HONG KONG: Greater affluence, the growing influence of Chinese companies internationally and a rising sense of national pride underpin a trend for Chinese consumers to opt increasingly for domestic brands, a new report has revealed.

Although the trend does not apply in some categories, such as infant milk formula, rising nationalist sentiment, especially among younger Chinese consumers, is driving changes in demand for sportswear and home appliances.

That is according Credit Suisse, the financial services firm, which launched its eighth annual emerging consumer survey at an investment conference in Hong Kong last week, finews.asia reported.

Based on face-to-face interviews with 14,000 consumers across eight emerging economies, the report noted that when it comes to China, “the young Chinese consumer is driving a consumption/lifestyle upgrade but with a domestic brand bias, amidst a degree of ‘nationalism’”.

When looking at the home appliance sector, for example, more than 90% of consumers aged between 18 and 29 in China said they would prefer to buy domestic brands in the next six to 12 months.

Meanwhile, South China Morning Post reported that the proportion of consumers aged 18 to 65 who said they would be willing to pay more for domestic sportswear brands than for foreign ones rose to 19% last year from 15% in 2010.

“We are surprised to see the rising of a more confident generation of consumers in China,” said Charlie Chen, head of China consumer research at Credit Suisse.

“Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation, don’t just believe the notion that foreign brands are better. Right now, Chinese consumers think China is good and ‘Made in China’ is not bad at all,” he added.

“Like it or not, China is becoming a major power globally, which makes the younger generation feel more proud to be Chinese.”

Despite efforts by Alibaba’s Tmall and other B2C online marketplaces to boost the presence of international brands in China through cross-border platforms, Credit Suisse’s report appears to back up previous studies about the growing popularity of Chinese brands.

In June last year, for example, research firm Kantar Worldpanel and Bain, the management consultants, surveyed 40,000 households in China and revealed that Chinese brands expanded their sales by more than 8% in 2016 while global brands saw their sales increase by just 1.5%.

Sourced from finews.asia, Credit Suisse, SCMP; additional content by WARC staff