Mark Tanner
29 January 2013 0 Comments

Chinese have long been renowned savers. The average Chinese consumer has among the highest saving rate in the world, putting away 52% of their income, compared to a global average of 19.7%. By comparison, 52% of Americans spend more than they earn. Nevertheless, buying on credit is becoming increasingly popular in the Middle Kingdom, especially among younger consumers. As consumerism spreads into Chinese society, buying on credit is creeping in too, making it easier for consumers to buy more things that portray success and give them face.

Below you’ll find a handful of articles about premium brands, from iPhones to cars, using credit to help their products appear more competitive against lower priced local alternatives. China’s hugely-popular payment system, Alipay, is also expanding it’s payment options by allowing consumers to buy online and offline with a smartphone. Businesses selling to Chinese consumers regularly overlook alternative ways to pay, but with new channels and increasing acceptance of them, they are worth considering to help sales. But obviously there’s a lot more to selling and marketing in China than payment options, so we’ve also got the usual roundup of articles to help you better plan for it. We hope you find some of it useful, enjoy!

Chinese consumers Chinese Consumers

Foreign Brands Tread New Paths in China: Western brands look for new ways to sell in China – with online initiatives & increased credit options – setting up a store on high street isn’t working too well any more as MediaMarkt, Home Depot, Best Buy & Barbie all found out.

China’s Boomers Face a Retirement Crisis: Chinese retirees: perhaps the only consumer segment in China without soaring growth in disposable income? Pension payments became the biggest single Chinese Central Government expenditure in 2011, more than doubling from 2006. Take note if they’re your target market.

Top-50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands: China’s top brands: More than twice the number of brands dropped in value than grew, with tech brands more likely to grow and SOE brands more likely to decline. Smaller tier cities chose value over bling for branded goods.

Chinese banking and finance Chinese Banking & Finance

Chinese Auto Dealer Group Sees Big Jumps in Consumer Financing: The China credit creep: More Chinese consumers are using credit to buy cars, especially the young – 20% for some dealership chains, although 10% overall. Some pick it will rise to more than 50% in 10 years.

Apple Moves to Boost China Sales with Credit Option: Apple plan to lure more Chinese consumers into buying on credit. Hoping to win back customers from much lower cost Chinese brands’ 50%+ share of China’s smartphone market.

China’s Alipay Relaunches its e-Payment App as Alipay Wallet with Online-to-Offline Payments : Alipay relaunches their e-Payment platform to allow Chinese to purchase with their Android devices offline, as well as online, to further innovate in China’s payment market. The market is becoming increasingly competitive with competitors such as Sina and Tencent social pay functions.

Chinese food and beverage Chinese Food and Beverage

Imports Gain Importance: Food Imports just keep growing in China. Sales of imported food on Walmart’s ecommerce arm increased 5 times from 2011 to 2012. Metro China’s growth has been 20-30% annually with milk, wine and olive oil popular.

Chinese Eager to Milk Brand NZ: China are eager to capitalize on New Zealand’s strong dairy brand, well ususally strong. Is Chinese investment in NZ Dairy good or bad for the country?

Chinese Internet Internet

WeChat App Surpasses 300 Million Users: It was just in September it hit 200m. WeChat has definitely cemented itself as the current hot online network in China. I wonder if the press about censoring on WeChat has affected international signups.

China, Brazil and Singapore Best Digital Consumers: Chinese consumers are the biggest digital consumers globally, up with Singapore & Brazil. Among urban Chinese consumers, 78% own or intend to own a smartphone, 76% a laptop and 51% a tablet – all higher than USA, UK, Germany & Australia (the global average is 53% for smartphone, 26% for tablet). 48% of Chinese consumers use smartphone & 60% use their laptop while watching TV according to KPMG.

Digital and Mobile in China: A good roundup of up-to-date Chinese online stats.

Chinese auto Auto

Ford May Alter Lincoln Models to Appeal to Chinese Buyers: China-fying the all-American Lincoln? As part of the move away from the ‘one-Ford’ strategy, Ford are looking to customize Lincolns for chauffeurs and put in bigger lights.

Chinese tourists Chinese Tourism

Chinese Choosing Prada Over Louvre: A higher portion of China’s expected 94 million tourists will visit Europe next year, but they’re not letting fine food & sights get in the way of shopping time. Chinese visitors to Europe, HK or Singapore spent an average of $14,700 on shopping per trip last year.

Chinese luxury Luxury Goods

Guess Who’s Driving Pickup in China’s Luxury Spend?: Males account for 55% of luxury spend in China- much more than the global average of 40% males. No doubt, Government and business men giving gifts accounts for a lot of that

That’s the skinny for the week!

If you’ve missed earlier news or need to learn more, there’s a library of information about Chinese consumers in prior China Skinny Weeklys right here. You can have this delivered to your inbox each week by subscribing for email updates, or if social media is more your thing, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS feed.  If you have any feedback or suggestions for future articles, please let us know.