Chinese economy enters age with 'super consumers': US experts
Updated: 2015-05-07 17:00
NEW YORK - China has emerged as the most important consumer market in the world, said Michael Zakkour, vice-president of US consulting firm Tompkins International, in a Wednesday panel discussion on Chinese consumers.
Experts attending the panel at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York attributed the thriving of Chinese consumption in recent years to basically four factors: the booming of e-commerce, urbanization, rise of middle class and Chinese going global.
"With the development of borderless e-commerce in the past two years, Chinese consumers now can not only buy goods from Alibaba, but also from Amazon in the US," Zakkour told the audience.
Some 500 million Chinese now shop online, he added, 200 million more than the entire US population.
According to ZakkourHe, the urbanization process in the past 20 years and the emerging of middle-class people, who enjoy more disposable income than any other time in history, have given birth to "super consumers", featuring higher motive and purchasing power.
Moreover, more and more Chinese are going overseas with their loaded wallets. Last year, about 125 million Chinese made overseas trips. The figure will double in the next five years, Zakkour said.
"The Chinese travelers spend an average of $7,000 for each trip, while American travellers spend $2,000 per capital per trip," he said.
Experts point out that foreign companies that seek to win Chinese consumers should not only enter China's market; instead, they should view Chinese consumers in a global perspective.
Recent slowdown of Chinese economic growth has raised concerns over the future trend of Chinese consumption. Experts at the panel believed that the 7-percent economic growth remains strong globally and Chinese domestic consumption is sure to grow as Chinese government rebalances the economy.
Jason Merritt, assistant vice-president of HSBC Bank, said that there are great opportunities in terms of consumer sector in China and the business environment is getting better for overseas investment.
For those foreign brands who are eager to succeed in China, they should also keep in mind the distinctive culture, philosophy and mindset of Chinese consumers, Zakkour said.