Lifestyle upgrade is on the rise in China, according to Kenneth Ho, CEO and founder of business connector platform BEAM.

“The general wave is that people are getting richer, and they are upgrading their lifestyle,” he said, speaking at a recent General Assembly event.

Chinese consumers are more likely to acquire premium or pricier products than the mass-produced ones compared to their counterparts from other emerging markets, based on Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 7th Emerging Consumer Survey findings last year.

“Basically, you consume stuff, but you upgrade and consume– (for example,) from coffee up to Starbucks,” said Ho.

On the business side, companies that establish their presence in fast-growing second-tier and third-tier cities before expanding to first-tier cities, rather than the other way round, are also on the rise: “I’m starting to see this happening in China where it is very competitive, in urban areas like Shanghai.”