eTALK China Insight: China’s Me-Economy

China's Me-Economy

Chinese culture is described as collectivist. This means that individual needs are subordinate to those of the community. However, due to demographic development and other influences, the individual consciousness of the Chinese is increasing. This trend will accelerate in 2022. The focus on individual shopping can be described as “me-economy”.

Collectivist Culture

Family members have a major influence on purchasing decisions in China. While 76% of older people prioritize recommendations from family members, students and recent graduates are much more individualistic. 40% of them prioritize their own individual needs. As more and more people move from their families to big cities, this trend is evident.


China Me-Economy digital marketing ecommerce
Source: Digital Connection

We to Me

With the rise of e-commerce, consumers have a much wider range of products to choose from. Instead of recommendations from family members or relatives, shoppers can quickly form their own opinions. It’s not just younger people who benefit from this. On popular e-commerce platforms, there are also extra categories for older people.

Social Status

In contrast to traditional patterns, the reduction in family size also as has a huge impact. A shift on personal identity and social status can be seen in Chinese purchase behavior, as more and more people spend money for related items. According to Accenture, the higher the income of Chinese, the more money they spend for their personal identity.

Main Factors

In summary, there are three main factors that promote individualism in Chinese society:

  • Rise of e-commerce
  • Reduction of family size
  • Empowerment of individuals to make decisions

This also provides great opportunities for brands to target customers and create individual styles and products.

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