CITYLIFE / Odds & Ends

Chuppies, China's Yuppies
(US News & World Report)
Updated: 2006-05-17 10:08


Starbucks, a famouse chain cafe is a fashionable place for trendsetters to meet. [baidu.com]
"Chuppies" are China's young well-off generation. With money in their pockets and different consumer habits from their parents, China's new "Supershoppers" are spending up on brand name cosmetics and clothes, according to a report in the US News & World Report. Chuppies describe themselves as "being open-minded, being ready to learn, and loving new things."

There are already 100 million middle class Chinese, and by 2010, that number is predicted to double. Chinese consumption is estimated to increase by 18 percent a year over the next decade. Technologically savvy, the avaricious young shoppers in this rising tide are even making purchasing decisions for their parents.

Unlike their parents, this generation has known only relative stability and economic prosperity. They even have an American nickname for themselves, "Bobos," adapted (somewhat incorrectly) from a David Brooks book Bobos in Paradise published in 2000 and translated into Chinese in 2002,

There are 400 million mobile phone users in China, and on average, they change their mobile phone every 3 to 6 months. Nowadays, Chinese consumers have 900 choices of mobile phone types, while there are only 80 in America.


Mobile phone advertisements can be seen all around China. [baidu.com]
Many companies, such as Adidas, have products specially designed for the Chinese market.  Adidas just set up their Asian design and development center in Shanghai to cater to Asian consumers.  

China's youth now pay more attention to the brands they buy. Haagen-Dazs is regarded as the top brand of ice cream in China and its shops are always packed with families, but very few buy pints to take home. Starbucks, which has 66 outlets in Shanghai alone, projects an image of being a fashionable place for trendsetters to meet.

According to a survey by a US investment bank, China accounted for only one percent of consumers of top grade bags worldwide five years ago. This figure has increased to 12 percent, after top consumers the United States and Japan. It is predicted that in the coming 10 years, China will become the number one consumer of luxury goods.