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5 Things We Just Learned about the Chinese Consumer Technology Market

Jamie Carracher, Sr. Manager, Web Content, Consumer Technology Association

China is poised to become the largest economy in the world and for many international companies is an untapped opportunity. In fact, Chinese consumers last year reported spending more than $1,200 USD on consumer electronics during the previous 12 months – 64 percent higher than the average online U.S. household.

CEA has released new market research findings about the opportunity and growth of consumer tech in China. Here are five key findings.

Technology ownership
Eight in 10 Chinese now own smartphones, televisions or wearable devices from domestic manufacturers. And almost two-thirds (63 percent) say they prefer international brands for this technology.

Chinese consumers buy international brands
Roughly two-thirds of Chinese consumers say they would consider buying brands from the United States.
Many higher income Chinese are more interested in international tech brands.
  • 76 percent of people making RMB 20,000 (approx. 3,200 USD) or more per month prefer international brands over domestic
  • 68 percent of people making RMB 20,000-10,000 (approx. 1,600 USD) prefer international brands over domestic
  • 50 percent of consumers making RMB 10,000 or less per month prefer international tech brands over domestic manufacturers.
Reaching 30-somethings
A key demographic for international tech brands is Chinese in their 30s. Two-thirds of these consumers are more likely to purchase international tech brands than domestic brands. Members of this group are also more likely to identify themselves as “early adopters” (63 percent) and see buying international brands as a means of differentiating themselves from other consumers (54 percent).

Established players
The smartphone market is the most established among Chinese consumers, with four dominant brands (international and domestic) constituting the “preferred brand” for 83 percent of Chinese.

Trying before buying
While the CEA study shows online shopping excels for researching specific product features, two-thirds of Chinese (65 percent) enjoy seeing and physically trying tech products before buying them. However, almost six in 10 (57 percent) of Chinese consumers in their 30s enjoy shopping online as a means of avoiding crowded stores.
The massive potential of the Asian region led CEA to launch the inaugural CES Asia in Shanghai, which highlighted the breadth and depth of innovation there. Read more about the event:

3 Takeaways from the 2015 CES Asia
Sights and Sounds from the Inaugural CES Asia in Shanghai
3 Themes Defining the Inaugural CES Asia
VIDEO: Audi, Intel, IBM Share the Future of Innovation at CES Asia