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  • Johnny Ho, Felix Poh, Jia Zhou and Daniel Zipser

China consumer report 2020: The many faces of the Chinese consumer

Five trends emerged in the latest research from our Chinese Consumer Survey, offering insight into what over 5,000 consumers in the region think about spending, brands, health, and more.

China’s slowing GDP and the trade dispute with the United States have injected a cloud of uncertainty into the Chinese economy. Some observers have predicted that these developments will spell bad news for Chinese consumption, which has thus far been a powerhouse for economic growth.

Our research shows that they may not need to worry too much.

Although traditional drivers of China’s economy—investment, exports, and manufacturing—are struggling, the country’s consumers remain confident. After dipping in the second half of 2018, the Consumer Confidence Index hit a ten-year high earlier this year (Exhibit 1).

Consumers in China are proving to be remarkably resilient and remain a powerful, transformative force not just in China but also across the globe. Although it’s likely the growth rate for consumer spending will be slightly lower in 2019 than in 2018, consumers continue to increase their spending by a considerable margin and are eager to pay for items with a strong value proposition. This year’s Singles Day (also referred to as Double 11), for instance, was record shattering. Total sales on all platforms were up 31 percent over last year and reached 410 billion renminbi ($58 billion), far more than Cyber Monday’s and Black Friday’s online sales combined.


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