Everyone knows that the millennial generation is far different from its predecessors across the world, including in China, but what are the ways in which it differs? Research firm JWT Intelligence has recently tackled that question in a new report out entitled “Meet the BRIC Millennials“, a comprehensive survey of millennials in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Look below to see five key characteristics of this generation in China in particular, which will help shed light on the future consumption habits of this vitally important demographic.
They’re bullish about their personal finances. According to the survey, a full 83 percent of respondents stated that they think their finances will improve within the next six months, while 93 percent agreed with the statement “it is important that I am financially independent,” the highest rate among all BRIC millennials. However, the uncertain global economic environment prompted 76 percent to agree with the statement “my generation is being dealt an unfair blow because of global economic uncertainty,” and 68 percent said that their generation is struggling to find jobs.
They’re entrepreneurial. Despite job uncertainty, Chinese millennials are incredibly business-minded: when asked what they would do if they had trouble finding a job, 74 percent of them said they would start their own business. Technology will likely play a huge role in their new ventures: a full 93 percent agreed with the statement “technology has put so many professional and entrepreneurial opportunities in front of me.”
They’re more inclined to spend than their parents. China is known for its high personal savings rate among its citizens, but it looks like the government’s efforts to encourage domestic consumption may be working for the younger generation. Sixty-five percent of respondents said that saving money is more important to their parents’ generation. However, these consumers aren’t spending recklessly: 80 percent stated that spending wisely is more important than earning a lot of money, and only 25 percent said they’re buying more than they did two years ago.
Social media is an integral part of their lives. More than half of Chinese respondents clearly see social media as a key part of their identity, agreeing with things like “because of social networks, I have become more self-aware of the image I put out both online and offline” and “it’s important my social media profile conveys a certain image of me.” Amazingly, 51 percent say that when things they post online aren’t shared or commented upon, they actually feel bad about themselves as a result.
Social responsibility is important. According to 63 percent of Chinese respondents, “a lot of people my age are seeking jobs that give back to society.” Eighty-three percent believe that “my generation tends to care more about improving the world than other generations,” and 90 percent say that their generation is thinking less about “me” and more about what “we” can do together to address global issues.
They’re global citizens. Chinese millennials are looking for education and work opportunities worldwide. Seventy-eight percent agreed that going to college abroad helps career prospects, while 55 percent said they would consider moving to another place for work. Fifty-nine percent agreed that there is more opportunity for social mobility abroad than in China, but interestingly, this number was significantly lower than that of all the other BRICs millenials. Meanwhile, global millennial cultural convergence is apparent in the fact that 74 percent of them believe they have more in common with young people in other countries than with old people in their own country.