Post-90s consumers 'confident, optimistic'

The post-90s Chinese consumer is typically a digital native who is a non-saver.
The post-90s Chinese consumer is typically a digital native who is a non-saver.PHOTO: REUTERS

Post-90s consumers of China - those born between 1990 and 1999 - are digital natives.

They are confident and optimistic about their country's and their own future, according to a survey by McKinsey on Chinese consumers.

They are largely non-savers and more willing to spend on themselves than their parents, who grew up in a less prosperous era. But these post-90s consumers are not a homogeneous group. McKinsey divided them into five distinct segments:


Born after 1995 and mainly students, they make up 39 per cent of the post-90s generation. They define success in terms of their own happiness rather than material possessions. They value quality and will do research before shelling out their hard-earned money for things. They are more environmentally conscious, with 53 per cent saying they would pay a premium for an environmentally friendly product compared with 46 per cent of all respondents.


Well-educated and white-collar, they make up 27 per cent of the group. Sixty-four per cent of them consider success to be getting rich. They work hard and reward themselves for doing so by buying what they like whenever they like.


Making up 16 per cent of the cohort, they don't measure success by material wealth and have little interest in branded or high-tech goods. Instead, they are preoccupied with living better than others.


Making up 10 per cent of the cohort, their material needs are met by their parents when growing up. Well-educated high earners, they are most willing among the post-90s to spend on the latest fashions, top brands and leisure activities.


This is a low-income group making up 8 per cent of the cohort. They are predominantly female (68 per cent), live at home and are dependent on their parents, especially for big-ticket items. They are also gloomy in their outlook about their future and are most likely to save for a rainy day.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2017, with the headline 'Post-90s consumers 'confident, optimistic''. Print Edition | Subscribe