Chinese Consumer Behavior

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Since China is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world, most multinational companies want to boost their market share here. To be a winner in this huge market hinges greatly on a better awareness of the Chinese consumer’s needs and wants. Now let us look at some interesting characteristics among the general Chinese consumer behavior. Informal channels of communication are important in Chinese society. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends often carry more weight than television advertising or a sales pitch because of the high contact rate among group members. ‘Face consumption’ influences the Chinese much too. The concept refers to the motivational process by which individuals try to enhance or maintain self-face, as well as show respect to others’ face through the consumption of products. For example, receiving guests with high price drink can help the host to save face. The average cell phone purchasing frequency in China is about one phone every 1.5 years as cell phones are a token of status and attribute to the social status of a Chinese individual. Personal style and fashion are emphasized more by the Chinese consumers. Owning to the increase in income and sociological forces, they are expecting better lifestyle and looking for aesthetic and latest fashions, becoming more individualistic. Meanwhile, quality awareness is also increasing among buyers, especially in the wake of quality defects that have been seen as threats to public health and safety. The last common feature of Chinese buyers is the presence of ethnocentrism. Although the preference for foreign brands has gradually increased, Chinese prefer domestic brands more. Even the new generation with better education than its predecessors is open to Western ideas and products, but still proudly supportive of their own Chinese culture.
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