8 Things You Didn’t Know About Chinese New Year
Just a few weeks ago, thousands of partygoers donned bright and tight outfits as they…
By Sean O’Brien
China is in the midst of a digital-social renaissance, where a prosperous, growing middle class is embracing the newfound opportunities of wealth in the digital age. The economic success of China has driven the recent increase in Chinese visitors in the United Kingdom, illustrating a newfound, often-overlooked opportunity for British businesses. In order to maximize interactions with Chinese consumers, these businesses must now cleverly position themselves to effectively operate with Chinese economic values.
A New, Colossal Market
The international tourism industry has been deeply impacted by the growth of China’s economy. In 2000, only 10.5 million Chinese nationals flew overseas, a number that has ballooned to 145 million in 2018. The United Kingdom hosted 390,000 Chinese visitors in 2018, which is a 30% increase from the previous year. The lowered valuation of the pound is identified by 53% of Chinese visitors as the reason they selected the U.K. as a destination. Given the high cultural capital that is ascribed to British culture in Chinese society, coupled with the lowered exchange rate and increase in tourism, British businesses can expect the continued growth of the Chinese tourism market in the United Kingdom.
A flourishing middle class has vastly changed the ability for Chinese nationals to buy into international markets. Where the global Chinese tourism market was valued at $10 Billion in 2000, in 2018 that number soared to $277 billion, making up one-fifth of the entire international tourism market. This made it accessible to British businesses, in which it was later discovered that most were not prepared for the novel economic and cultural values of Chinese nationals.
The Distinct Economic Values of Chinese Nationals
The distinct, digitized economic habits of the current Chinese culture accompanies the current influx of Chinese nationals, signalling ripe economic opportunities for British businesses to tap into. China is immune to the market dominance of western tech giants like Facebook or Whatsapp. It operates on a whole other ecosystem with tech giants WeChat and Alipay leading the way. It is so ingrained into Chinese life that they functionally assist every sphere of life, from credit card statements to social media, from paying bills to tracking fitness data.
The WeChat platform has virtually become a permanent fixture of Chinese lives. With 549 million monthly active users, and one billion registered users, WeChat is the tech behemoth of the Chinese economy. The effect of social media on the Chinese consciousness has been profound and corporate participation on the WeChat platform is now understood to be a mark of credibility. Consequently, 93% of Chinese nationals prefer making payments through these mobile payment services, and 73% are likely to spend more if they have access to use these services.
An Avenue For British Businesses To Tap Into
Proactive British businesses navigating Chinese consumer values are in a position to massively increase their revenue. The immense Chinese market will certainly have a stronger impact on British markets in the coming years. In the globalized marketplace, establishing credibility through interaction with Chinese consumers on WeChat unlocks the Chinese market for international businesses.
Research has indicated that 67% of British businesses interacting with Chinese mobile payment systems have had growth in their sales to Chinese consumers within the last year. With an increase in Chinese visitors, British revenue streams in this market will continue to flourish. Implementing Chinese mobile payment systems, coupled with successful corporate marketing on WeChat, is essential for British businesses of all sizes, to tap into this growing market.
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