Shaun Rein said his company, China Market Research Group, interviewed 5,000 Chinese consumers in 15 cities last year. “Their biggest concern in life, ahead of being able to pay education for their kids, or for medical care cost for their families, was food and product safety,” Rein said.
“They’re absolutely petrified of biting something and dying, or getting toxic shock syndrome from a toy. So what we’ve found is in these 5,000 consumers they trust foreign brands far more than they trust local domestic Chinese brands,” Rein said.
A dichotomy is growing in Chinese consumer trends between shopping for status and shopping for value.
“What that means is, people don’t buy mid-level brands, which is why you see (brands?) like Marks & Spencer, or Li-Ning, or Gap kind of struggle, because these are branded for middle-class consumers,” Rein said. “What we see is people either shop for the most expensive things they can get, like a Louis Vuitton or Hermes bag, or they go for the cheapest.”
This week, on November 22, the China Weekly Hangout is about the future of nuclear power in China. You can register at our event page here. (Two weeks earlier we missed the change in daylight saving time in the US and had to cancel.) First part will focus on the resumption of building nuclear power stations, the second part of the chances NIMBY protests can derail this ambitious program. Planned participants: Richard Brubaker and Chris Brown.
- Hope for a more constructive second Obama term – Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- How China’s middle class differs from the American one – Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- China says, do not push us around – Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Anti-China hysteria in the US “concerning” – Shaun Rein (chinaherald.net)