• Ms. Joanna Li

Gen Z in China: a cohort of consumers you've never seen before!

Warmest greeting from Hotel Institute Montreux, Switzerland!

Funnily enough, when I think of Gen Z, the first thing that comes to mind is one label after another that the “capitalists” attache to us. They always says that we are difficult to understand, complicated and unpredictable, and only addicted to social media. Yes, it’s already 2021 now, this world is constantly changing, The era of generation Z is coming.


The author Joanna Li, working at the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

Let me tell you something interesting about Gen Z. Can you believe I've been an intern for almost a year and still haven't saved any money? Don't be too surprised. This is what our generation often refers to as “the moonlight clan”. To use up our entire earnings every month without any saving is just a normal thing for us. Although the company where I worked as an intern provided all meals and accommodation, I still spent all my salary every month. I spent a lot of money unconsciously, but I tended to forget how much I spent. It is so strange, isn’t it?


See, that makes sense that Gen Z in China is called optimistic, impulsive and over spending generation.

As the "natives" of Gen Z in China, we will not judge whether you are a "peer" by your biological age. Most of the time, we'll talk to you about topics that interest us and see how you respond. After that, we know everything. If you really understand us, you must know that our generation pursue fashion and a high-quality life, regarding spending as the motivation to make money.


Infographic done by the author

Compared with spending money, Gen Z in China are also relatively more comfortable owing money. In China, even students with no credit records have access to financial products that allow them to buy things that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Some online consumer credit service products emerge in an endless stream, such as Ant Financial’s Huabei (also called Ant Credit Pay) which allow consumers to get a spending quota from 500 yuan to 50000 yuan. Users can pay Huabei in advance when they spend online or offline, and enjoy the shopping experience of "consume first, pay later". The consumption concept of Gen Z in

China is no longer the same as the saving and frugal consumption view of the older generation. Instead, we are more accustomed to meet our current desires through excessive consumption. That's what we think of as “Carpe diem. Seize the day.” Gen Z in China are also fanatic fans. A few weeks ago my best friend was very excited to tell me that she spent 3 months' salary to buy a VIP seats for her favorite star‘s concert. She is a person who thinks that drinking a cup of milk tea for 30 yuan is cheaper than taking a taxi to work for 30 yuan. Maybe this is the so-called paying for "I like it". If you are also a Gen Z in China, you've certainly heard the term “fan culture” which means we will spend a lot of energy, time and money to collect and buy the clothes, bags and shoes of the same style as the stars who we love. Even the places the stars have been have become our must-visit places. Is this the so-called fanatic fan? Doesn't this represent a kind of consumption concept of Gen Z in China?


But don't think that our generation's life is all about online shopping, computer, phone and social media. We spend no less on self-improvement than on virtual world every month. May be today's world has a little impetuous, reading has re-become the spiritual food of our generation. According to People's Daily, the average monthly per person spending on book of Gen Z in China is 8.3% higher in 2021 than in 2020. I think people of my generation have a better idea of what we want. In the face of the information noise that envelops us tightly, gen Z in China no longer focuses on "what I can see", but "what I want to see". The reality is full of all kinds of labels and stereotypes for our generation, the objective and comprehensive understanding of the world, feeling of the world already became very difficult for us. So, we came up with another way to understand the world - reading. Probably like your generation, my dear readers, We all believe that all the puzzles and doubts of life can be found in the books. Just like, we all believe that knowledge can change fate. We are different but we are also similar.


Infographic done by the author

Nowadays, Gen Z make up about 15 percent of China’s population and sign that the era of Gen Z has come. Understanding Gen Z in China is crucial for any company that wants to play a role in China’s continued economic growth. Those who can capture the minds of Gen Z consumers are more likely to succeed. This is an era full of hope, but also an extremely unique era.

In addition, in order to make you more clearly understand the era of Gen Z, I would like to recommend you to read the article “Gen Z: The generation of explorers” which posted on Z.lab. You will learn more about the world of generation z from another perspective, also you will find some pleasures from this article.

Thank you for reading to the end. I would say that this is only part of what I see as Gen Z in China, not the whole story. Everyone's needs are different and we all have our own views on the life we pursue. If you found this article insightful or you may hold different opinions with this consumption concept, please do not hesitate to leave a comment to share with me or send email to our nice digital marketing lecturer, Ms. Jollain “claire.jollain@him.ch”.

Author: Ms. Joanna Li, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM), from China.

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