China: Creators and Consumers of the Future


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China is considered home to the world's factories, manufacturing everything from zippers to photovoltaic cells and with its population of over 1.3 billion and booming economy, consumerism is on the rise, too. But lets peak into the hidden layer of China's unique blend of creativity and tech innovation. There's the Shanzhai phenomenon - unique to China but even more interesting is looking at how Chinese consumers use technology differently, creating and combining platforms to suit the demands of a generation bred on instant gratification and constant connectivity.

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China: Creators and Consumers of the Future

  1. China: Creators and Consumers of the FutureMarch 2012
  2. The following is glimpse of our research efforts in China. Our ongoing goal is to understand the evolving attitudes and behaviors in China across a variety of topics and industries through the lens of everyday life. Culturaldynamics Automotive Healthcare Retail Mobile
  3. There is a growing trend of Chinese consumers choosing to customize and even produce their own products. With easierAlien access to both the raw ingredients of products as well as being surrounded by factories, there are millions of potential newWang Chinese designers creating their own products, both for themselves and to sell to their own customers and other like- minded individuals.
  4. Cultural dynamics 4
  5. In China, everything from batteries to burgers is available for homeDelivery delivery. This is an inherent response to the amount of people able to work and the ability for businesses to leverage competitive advantages for new forms of convenience.
  6. Regardless of what is being bought online, goods are usually paid inPayment cash upon delivery. This ‘concierge’ moment opens opportunities for brands and services to create additional value.
  7. The impact of the one-child policy means that both parents and two sets of grand parents are focused entirely on a single child. This hasPolicy ramifications on a number of behaviors - from healthcare to education and retail to technology. As this policy shifts or loosens, how will behaviors change?
  8. Gaming is an integral part of the Chinese culture - as much for communication and relationship building as for entertainment. This is evident in the groups of young professionals playingGaming games on weekends as much as older folks enjoying mahjong. The education industry has been able to leverage this behavior for the youth, with the creation of games that focus on the history of China.
  9. In Western cultures, the well-being of a child is often measured by their health & happiness. The focus is on being ‘good enough’ andEducation enjoying their childhood. In Asian cultures, parents emphasize the need to compete and excel - starting from a very young age and persisting beyond adolescence.
  10. The dynamics of 3-generational households are immensely relevant in modern day China. The question then arises - how can we keep allGenerations age groups engaged, and even more - enable better interaction amongst the family members of different generations?
  11. The flow of people and their physical boundaries are more denseScale than ever before. The fastest and most massive urbanization in the history of mankind has created new norms in how people and information move through a society.
  12. Automotive 12
  13. 1977: 1 million = 1.000.000 carsIn 1977, In all of China - there were only 1 million cars
  14. 1977: 1 million = 1.000.000 carsBy 2008, this had shot up to 51 million
  15. And it only took 3 years for it to nearly double to 100 million by100m+ 2011. 1 million 1977: This extreme exponential growth leads to questions about trafficcars = 1.000.000Automobiles management, purchase consideration, the influence of branding, environmental concerns, and various other factors.
  16. Given the lack of trust within communities, people are oftenSafety scared of being falsely accused of causing an accident. For this reason, drivers protect themselves by using a special camcorderRecords attached to their windshield or dashboard to keep a video record of their driving.
  17. Post accident video footage. This is a 2 hour diversion to settle “out of court” at a factory late at night after an accident in Beijing.
  18. Given high congestion on most roads, it is extremely difficult to drive up to the speed limits (e.g., fast) within major cities in China.Safety For this reason, experienced drivers are not too concerned with keeping passengers safe by using a seatbelt. Given the trade off withConcerns personal comfort, they buy ‘belt buckles’ that can be plugged into the seat belt holder to stop the sound of the safety reminder.
  19. Online communities are a rich and trusted source of information forOnline car specifics. Prospective buyers turn to independent online forums to research specific details about cars before making a buyingCommunitiesOnline communities decision.
  20. Chinese consumers pay greater attention to detail when it comes toDetailed the performance of their car. Young Chinese consumers take pride in being knowledgeable and then sharing that knowledge in their socialPerformance circles or online. This need for knowledge is partly driven by the large number of new / inexperienced drivers on the roads.
  21. Healthcare 21
  22. 8.87 118 millionAging and growingPopulation % over 65
  23. American v Chinese patients USA CHINA 8x 40 - 60 # of patients per day for junior docs # of patients per day for senior docs 10# of minutes spent with patientsHigh Patient As doctors grow in seniority, the number of patients they are likely to see also increases. In fact, the average amount of time a doctor inThroughput China spends with his patient is just ten minutes.
  24. There are dedicated services to help the elderly manageHelp With everyday life. China Telecom is leading the way in serving the elderly by offering special packages, more basic phones, andDaily Life phones with pre-installed services that allow people to reach out for assistance with tasks such as paying bills, managing their homes or even contacting relatives.
  25. Extending Due to time limitations on face-to-face interaction with doctors, hospitals and clinics use text messaging to provide pre- and post-Advice visit advice to patients via mobile phones.
  26. New mobile services such as 名醫導航 - aka “Ming Yi Dao Hang” orScheduling “Doctor Navigation” ( allow advance registration for medical appointments, to help ease the long queues and hours of waiting in line.
  27. Retail 27
  28. In Q1 of 2012, Chinese shoppers spent USD $5.7 billionThe Rise Of overseas.This is not only more than any other country, it’s the highest amount ever recorded. In parallel, sites such as USzCN.comThe Shopper have become immensely popular as Chinese look to purchase goods which could otherwise not be found in their country.
  29. Rather than collecting and clipping coupons, Velo allows customersCoupon to check local deals at Metro stations. All you have to do is buy a special card online and swipe it to get a coupon of their choice. ThisCulture model allows local restaurants to build awareness and attract new customers.
  30. Negotiation One of the reasons Best Buy failed in China is that their advertised premise of matching the lowest price advertised can be irrelevant invs. Listed China. Regardless of the price tag, bargaining is an expected aspect of the purchasing process and retail assistants often keep a list ofPrice the final lowest prices to help guide this process.
  31. Taobao’s Taobao recognizes that bargaining is essential to the purchase process. One of its most popular features allows buyers and sellersBargaining to connect and chat, in essence recreating the traditional bargaining process.
  32. IKEA’s From the outside there is very little to tell this IKEA apart from any ofExperience their stores worldwide, but step inside and patterns of behavior differ significantly to western norms.Hack
  33. Families often make a special effort to dress well for the trip to IKEA,Memories taking their cameras along to take photographs of their child in an IKEA environment.
  34. People will often take their newspapers or other reading materialAt Home with them, and enjoy the comfortable environment of a display room for an entire afternoon.
  35. Takeaway In fact the meals at the IKEA canteen are so popular in China that it has led to the creation of a unique take away service.
  36. Dating With free coffee and air conditioning, there is even a thriving senior citizens dating scene at IKEA on Thursday afternoons.
  37. Made to Another phenomenon that is uniquely Chinese is the practice of bringing a carpenter to IKEA to help you select and measureMeasure furniture that can be made for much cheaper elsewhere.
  38. Mobile 38
  39. 900 million by May 2011 1 billion by May 2012 70 % of the population 36 % on the mobile net**mobile is first, last, & everything
  40. 12:00am Jan.13, The launch of iPhone 4
  41. Xiaomi phone100,00 Despite the booming popularity of Apple in China, the clearThe Year Of winners are the masses of people purchasing low end smartphones powered by Google’s Android OS. This is the defaultThe platform on hundreds (soon, thousands) of cheap, low-end smart phones and subsequently the first choice for many consumersAndroid? beyond Tier 1 cities (whether or not they know the software is Google).
  42. 36 months 微信 (Weixin) 10 months Above: time for each product to reachSpeed &Scale 50 million registered users
  43. Products like Weixin historically have been viewed as Western copy- cats but this reality is shifting as they gain the ability to outpaceSetting New their Western counterparts in both time to market as well as a desire to experiment with interesting ideas before they’re seen in the WestStandards (shown here: voice chat, shake to find someone, and message in a bottle).
  44. Token’s work to release an electric version of the HondaToken Zoomer, dubbed X-Zoomer, in China before Honda could launch the gas-powered version shows just how powerful one determined person can be. He’s now gone on to create a newHu line of patented shoes based on DuPont’s Tyvek technology - United.T, the lightest shoe on record.
  45. Kajal Vatsa (@kaj186)Brandon Berry Edwards (@bred)special thanks to...Jan ChipchaseEmily ChongAiladi CortellettiShine ChuLydia KuoLeizhong Zhangthe frog Shanghai teamthe Shanghai creative & tech communityphotography credits:Jan ChipchaseBrandon Berry EdwardsToken HuLydia KuoKajal VatsaAlien WangLeizhong Zhang© 2012 frog. All rights reserved.