The smashing introduction of Alibaba in Wall Street and the burst of Xiaomi into the world’s top 3 smartphone manufacturers recently highlighted the development of China in the field of Internet and technologies. But behind the success of these companies lies a market reality: Chinese consumers are super-connected and super-mobile.
In 2014, for the 7th year in a row, China was the country in the world where the most high rise buildings were built. 58 of the 97 200-meter-plus buildings completed across the world were in China. The city of Tianjin ranked first with 6 such tall buildings, followed by Chongquing, Wuhan and Wuxi with 4 each.
This is another sign of the dynamism of second tier cities which are following in the footsteps of tier 1 cities such as Shanghai and Beijing to become internationally recognized economic centers. It is these tier 2 cities, but also the lower tier ones, that have become the engine of growth for China.
China has become a huge and essential consumption market. Its enrichment brought a society of consumers where rich elites go alongside a middle class who displays its purchasing power. This population of over 350 million will continue to grow to reach 850 million by 2030. The Chinese consumers of today – and of tomorrow – will not be those of yesterday.
In a time of global economic crisis, most experts consider that domestic consumption is what stimulates the growth of China. For now, China is still the major country where consumption represents the smallest percentage of GDP, less than 50% compared to about 70% in Europe and 80% in the US, while investments represent nearly 50% of GDP vs about 15% in G8 countries, a record in economic history. This shows how much room there is for consumption to grow further.
It’s inevitable, the taste and consumption model of the Chinese people doesn’t stop evolving. How far can this this exploration go? What’s the image of French products in China? A study conducted recently by Ifop among Chinese people aged 20 to 40 living in major cities answers these questions.
Chinese people are experiencing a major shift in their eating habits. They tend to eat more fruits (64%), fresh market products (56%), dairy products (53%) and meat (41%) than 5 years ago, and in Shanghai specifically more prepared foods (38%), a phenomenon that can be associated to the fast paced lifestyle and westernization of the city.
Ifop is an official partner of Netexplo, the global observatory of digital transformation and how digital innovation impacts the life of people and corporations.
On February 5th, the winners of the 2015 Netexplo Forum were revealed at Unesco in Paris in front of 1200 decision leaders. One of the 10 laureates was Chinese Baidu Kuai Sou: connected chopsticks that detect contaminated food.