- Simplified Social Lives: Despite the pullback of zero-Covid policies, the impact of lockdowns still lingers and has highlighted a desire for socialising – there was a 213% year-on-year growth in posts related to ‘building community in neighbourhoods’ in 2022. This is manifesting in an uptick of young Chinese consumers visiting local coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants to interact.
Local traditions are also gaining popularity. This cohort has embraced ‘stove-boiled’ tea, with activity linked to “going for tea” seeing a 532% annual increase on Xiaohongshu in 2022 (Xiaohongshu, 2022). Traditional tea houses – once social hubs for older generations – have become a place for youngsters to congregate.
- Cosy Cocooning: A desire for domestic cosiness is encouraging China’s Gen Z to buy plants, fragrances, rugs and projectors – and related posts on Xiaohongshu increased by 196% from 2021-22. Top stress relief activities to recoup after work include watching videos, playing digital games, writing fan fiction, and ‘lying flat’ (see New Work-Life Patterns for more).
- New Perspectives on Materialism: Young Chinese consumers are embracing reused or repurposed products, buying second-hand and ‘stooping’ – which sees people put old items in designated places for others to take. From 2021-22, the number of tags containing ‘recycling unused items’ on Xiaohongshu rose by 814%.
Youngsters are also limiting impulse buying and researching items in-depth. But experts note that they still desire luxury products as high-end brands retain a ‘dream value’. Despite that, Chinese Gen Zers are increasingly looking for local and sustainable premium brands, in contrast to older generations. See Enlightened Luxurians for more.
For further insights, read Meet East Asia’s Gen Z.