Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Today's super consumers

No wonder Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple computer had left everyone's months hanging out, by his email to China Mobile for launching iPhone in China. At that time China has about 600 million mobile handsets in use and China mobile had nearly 3/4 of the market. Steve felt that the Chinese market was integral to the company's continued growth. He was right. China has a population between 1.2 to 1.5 billion. The United States is the third most populated country on earth at about 320 million people, and is the largest consumer society on earth for now, and yet as a market the U.S. Is China's rounding error. Similarly, Europe's population is more that 400 million people and China is likely to have almost 500 million online shoppers by 2015. Before we dive into the background and the backdrop of the past, culture and history that shapes China's super consumers, lest consider a few more facts: 

General Motors sold more than 3 million cars in China in 2013 and expects to sell 5 million in 2015 and 2016. China is Audi's most important market and Porche expects China to be its biggest market until 2015. Thirst Chinese consumer more beer and wine by volume than any country on earth. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada are the three most desired luxury brands in China, and each drives a significant percentage of profit from China Sales. Coach’s second-largest market is in china and China has made Michael Kors the most searched for brand on the internet.

It’s not difficult to notice why world’s famous companies are focusing on Chinese consumers- young, old, men, women. Many Chinese citizens have been asking themselves: “Why should I follow the cultural tradition of sacrifice and modest means, when I can afford a consumer and brand lifestyle that I see many of my friends pursuing as well?” China’s consumers are exhibiting their tastes, sophistication, spending power, adoption of the best of the west and their ultimate Chineseness through travel. All of the industries, companies and nations that are tend to benefit from Chinese mass consumption find these benefits at their doorstep when China travels.  

Chinese consumers have changed the world and will continue to change the world. American consumers changed America and the world in the second half of the twentieth century. The same thing is happening in China today. We have worked for more than 20 years to build not only bridges between foreign and Chinese companies and executives but to build cultural, linguistic and personal ties between China and rest of the world. Part of that process now includes understanding the good, the bad and ugly realities that China's consumers have created in order to ensure the future growth and comfort of China and the foreign and domestic companies who have benefited and seek to continue benefiting from Chinese mas consumption. 

Source:"China's Super Comsumers" by Wiley

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