HSBC’s Helen Wong and Stuart Tait talk to CNBC about China’s economic transformation

Understanding changing Chinese consumer tastes is key to unlocking business opportunities worth billions of dollars, according to a new report from HSBC.

In addition, a focus on younger consumers, high-quality products and the use of technology are factors that international businesses believe can help them succeed in the world’s second-largest economy.

Stuart Tait, Regional Head of Commercial Banking, Asia-Pacific, HSBC said: “We all recognise the rapidly growing importance of the Chinese consumer and it’s really the young, affluent Chinese that are driving this growing consumerism.”

Mr Tait was speaking to news channel CNBC about the HSBC Navigator: Made for China report, which draws on the views of more than 1,000 international companies who sell into China or are considering doing so.* The report was launched at the China International Import Expo, a six-day conference in Shanghai showcasing opportunities for businesses to sell goods into China.

Helen Wong, Chief Executive, Greater China, HSBC said: “We’re talking about the middle class. At the moment it is around 400 million people and could grow to 850 million by 2030.”

China's new consumers

A younger generation of buyers is creating opportunities for overseas firms, says Helen Wong.

It is important for foreign firms to understand the aspirations of younger Chinese consumers who are selective about brands, increasingly health-conscious, and concerned about the environment, she added.

The Navigator: Made for China report shows that international businesses selling into China believe that:

  • The generation of consumers born after 1980 will drive future sales growth in the country

  • Chinese demand for consumer electronics and intelligent equipment is likely to grow significantly

  • A distinctive quality of products and services can help international businesses stand out in a competitive market

  • Understanding local business culture and consumer tastes are the top challenges for foreign firms

  • Partnerships, distribution agreements and e-commerce platforms are crucial to success

Read the full report Navigator: Made for China on the HSBC Commercial Banking website.

*Note:
The Navigator: Made for China report is based on a survey 1,205 businesses with annual turnover of between USD5m and USD50m in the US, UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong SAR, UAE, Germany, France, Canada and Mexico. Survey respondents were key decision-makers from businesses already selling and exporting to China or considering doing so. The survey was carried out in September 2018.

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