Shaun Rein

Women in China have become a major force among the country’s super spenders, writes Shaun Rein in CNBC. When you want to tap into China’s booming market, that is a group you have to understand.

Women have become a major driving force behind China’s economic and political growth – yet they remain little understood by western brand managers as an influence on household budgets. Not only are they exerting influence on decision-making in their own homes; they’re also making purchase decisions for their parents and pushing for greater legal protection for women in the workplace.

Many Americans harbor images of Chinese women shaped by movies like The Last Emperor or the Joy Luck Club, where they’ve tended to be portrayed as concubines with bound feet and treated like chattel by sex-crazed men. Reality thankfully is different.

One of the Chinese government’s great accomplishments has been promoting gender equality.  In the 1950s women accounted for only 20 percent of household income. That rose to 35 percent during the 1990s and has now reached parity. There are now more girls than boys getting a university education. Forbes reported last year half of the world’s 14 self-made billionaire women are Chinese…

Selling to Chinese women is critical for brands trying to offset slowing growth in developed markets. To sell to them, you need to develop their right marketing and sales channel that builds trust with them. As incomes rise, the trend is towards buying more premium, safe products.

More in CNBC.

Shaun Rein is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. When you need him at your meeting or conference, do get in touch.

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