Young consumers driving growth of China's domestic brands

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – At this year’s Singles’ Day shopping spree, Chinese domestic brands filled up the shopping cart of Wang Xinyi, a college student from southwest China’s Chongqing.

“Most of us choose domestic products nowadays because they are cost-effective and high in quality,” said Wang, who purchased daily necessities, clothes and digital products made by local brands during last week’s shopping festival.

Wang is among many young Chinese who increasingly opt for domestic brands that understand consumer needs and incorporate traditional Chinese style and culture.

According to a report released in September by Aurora Mobile, a big data solutions platform, nearly 70 per cent of post-90s and around 80 per cent of post-00s generations prefer to buy domestic brands for their daily consumption.

A similar report jointly released by Internet giant Baidu and an institute under People.cn also showed that Chinese people’s interest in domestic products soared by 528 per cent compared with 10 years ago.

Improvements in quality and branding have injected impetus into domestic products in growing sectors, including clothing, automobiles and cosmetics, with their popularity triple that of foreign counterparts this year, said the report.

Mumu (a pseudonym), a postgraduate from Beijing Foreign Studies University, became attracted to a locally-made coffee brand for its quality and environmental awareness.

“After saving a certain number of coffee boxes, you can exchange them for some other products. It’s really encouraging for people like us who care about the environment,” she said.

Besides good quality and customized products, domestic brands have become a rage among young consumers due to their innovative use of traditional Chinese elements and culture, Mumu added.

To woo young customers, the Palace Museum, one of the most visited museums in the world, has launched a collection of cosmetic products inspired by traditional Chinese architecture and astrology.

“Some designs with traditional Chinese elements like the crane and phoenix or embossed patterns always stick with me,” said Pu Dongfang, a student from Chongqing University.

The robust enthusiasm has driven the growth of domestic brands during this year’s Singles’ Day shopping spree. The turnover of Anta Sports, China’s largest sportswear company, exceeded 4.65 billion yuan (S$998 million) by the end of Nov 11 on various e-commerce platforms, up 61 per cent year on year, the company said.

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Experts say the rise of domestic brands is not limited to the growth in consumption data but more about recognising the country’s growing strength in culture, technology and the economy.

Young consumers, represented by post-00s who grew up when the country’s economy and wealth were taking off, boast stronger confidence and a higher sense of national identity than those of other groups, according to a report on post-00s generation released by Chinese internet giant Tencent.

Mumu hopes local brands can continue to improve the design and quality of their products and keep innovating to meet Chinese customers’ evolving needs.

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