Planet Payment Blog

Meet Chinese Millennials, the Ultimate Target Demographic

There are 400 million Chinese millennials. That’s more than the population of the United States and Canada, of all ages, combined. Chinese millennials now outnumber their contemporaries in the United States by a factor of five.

China’s population, which accounts for 20% of the total world population, is obviously the prime cause for the huge number of millennials, as is their prodigious economy, which has multiplied in size 25 times since 1990. (United States GDP has multiplied just 2.5 times [still a healthy number] over the same period.)

Chinese millennials have already made a huge impact on cultural life in China, founding Chinese e-commerce giants like JD and Alibaba. Now they’re starting to make an impact abroad as well — with their wallets.

Chinese millennials are sometimes called Super Consumers. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that they spend more than nationals of a similar age: They grew up during an economic boom and are overwhelmingly single children, born under the “One-Child Policy” that was instituted in 1979 and only recently rescinded. They have no student loan debt.

With all this extra money to spend, what are they buying and why? Where are they making their purchases? These are essential questions that any retailers hoping to sell to China must answer.

Luxury Brands

Chinese millennials disproportionately favor luxury brands. They started shopping at a young age and tend to spend more per-transaction than Western millennials. Everything from fancy watches, high-priced handbags and top-shelf liquor to sports cars are flowing into China.

Between 2008 and 2014, the number of Chinese households purchasing luxury products doubled, according to an analysis by McKinsey & Company.

Mobile Shoppers

If you think millennials in the U.S. can’t put down their phones, just wait until you see these numbers.

90 percent of Chinese millennials own a smartphone, which perhaps should come as no surprise. How they use those phones compared to Americans is a surprise.

In 2015, 70 percent of Chinese millennials had shopped on a mobile phone. Just 35 percent of American millennials had. In 2016, mobile purchases in China totalled $506 million, compared to $123 million in the United States.

Globe Trotters

Just 6 percent of Chinese citizens hold a passport, yet China’s international tourism expenditure totalled an impressive $261 billion in April 2017 — the largest in the world by a large margin and around twice as much as the United States.

With so many Chinese millennials shopping online and shopping around the world, it’s essential for U.S. brands to accept UnionPay, the payment choice of China.

Open your Brand’s Door to China with Planet Payment

Planet Payment’s SecurePlus solution makes accepting credit and debit card payments from UnionPay easy, seamless and free of redirects. It’s why United Airlines and other top global brands trust us to open their doors to China.

Wondering how to market to Chinese consumers? Want to learn more about Chinese consumer preferences? Want to ride the wave of surging Chinese consumer confidence? It’s all here on the Planet Payment Opening the Door to China blog.

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