Study: International Brands Have ‘Home-Turf’ Advantage with Chinese Tourists

Chinese shoppers headed to the United States are in search of American brands like Coach, according to a new study. (Shutterstock)

Chinese tourists headed to the United States are in search of American brands like Coach, according to a new study. (Shutterstock)

When Chinese tourists head abroad, a new study finds that they’re heavily focused on searching for brands that come from the country they’re visiting.

A recent review of nearly 300,000 online social conversations by Singapore digital insights firm 6Estates takes a look at the top destinations where Chinese travelers are headed, as well as the top categories and brands travelers are searching for in each country based on their public posts online.

The study found that most travel-related conversations focus on the United States, taking up 46 percent of all posts, while Japan was in second with 26 percent, Hong Kong in third with 21 percent, and Singapore in fourth with 5 percent. It concludes that outbound Chinese travelers mainly discussed buying luxury goods, cosmetics, clothing, and watches when abroad.

While they’re interested in buying top luxury brands including Hermès, Chanel, and Estée Lauder in most of the destinations they’re headed, they’re also especially focused on buying local brands.

According to 6Estates CEO and Co-Founder Gary Chin, “In the United States, they talk about Coach, in Singapore it’s Charles & Keith, Sasa in Hong Kong, and Uniqlo in Japan.”

Social platforms examined in the study included Weibo, WeChat, TripAdvisor, Qiong You, and Baidu Q&A, with most of the users coming from Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. The firm looked at both positive and negative comments by travelers such as, “I love this Charles & Keith leather phone cover; the quality is super good! My zodiac year is coming and I have bought more and more red-colored things; I don’t know why.”

Top destinations in the United States were New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, while in Japan, travelers were headed to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. The research for Hong Kong and Singapore was able to get more granular, finding that travelers headed to Singapore were mainly planning to shop and stay in the Sentosa and Orchard Road areas, while those headed to Hong Kong were most likely to head to shopping hotspots Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway.

Thanks to the emphasis on local brands, Chinese travelers were in search of different product categories in different locations. While all places were popular for luxury goods in cosmetics, Chinese consumers were especially interested in buying electronics in Japan and food in Singapore.



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