5 Surprising Facts on the Consumption Habits of China's Post-00s Generation

    A study of 15,000 Chinese born after 2000 finds them eager to connect with their peers and pursue meaningful goals. They are less interested in foreign brands, naked materialism, and influencers.
    Photo: Shutterstock
    Yiling PanAuthor
      Published   in Retail

    In 2018, the first of China's 147 million citizens born after the year 2000 reached adulthood. A new report co-released by Tencent Social Ads and the Customer Research & User Experience Design Center (or CDC) found that the demographic has triple the savings of the post-90s generation, indicating a higher purchasing power and financial autonomy. Their ability to spend comes from their parents and family, and their tastes are more influenced by greater opportunities to travel abroad than any generation of youths before.

    The report, which included a survey of 15,000 post-00s and in-depth interviews with 24 of them, also found that they grew up in a significantly wealthier and more digitally developed world than even those born between 1995 and 1999. The social media apps the post-00s generation use also differ, as illustrated by the image above.

    The post-00s generation is poised to dominate every industry and change the landscape of luxury retail and marketing. The report points out five distinct spending habits of the post-00s generation that offers insights for brands and retailers on how to reach them.

    1. They admire people and brands that are dedicated and faithful#

    Nearly two-thirds of the young respondents surveyed said they “make decisions on their own”. They identify their interests and hobbies early and know how to use online resources to deepen their knowledge of a specific field. Seventy-two percent of them said showing an in-depth understanding of a certain field is a much better means of self-expression than consumption or career growth.

    This departure from more naked materialism makes brands and individuals who demonstrate a commitment to deeper values more appealing to post-00s consumers. Sixty percent of them like brands that show unique insights and 92 percent believe their idols should be truthful to their interests.

    2. They don’t consume beyond their capability#

    The post-00s generation was found to be realistic and mature with regards to their finances. As their parents usually give them enough money to spend and are transparent with them about what they can afford, they have a clear understanding of their economic power. Eighty-four percent of surveyed respondents said they would not purchase items that are beyond their capability. If they really need to buy items they cannot afford, they will first try to find a solution by themselves, for instance by working part-time to earn money.

    3. They care less about Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)#

    Equality is highly important for China's post-00s generation, the report said. That has led them to care much less about what authorities and experts say compared to previous generations. This distinct behavior has implications for influencer marketing in China. Only 16 percent of surveyed respondents indicated they trust KOLs when they recommend products. Most believed content produced by KOLs is motivated by commercial interests, making it less trustworthy. Contrary to the notion that they care less about authority figures, the report found that post-00s were more willing to look to Chinese celebrities for product recommendations. Yang Mi, Wang Yuan, and William Chan are the top three celebrities this generation likes.

    4. They use content as a social lubricant#

    As only children, post-00s are especially eager to connect with their peers. The report noted that 75 percent of them wanted to spend more time with their friends, while 66 percent said they would show respect to friends even if they had a very different points of view.

    This quality of inclusion has affected their social media consumption, the report argued. The post-00s generation hopes to engage with their peers on social media platforms, and sharing content is the means they use to do so. Sixty percent of survey respondents said they would use content as a way to trigger friends' response, even more than the 50 percent who use content to express themselves.

    5. They see no difference between home-grown and foreign brands#

    Brand origin is not a big factor determining the post-00s generation's shopping decisions, the report revealed. Supporting Chinese domestic brands is a way for this group to show their support for the country. More than half of surveyed respondents said being foreign or Western does not necessarily encourage them to buy a brand's products.

    Jing Daily takeaways#

    When targeting the post-00s generation in China, brands and retailers need to:

    • Craft brand stories about dedication and faith,
    • Reconsider the role of KOL marketing,
    • Place greater emphasis on content in their online marketing, and
    • Take into consideration the demographic's pride and interest in Chinese heritage.
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