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  • MAP Asia Pacific Ltd

What defines China’s Gen Z consumers?

China’s Gen Z is considered to be a culturally confident young generation, with a natural affinity for traditional culture. Their patriotism makes them willing to support the national tide, but this doesn’t mean that they favour excessive consumption. And, the majority of this generation considers themselves expert consumers who do their homework before purchasing products.

Vogue Business in China recently conducted a survey of 6,000 Chinese consumers ranging in age from 18 to 64 to dissect the cultural values of China’s Gen Z in a new whitepaper. In order to have a more intuitive and specific understanding of this generation, we also invited five representatives to conduct in-depth interviews on cultural values, the prospects of domestic products and the future development of overseas fashion brands in the Chinese market. They are 23-year-old gallerist and private equity assistant Tony Wan; 22-year-old fashion influencer Lexi Zhuang; 21-year-old fashion management student Alisa Wang; 22-year-old director and photographer Jayden Guo; and 25-year-old law student Sia Jing.

The research painted a portrait of a diverse generation that uses clothes as personal expression, yet are wary of overconsumption.

Fashion as personal expression and a social weapon As a generation that has been exposed to technology since childhood, Gen Z can be described as contradictory in character. Survey data shows that 35 per cent of Gen Z wish they were more social. To a certain extent, fashion is a tool for them to make friends. For Lexi Zhuang fashion is his means of self-expression. "I am a boy, but I also have a female side in my heart.” Alisa Wang, a 21-year-old student at Parsons School of Design in New York, believes that fashion is a way of getting to know each other. "When you chat with girls and talk about fashion and beauty, you can know what kind of person they are. It's a great way to get to know each other."

Careful spending Today’s Gen Z consumers are a price-sensitive and discerning group. They no longer worship brands, and brand loyalty is rare. They also make more rational consumption decisions. According to the survey results, 70 per cent of Gen Z consumers describe themselves as “professional consumers” who will examine their real needs, do their homework and shop around before making a purchase. In addition, consumers surveyed identify as “trend followers”, “excessive shoppers” and “patriotic spenders”, at 19 per cent, 14 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.



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