Are you a business owner, entrepreneur, or marketing professional looking to enter the Chinese market and attract Chinese millennials? If that is the case, you have stumbled upon the right article. OMD China, a marketing agency located in Shanghai undertook a survey of Chinese consumers and their view on anxiety, happiness, success, prestige, e-commerce and production.


What about Chinese millennials?


Let’s first review the millennial generation in China. Who are Chinese millennials? They are young Chinese who were born 1980’s and 90’s. They are usually aged between 18 and 25/30 years old. According to the US census database, this group accounts for almost 30% of the total Chinese population which represents over 380 million people.


Chinese millennials are very tech-savvy and ultra-connected. An estimated 277 million are using the internet, and most of them do so on their mobile phone. They spend on average 27 hours per week on the internet! Also, their cell phone is an obsession with 50% of Chinese millennials checking their phone every 15 minutes …

Another unusual characteristic explained by GGV Capital is the “Zhai” (宅 in Chinese)phenomenon. Zhai means “homebody”, someone who enjoys staying at home. The new Chinese generation is not only more web oriented they also enjoy playing video games and watching videos at home instead of going out.

Finally, three out 10 Chinese people aged under 25 years old care more about their friend’s recommendation (19% for brands and 9,4% for ads). This data shows that social media and sharing information is part of their daily routine and is a critical aspect of their culture.


Further findings of Chinese millennial aspirations …

china's millenials

OMD China conducted 16 face to face in-depth home interviews as well as a quantitative survey involving 2500 consumers in 8 cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, …) across four generations.


The major findings of this study were that:

  • Health is the most important concern for Chinese millennials and older generations
  • Chinese Millennials are looking for more adventure and unique experiences
  • They think that their success should rely more on EQ, IQ and hard work
  • Their social currency is geared towards digital products, physical appearance and social attention


According to OMD’s survey, almost 80% of the participants think that having good health, enjoying career success and having more money are all important means to reach happiness regardless of their age. One of the top concerns for all age groups is health, work pressure, housing prices, living cost, work life balance and pollution depending on the city category.


For the Chinese born in 1980’s and 1990’s, traditional sources of happiness such as health, career success and money remain. However, they do focus more than their parents and grandparents on having more friends (90’s: 25% – 80’s:15%), doing what they love (90’s: 33% – 80’s:24%) and having good parents (90’s: 16% – 80’s:15%).


Another feature of this generation is the fact that they care less than older generations about physical and material goods. As OMD said in their report:  “Brands will need to work at fostering emotional links beyond product features, create opportunities for people to build better connections with their core social groups and provide consumers with a sense of brand ownership”.

It is thus important to understand the need to go through social media to reach this target market.


source Digitalfashionagency

Regarding success, hard work, education, IQ, EQ and mindset are the most important factors of success for Chinese millennials born in 1980’s and 1990’s.  When we look at the older generations, we can see that money, family background as well as integrity were the most important reasons for success.

Chinese millennials are now more conscious about their individuality and uniqueness. Even though connections is still important, they value their personal work as well as individual strengths and understanding of others.


To conclude, “ The new Chinese social currency is experience, unique experiences …”. said OMD in their report “Future of China”. This effects how tourism players, e-commerce players and others who wants to attract Chinese millennials will have to market themselves digitally ….


Read some more:

  1. Cross Border in China, a big deal?
  2. What make Social Networks in China so “special” ?
  3. Which one is best for you: Wechat or Weibo ?
  4. Importance of Digital Marketing


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