Chinese Youngsters Dominate Online Retail -- and Pay for IP, Report Shows
Chen Juan
/SOURCE : yicai
Chinese Youngsters Dominate Online Retail -- and Pay for IP, Report Shows

(Yicai Global) Dec. 20 -- Chinese young adults aged from 18 to 28 have overtaken the previous generation to become the biggest consumer group for online shopping, according to a new research report. They are also increasingly likely to pay for online content.

Those who were born in the 1990s have outnumbered those who were born in the 1980s as the main consumer group for online retail, entertainment, transport and takeout meal services, CBNData, a sister research agency to Yicai Global, shows in its big data consumption report that was released today. Over 20 partners including Tmall, Taobao, Ctrip, Weibo, Youku, and Suning.Com offered information for the report. 

Adolescents born in the 1990s make up 60 percent of all users who pay for video content, as well as 60 percent of all bookers of entertainment tickets online. They also account for nearly 50 percent of ride-hailers and bike-sharers, as well as users of takeaway food and beverages platforms.

An increasing number of these shoppers are looking for domestically produced original designs as the target group rose by one half to account for 40 percent of buyers in the lucrative sector. Their purchases of China-made branded clothing rose over fourfold in comparison with last year to account for 65 percent of all orders. 

A good example of a new twist to domestically produced items is the gift shop of the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing, which has sold Chinese-style souvenirs, including power banks, umbrellas, and headphones for over CNY1 billion (USD145.2 million) last year, boosted by its presence on Alibaba Group Holding's Taobao platform. 

Youngsters also welcome copyrights as some 40 percent of them said they are ready to pay for online content. Many platforms rely on this generation for their earnings, including Hujiang Education Technologies, which has 70 percent of its online learners from the group. These people have a wide range of interests and usually take two courses per year, most of them studying a second foreign language. 

In terms of popular fields of retail, the generation of youth that was born during China's era of one-child policy is willing to invest in health and looks as these consumers splurge on skincare, makeup, medical cosmetics, fitness, as well as smartphones with beautification features. 

China's generation born after the 1990s has begun to use high-end skincare products earlier, with per capita consumption up by over 10 percent on their predecessors.

These confident youngsters view beauty enhancement treatments with a more open mind and make up 60 percent of users of cosmetic surgery social networking app Gengmei. 

The pursuit of beauty is also no longer the sole prerogative of women, since one out of every seven post-90ers who has undergone plastic surgery is a man.

Young consumers are more rational and mature, the report also shows. They have developed credit-buying habits and are the core group paying in installments. Their consumption is restrained, however, with over 90 percent holding spending within their credit limits.

The youthful will also more readily accept secondhand goods. The transactions from people born after 1990 and 1995 on used-car trading platforms jumped to 30 percent of the total. They also tend to favor economic cars below CNY100,000 (USD14,523), especially compact models, data from used car e-commerce platform Uxin shows.

The younger generation are exploring the possibility of new lifestyles globally. They are the absolute main force driving cross-border e-commerce consumption and spend more money on ever more diversified categories than in the same period last year, with growing expenditure ratios in digital, pet and personal care products. 

They strive improve their quality of life in every respect, data from Tmall International show.

Compared with consumers of other generations, the post-1990 generation thinks highly of trends, niches and high quality, and has more persnickety demands, which has prompted Tmall to introduce more brands and categories, said Liu Peng, general manager of the firm's import and export business.

CBNData and Yicai Global are part of Yicai Media Group, the largest financial media company in China.

Editor: Emmi Laine, Ben Armour

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Keywords: CBNData , Big Data Report on China Internet Consumption Ecology 2018 , Yicai Global , Millennials , Consumption , Online Shopping