Christmas isn’t such a big occasion in China. The state represses Christianity, which ends up dampening the festivities associated with it as well. However, the younger Chinese population seems to be more involved in celebrating Christmas as they largely see it as a time to spend some money.
In China, millennials are estimated to account for almost 60 percent of the luxury market. “Chinese millennials, numbering more than 400 million — that is more than the entire population of the U.S. — serves as the biggest consumer group for European luxury brands… these well-heeled millennials in China now represent around 35 percent of global sales of luxury goods, which was worth about US$320 billion last year ,” according to South China Morning Post.
The shopping trends of millennials in China are influenced by peer pressure to a big extent. They check social media for the latest popular products and seek to acquire them. McKinsey’s China Luxury Report 2019 shows that almost 54 percent of those born post-80s and 90s checked peer reviews before purchasing a product compared to just 33 percent of post-60s and 70s. As such, the greater the number of people who share their Christmas shopping plans on social media, the higher the number of millennial shoppers there will likely be for Christmas.
After the millennials, Gen Z represents a promising Christmas shopping class. “In regard to their gift choices, Chinese Gen Z are more inclined to buy Christmas presents that have a strong national identity. Growing up in years of economic boom, the Gen Z are proud of their country’s success and have embraced a streak of patriotism. Unsurprisingly, brands that pay tribute to Chinese culture are in high demand with this group,” according to Jing Daily.
There is a difference between the two generations when it comes to procuring products. Though Chinese millennials do extensive online research about the products they are interested in, many of them prefer buying offline. In contrast, a high proportion of Gen Z prefers to buy products through social media, live streaming websites, etc. As such, Christmas offers that are aimed at making instantaneous online sales have a better chance of working with Gen Z than millennials.
Christmas in China
Christmas is not an official holiday in China. However, it is considered an unofficial holiday. In places where there are a large number of expats, like Hong Kong, Christmas is usually a celebrated event. Stores and shopping malls in big cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, etc., will be adorned with Christmas decorations. As far as Christmas food is concerned, the Chinese usually stick to local festive dishes rather than traditional Christmas dishes like roast turkey.
“The Western food that has caught on in China, like cake, has been thoroughly localized. You can find green tea flavored cake, as well as chocolate and vanilla cakes topped with cherry tomatoes. The best bet for a traditional Christmas feast is to pay attention to foreign restaurants, bars, and high-end hotels that will have a (usually) pricey range of holiday eats that you can find in the West,” according to China Travel.
Giving gifts is popular among Chinese on occasions like the traditional Chinese New Year. Gifting on Christmas is not prevalent except among the foreigners residing in the country. In some universities, students observe a custom of exchanging apples on Christmas Eve.