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According to the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, ‘Statistical Analysis Report on the Supply and Demand of Major Consumer Goods’ the demand on below-listed products grew significantly last year. A change in consumer mentality can explain the increase. Chinese families are no longer satisfied with just eating big meals, wearing new clothes, but hoping to eat healthily and dress trendy and elegant. In this case, quality consumption has become a significant feature of the current Chinese buying trend.

The main buyers of imported products are households with monthly income above 20000 RMB ( 3000 USD). The proportion of imported good they acquired was 86.6%. The most popular imported products were:

1. Wine

Imported wine is a beverage of the Chinese upper and middle class. Usually drunken on special occasions wine is also a popular product to buy online. Moderate wine consumption is even widespread in Chinese TV series. Wealthy Chinese even practice amateur sommelier skills to impress their friends.

2. Fresh fruits

Chinese love eating fruits. They even offer them as gifts. However, consumers are concern about local produce quality due to the overuse of pesticides, so they choose imported organic fruits. They often order them online from reputable online stores.

3. Beer

Domestic beer choice is quite limited, and quality is also questionable. Foreign brands are becoming more popular in China. Male consumer strongly dominates this market. 

4. Fresh milk

Chinese believe that drinking milk will make their children grow taller and stronger. Although older generations didn’t have an enzyme to digest lactose, eventually Chinese evaluated into milk consumers.

Despite China being a third global milk producer, many parents choose foreign brands because of safety concerns. There were many cases of domestic producers adding harmful chemicals and antibiotics to milk which led to poisonings. In this field, international brands have a significant advantage.

5. Edible oil

With the growth of conscious consumption, Chinese started to care about what they eat and how they prepare food.  They prefer vegetable and seed oils as they are perceived to be healthier. Blended oils also offer the combined benefits of the individual oils. Olive oil has had the highest growth in demand due to its health benefits.

6. Health Supplements and Vitamins 

With a substantial elderly population, China makes the ideal market for imported health supplements and vitamins. Also, due to severe pollution in many cities young people are concern about their health and try to protect it by taking supplements. Most popular are: whey protein, vitamins C and E, collagen, fish oil, calcium, and liver detox products.

7. Sport shoes

In China, sports culture is growing strong. A healthy lifestyle is trendy, so its typical for people after work to go jogging or to exercise in the gym. With this, there is also a demand for high-quality sporting shoes.

8. Sportswear 

High quality made of ultra-breathable fabric with high heat and moisture management properties, sports clothing is strongly needed in China because people of all age spend a lot of time exercising. Also, domestic products are not satisfying.

9. Outdoor clothing

Chinese people love to spend time outdoors and often travel to see the natural beauty of their country. Even though China is one of the major clothing producers, there is still a gap in the market for new technology fabric that has lightweight, fast drying, and elasticity properties.

10. Shoes & Boots

Although China produces record pair of shoes annually most of it is low quality or fake products copied from western brands. High-quality leather shoes are strongly demanded product.

11. Suits 

With growing income and actively developed white-collar culture in big cities demand for well fitted western suits emerged. Chinese men follow European fashion and desire to purchase the same outfits as their western colleagues.

12. Infant food

The recent scandal of adding poisonous chemicals to the baby formula by Chinese company made parents completely lose trust in their domestic baby products. Now they only buy imported baby formula. Nestle is the most popular brand. 

13. Infant clothing

Chinese parents want the best for their kids. They prefer infants clothing from child-friendly, soft fabric such as cotton, cashmere, or bamboo. Often domestic products don’t meet their expectations because they contain many synthetic materials.

14. Baby diapers

China one-child policy has loosened, and as a result, there are many newborn now. However, now parents prefer to buy disposable diapers than use cloths or split pants as they did about a decade ago. It brings an excellent opportunity to foreign diapers producers because Chinese brands barely satisfy demand.

15. Child car seats

Although only a few years ago, safety seats became required for children under four, it is now one of the most popular imported products. Any producer must have official China Compulsory Certification to sell legally.

16. Perfume 

The perfume was almost absent from the Chinese market a decade ago. However recently it is considered a luxury product which is easier to afford than designer purses or watches and becomes very popular.  The customers prefer unisex fragrances. Foreign brands completely dominate in perfume sells in China.

17. Skin care products

Snow white blemish-free skin is a dream of every Chinese woman. They believe that it can be achieved by using high-quality parabens free foreign cosmetics. There is a high demand for cosmetics treating dermatologists issues. Chinese cosmetics are preferably avoided by people who can afford imported.

18. Makeup 

Chinese women in big cities wear makeup regularly. They buy visage goods through e-commerce platforms and check reviews on Xiao Hong Shu (also known as Little Red Book) social media portal. They are very concern about the harmful effects on their skin, so they choose well-reputed brands. Foreign companies dominate China makeup market so any newcomer would compete against well-established international brands.

19. Oral care products

Chinese had not put much attention to oral care in past years. However, with the popularity of healthy lifestyle and growing prices of dentists treatments, they become more interested in the western way of teeth protection.Consumers seek for multifunctional toothpaste. Whitening and herb toothpaste take up half of the market, followed by anti-caries, fresh breath, multifunction.

 20. Shampoo

Women are the primary consumer of foreign shampoo in China. They buy anti-dandruff, dry, cosmetic, or herbal shampoo. In 2017, the herbal shampoo was the most popular, because now consumers have stronger health awareness and pursue a strong demand for natural and organic hair care products.

21. Outdoor equipment

Camping equipment as tents, sleeping bags, backpacks are gaining more popularity because of increased interest in hiking and camping in China.

22. Musical instruments

Many middle-class parents buy an expensive piano, violin, etc. and sign children to music classes. As they seek for best quality and prestige, they tend to buy from famous western instrument makers. 


23. Watches

In China similar as in the west watch is considered the most representative piece of male jewelry. Watch value depends on income. There is a strong demand for average price ($300-1500$) brand watches from white-collar workers. One thing to mind is that the Chinese never buy watches as a gift because of its interpretation of wishing someone to die.

24. Diamonds and gold jewelry

Like most women in the world Chinese love jewelry. Men often buy jewelry as a gift to their loved ones. Chinese millennials prefer ,modern design in earrings and necklaces instead of traditional. The most desired are platinum goods and made-to-order diamond engagement rings.

25. Luxury clothing and accessories

With almost one million dollar millionaires living in China, it is a perfect place for selling luxury goods. However, now, it is much more challenging to impress wealthy Chinese customers than before. Many products from famous fashion brands are copied there and sold cheap. It’s not unusual to see people carry fake Luis Vuitton bags, for example. So the brand losses its exclusiveness in the eyes of the elite.

Making a unique luxury product with the customization feature is an excellent strategy for the fashion brand that wants to reach the top earners in China.


If you need advice on selling products and services in China or marketing tips, contact us at contact@westasia.com. We are happy to answer any China-related questions.

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