solutions and internet services.

The Chinese millennials are the most influential consumer segment.

They are the 25.2% of China’s population and have unique characteristics, which set them apart from the older generations and also their global counterparts.

Born between the 1980s and 1990s, they are less likely conforming to conventional thinking. With more than 400 million as of this writing, global companies can’t overlook the opportunities in their spending habits, lifestyle, and mindset.

We discovered these characteristics that will help global companies understand more of this market segment, which is currently shaping China’s consumption. Let’s take a look at the first three.

#1 Privilege generation

They are born without brothers or sisters as playmates—a significant factor that affects the mindset of these consumers. They are the product of one-child policy generation, aged 19 to 35 years old, and are called “little empresses” or “little emperors.”

They grew up in an environment where they are treated as the “apple of the eye” of the parents and grandparents. Interestingly, they also grew up when China was undergoing economic reforms and experiencing financial prosperity.

This privilege and entitled generation enjoyed much of the attention of the parents and grandparents. They were given the best treatment and everything they wish for, and in return, had cultivated a demanding, self-entitlement behavior, which also affects the consumption.

Your approach on marketing and business development: provide fast solutions and sell the idea of entitlement that they deserve the best of everything (e.g., premium products that touch the “entitlement and privileged” mindset. Make them feel superior and engage in a way that resonates with their passion through powerful Chinese copywriting and messages.

#2 Fun and socialized generation

They are educated consumers. The internet has been the place of fun and socializing since they grew up during the internet and social media boom.

As privileged and growing up as an only child, the internet is the tool for personal enjoyment, including shopping. Moreover, shopping isn’t just mere spending money, but a part of their entertainment and socializing.

They are the most digitally connected and savvy generation compared to other generation, and extremely active on social media. Fast, efficient, and connected to the internet, the ubiquity of WeChat in their personal lives shape how they make transactions online.

They are known as drivers of growth especially in the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and luxury and fashion sectors.

Your approach to marketing and business development: never miss a chance to go mobile. Check your website, is it mobile responsive? Are you present and responsive in social media channels? Please take advantage of the mobile apps and tools they use to engage with them. WeChat is the widely used social media app in China. Explore the marketing features and mini-programs, which can help you amplify your brand.

#3 A westernized generation

Internet and social media have been useful for finding resources, where some do not adhere to government principles.

So since they grew up during the time China is experiencing prosperity and opening its doors to modernization, they have adopted remnants of western mindset.

Those who can afford to study abroad are more open-minded than the older generations. Technology isn’t just a thing they use, and it’s part of their lives where a fusion of nationalism and western ideologies are consumed using different mediums.

Those who can get through the Great Firewall using VPN are likely to consume westernized content, which also affects the way they think towards the community, government, and how they should live their lives.

Your approach on marketing and business development: they still share the same interests as any millennial overseas, but localization of communication channels such as using local social media and maintaining your brand’s voice with a fusion of Eastern beliefs appeal to them. While they are likely to consume products and luxury items outside of China, the ability to convey your message and brand’s identity that retains a touch of “Chinese” will win their hearts.

Stay tuned for the next part of this blog and let us know how this post has been an eye-opener to you as a global company or a digital marketer.