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modern Chinese consumer McKinsey

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Despite concerns about economic growth, the country’s consumers keep spending. Yet our latest survey reveals changes in what they’re buying and how they’re buying it.

ooling economic growth, a depreciating currency, and a gyrating stock market are making political and business leaders concerned that China’s economic dream may be ending. Yet Chinese consumers remain upbeat. In fact, consumer confidence has been surprisingly resilient over the past few years as salaries have continued to rise and unemployment has stayed low.

However, our latest survey of Chinese consumers reveals significant change lurks beneath the surface. Reflecting 10,000 in-person interviews with people aged 18 to 56 across 44 cities, our 2016 China consumer report, The Modernization of the Chinese Consumer, found that the days of broad-based market growth are coming to an end. Consumers are becoming more selective about where they spend their money, shifting from products to services and from mass to premium segments. They are seeking a more balanced life where health, family, and experiences take priority (Exhibit 1). The popularity of international travel is astounding among Chinese consumers, as is their adoption of trends such as mobile payments. And despite many similarities, consumer behavior can vary significantly among the country’s 22 city clusters.

Article

March 2016

Here comes the modern Chinese consumer

By Daniel Zipser, Yougang Chen, and Fang Gong