Dissecting the mind of millennials in China

by Webpower China in Blog

Dissecting the mind of millennials in China

Understanding the post 90’s consumers are important for many brands in this country, especially for online retailers. According to a study conducted by Hylink Group, the 90’s millennial account for $4 billion of online shopping in China.

The population of the post 90’s totaled to 200 million in China. In general, this group (as well as the entire millennial group) is described as ‘ATM’ by many Chinese: Accumulation shorten, Tingled on consumption and Making no plans. Well, despite of these negative-ish tags, there are more things about them.

Digital native & mobile-savvy

According to the report from Hylink Group, the number of APPs that Chinese 90’s millennials are using exceed American millennials by 3 times. Meanwhile, more than half of the millennials in China claimed that they check their mobile phones at least every 15 minutes. Now that so many things can be achieved on mobile: payments, hiring a nanny, ordering food…Chinese millennials are becoming more and more demanding. If there is a new service/technology available, they are more willing to try it out if it is accessible from a smart phone.

Not hinged on price

Generally speaking, the post 90’s do not make a huge sum of money. It is reported that the average monthly salary in Shanghai for this group is around 6,000 RMB (approx. 900 USD). However, the limited income doesn’t make their consumption price-orientated. They are more concerned about the intrinsic value: How does this product define my personality? Am I being special/cool using it? Are my peers using the same it as well? With that being said, value-added and innovative products/service are favored by this group.

Look-and-feel matters

At the same time, the packaging of products also casts big influence on the purchasing behavior of the post 90’s. If you take a look at the APP Little Red Book, one of the hottest ecommerce platform for imported products, many buyers stated that the only reason for buying a certain product is because it ‘looks adorable’. There is even a hashtag called ‘good-looks club’, generating hundreds of thousands mentions. Moreover, when it comes to purchasing a car, around half of the post 90’s chose ‘look and feel’ as their prime consideration (report from siilu.com).

Tend to over spend

The post 90’s were born at the beginning of China’s market economy era with ‘single-child’ policy. While the liberal market has made families much wealthier than before, the policy drove parents to pamper their only child almost excessively. Therefore, the post 90’s is the generation with least financial burden. Personal loans such as credit card and P2P finance are welcomed by the 90’s millennials. According to ppdai.com, one of the major P2P finance platform in China, 40% of the users in 2015 are post 90’s, and the purpose for borrowing was mainly ‘personal consumption’.

Like brands, but also maintain personal style

The post 90’s are very conscious about brands. They believe that good brand ensures quality, and that the brand you use/wear defines who you are. In apparel industry for instance, the 90’s millennials from top tier cities prefer brands that are simple, casual and ‘cool’. Examples of such brands are Hollister, Gap, :CHOCOOLATE, Aape etc. (study from 36kr.com)

At the same time, the post 90’s are also seeking personalization. Allowing people to personalize colors and design or having names carved on products are popular strategies to attract the post 90’s group.


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