Women’s spending power grows in China

There are nearly 400 million female consumers aged 20-60 in China, with consumption expenditures of up to 10 trillion yuan annually.


A customer tries cosmetic products in a duty-free shop in Haikou, capital of South China's Hainan province, Jan 3, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

March 9, 2022

BEIJING – As their incomes rise and self-awareness grows, more Chinese women are pursuing a high-quality life, becoming the main driver of consumption spending in the new era, Chinese financial media outlet Yicai reported.

Moreover, they actively engaged in financial and economic activities, painting a wonderful and promising portrait of the Chinese women.

“She economy” was a term coined by the Ministry of Education in 2007 for the market targeting women. Industry data show that female consumers are driving growth in several sectors of the global economy, such as healthcare, e-commerce and education.

According to global consultancy Accenture, there are nearly 400 million female consumers aged 20-60 in China, who control consumption expenditures of up to 10 trillion yuan annually.

UBS earlier expected China to take a further share of global consumption over the next decade, reaching the current level of the United States in 2030, implying roughly $6 trillion in household consumption growth over the next 10 years.

People’s consumption concept has changed since the COVID-19 outbreak, especially a focus on “health”/”ease of purchase” over “brand”/”price” that seems likely to last, UBS said.

The higher ratio of young females to males in education would have a small negative (about 5 percent) impact on consumption growth over the next decade, potentially hitting traditional consumer sectors but benefiting investments.

Improving finances for women in China, along with the rising share of single-person households, could shift the consumption structure, with more spending in sectors such as luxury, pets, healthy food, beer, and autos, UBS said.

Chinese women are consumers, as well as investors.

UBS predicted female-driven evolution in consumption behavior and household structure would favor asset management and insurance.

In 2020, female investors controlled 33 percent of total global personal discretionary wealth, up from 31 percent in 2016, and the figure is expected to further increase to 35 percent by 2025, according to a report from UBS Global Wealth Management.

Women in North America hold the largest share of wealth compared to the total regional wealth pool. However, Asia exclusive of Japan is the fastest-growing hub of wealth creation for women, the report said.

Millennials are more interested in investment and more independent in their spending, with consumption skewed more toward the self than the family. This supports findings in the UBS Evidence Lab Wealth Effect and Housing Intention surveys, which indicate Chinese women have stronger intentions to buy insurance products and properties than men.

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