Home » consumer computing » China: going either for good quality commodities or the premium brands only

China: going either for good quality commodities or the premium brands only

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Core information:

This was the major learning for me when I was watching the November roundtable ‘On China’: Chinese Consumerism led by CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout today. It was even mentioned that the wealthy Chinese may have a luxiory car parked on the roads leading to Shanghai airport in order to save the parking fee. I was also struck by the fact that there are around 1 million Chinese who have wealth of US$ 1 million or more, and this number will grow tzo 3-4 million this decade.

All these bode well with the findings in my post with a corresponding title: Boosting both the commodity and premium brand markets in 2013 with much more smartphones and tablets while the Windows notebook shipments will shrink by 2% [this same blog, Nov 20, 2012]. Note that this new kind of consumer computing trend is directly related to China as the leading market for smartphones already (see this, this and this) which will become the case for the tablet market as well in 2013. 

Here are the related excerpts I am copying here from the written report about the roundtable. You can watch yourself in full on Nov 24, 25, and Dec 1, 2 on CNN as described in the roundtable announcement.

From: What do Chinese consumers want? Not Barbie [CNN, Nov 21, 2012]

As China’s ranks of consumers swell — the number of middle class earners is estimated to grow 70% to 600 million by 2020 [from the current 300 million mentioned in the discussion recorded on video] — so too rises the stakes for companies looking to cash into China’s growing consumer market.

One area where Western brands have some headway against their domestic Chinese competitors is product safety, in the wake of scandals over tainted baby formula, fake eggs and exploding watermelons.

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.”

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