26 Oct Quick Guide: The Mobile-first Culture of China’s Post 95 Generation
Within the current Chinese population, there are approximately 200 million of them between the ages of 15 and 24. This group of young millennials have grown up with the internet and social media being an integral part of everyday life.
As a result of this, this younger generation is much more in tune with the ever expanding digital world and they’ve played a key role in the growth of the mobile-first culture that is dominant across China.
Their tastes, behaviours, values and spending habits will no doubt have been impacted by the rise of online services and digital media. It will differ greatly from past generations and will shape how modern business market their products and services moving forward.
Breakdown of Internet Users in China from Dec 14 – Dec 16
As we can see in the chart above, young adults use the internet more so than any other age group. The majority of this time spent will have been via a smartphone and other mobile devices. Let’s take a look at how these smartphones are shaping the behaviours and trends within this younger generation.
In a recent report by Penguin Intelligence, it was noted that today’s’ young teens and adults grew up in more affluent families when compared to previous generations. With more disposable income and readily available smartphones with internet access, the post 95 generation developed a stronger desire for digital media.
But how are they using their phones and what apps do they use the most? QuestMobile, a Chinese data research company, recently looked into this and conducted a study of teens born within the 2000s.
As we can see from the data shown above, messaging and video streaming are the two dominant app types for teens in China. Followed closely by music streaming services, e-commerce apps, and micro-blogging.
As messaging and communication, is top on the app list, let’s look at the most popular messaging/social networking apps available to these teens.
King among the social media apps is WeChat, followed closely by QQ and Weibo. These apps allow young teens/adults the opportunity to communicate with their friends and express themselves among communities that they feel comfortable in.
Statistics from WeChat show that 73% of young teens/adults have posted original content to WeChat moments and data from QQ shows that around 87% of their younger users enabled the “verification for friend request” feature on their app. This shows that while young adults are keen to express themselves online, they value their privacy and wont readily share content with anybody.
With such a large percentage of WeChat users sharing original content and with social media being so dominate, what content is popular among the younger generation and what are they interested in posting/sharing with each other?
Image source – http://www.sohu.com/a/165670424_385913
67.7% of those born after 1995 use social media to post information about their personal lives. Outside of that, they also enjoy posting about their interests and sharing their opinions.
Beyond personal content on social media, many young teens/adults follow their favourite celebrities and “influencers”. Young people within China are heavily influenced by the stars they admire and their endorsement of a product would peak their interest.
IDOL, an app in the Chinese marketplace, allows fans to in follow their favourite Chinese stars and view news, pictures, and videos too. It’s a place for fans to communicate with each other and with their favourite stars.
One of the bigger trends of 2016 was the rise of live streaming in China. Many young people in China use this as an avenue to express themselves and share their personal lives with the outside world. Live streaming content varies from day to day routines, tutorials, dancing, singing, and playing video games. Streamers can also communicate with their viewers and popular streamers can become celebrities within their own specialist communities.
Shopping Online and In-store
When it comes to the young adults and teens in China, many will opt to shop in stores for the social aspect (with friends), but shopping online is also a popular and more convenient option.
Penguin Intelligence found that 50% of those born after 1995 would write an online review of a product or service and only 11% of the same group said they would share their purchased products on social media.
Compared to previous generations, this younger generation is more open to spending their money and is less focused on being frugal. They’re not driven by value for money but more by how the products make them feel and how they will look. It feeds back into the desire to express themselves and their personality by the things they own and wear.
Among the younger generation, anime, manga, and video games are incredibly popular. Casual games are popular on mobile devices as are more hardcore RPGs (Role Playing Game), MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online), and MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). The same genres are also popular on console and PCs too,alongside FPSs (first person shooters) and RTSs (real-time strategy).
Sites like Bilibili are used by fans of anime, manga and games to share videos and live stream content to one another. Outside of videos, Bilibili also offers mobile games based on anime and manga too.
Qzone is a social networking site that is incredibly popular among young adults and teens. Users can customize their page with unique backgrounds and accessories that are tailored to their personal interests. It’s another great avenue for young people in China to express themselves and create and individual identity, something they seem very keen to do.