Do Chinese consumers prefer to buy local or foreigner ?
China : the second biggest high-tech products consumer country
China is the world’s second largest consumer technology market, behind the United States. Thus, right now, the country is shared : do local consumers have to support their country economy by purchasing “Made in China” products or rather the opposite, buying what they think is the best ?
According to the president of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the executive chief Gary Shapino, the country is expecting to become the biggest technology consumer in 2016 going beyond the United States thanks to a strong local buying power and the fast development of the innovation sector of the country.
What is CEA ?
CEA is the acronym for Consumer Electronics Association. CEA is the organiser of Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the most awaited high-tech and innovation event worldwide. This event is held each year in Las Vegas.
This year, this event goes abroad for the first time, in Shanghai. It has been the first for this event to hold out of the USA. Besides, this time again, a survey had been organized regarding the Chinese consumers’ behavior towards modern technology.
According to 59% of the respondents, buying “Made in China” products is a good way to support the country economy. The ones that think of themselves as patriots should then do so.
On the contrary, according 58% of the people who answered the survey, buying Apple or Samsung won’t actually have a real impact on the Chinese economy since most of the technology products are in reality produced in China.
The director for market researches of CEA, Steve Koenig then quoted a respondent woman : “Chine is China is my motherland. Buying domestic tech products would help stimulate the country’s domestic demand. I will do my bit even though my effort is insignificant.”
On the opposite, he then quoted another woman who said : “I couldn’t care less which country the technology belongs too.” According to her, what matter the most is the quality of the product and not the origin.
The key elements in the decision-making
According to the answers obtained for the survey, the major disadvantages when buying “Made in China” are a lower quality, less innovative products and a lack of distinction. That is the reason why according to Chinese people, when we talk about quality, foreign firms have an advantage.
Price also has an important role to play in the buying decisions make by Chinese consumers. Indeed, according to 73% of the respondents, “Made in China” products are often cheaper than the foreign ones. That is why price is a key factor in the purchasing decision-making of local products unlike foreign products.
Moreover, according to the answers of the survey, the so-called “patriotic purchase” is also an important aspect when the Chinese decide to buy high-tech products, just like the consumers’ age. Indeed, regarding consumers in their 30s, 66% of them prefer international brands because it gives the impression to serve the “status symbol”.
Censorship to repel the foreign competition
Administrative presidents Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang want to see more and more control over ideology by using the national propaganda in order to sometimes defeat the importance of technologies and foreign products.
In the communist country, several foreign tech services are censored like Facebook and Twitter since 2009, just after the Olympics games of 2008 in Beijing. This censorship helped Chinese copies of these services to gain strength.
Moreover, Chinese mobile phones creators have found high requested in order to develop apps and online services like Weibo. Weibo is a micro-blogging website belonging to Sina, the online portal leader in China.
Steve Koeing, director of the market researches for CEA said that China and foreign enterprises should learn from this survey on how to gain Chinese consumers’ hearts and minds, mostly regarding smartphones, televisions and in the same sector, wearable high-tech business. Besides, several Chinese policy analysts noticed a recent trend towards nationalism in China. So do the “Made in China” will gain strength as much as the “Made in France” ? Stay tuned.
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