Graduating Into Consumption

How China’s youth are returning to local brands

The speeds of change in China’s political, social, technological and economic environments have made generational shifts much more pronounced than other countries. Understanding China’s youth is therefore critical to the understanding of the future of China’s consumer economy.

China’s “post-80s” (“80 后”) generation, defined as those born in the 1980s, was the first to come of age in a market-oriented economy with a consumer culture. Accordingly, that generation has been a major contributor to the growth of China’s consumer sector in the last decade. Now, however, the “post-90s” (“90 后”) generation is entering the workforce and starting to earn (and spend!).

As the “post-80s” generation shaped the last decade of Chinese commerce, the “post-90s” will shape the next.

Oliver Wyman has interviewed over 500 of China’s urban under-35s to help understand how the new China youth will impact the consumer landscape of the future.The picture that emerges is of a confident consumer, who is better informed than ever; but also part of a disengaged and occasionally disillusioned generation.

Graduating Into Consumption