74% Of Elite Chinese Consumers Prioritise Making A Positive Impact Over Materialism

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According to a new report by HSBC Jade, the bank’s most elite membership level, Chinese consumers say that their personal growth and making a positive impact on earth is more important than wealth. This adds to the growing analyses indicating that the consumer market, especially in Asia, is increasingly wellness oriented and eco-conscious. For companies, this signals that they must be purpose-driven in their operations if they are to retain customers in the long-term. 

For top-tier Chinese clients, individual growth and the planet is more important than making money, according to a survey spearheaded by HSBC Jade. The research, which involved 900 high-profile participants, found that 74% of mainland Chinese want to leave behind a positive impact on the world. Unsurprisingly, this is driven by the younger people – a demographic that is more attuned to environmental and health issues that older generations had typically sidelined. These results indicate that as businesses – even luxury companies – need to look further than expensive labels and designer products if they are to retain their appeal

Speaking to Jing Daily on these findings, director at consultancy firm Singing Grass Alicia Liu said: “As the digital savvy, sophisticated millennial generation in China grows up and start to become parents, they are looking for a more fulfilling experience…Brands must set out to meet this growing demand and produce an enriching lifestyle solution rather than simply offer a product.” 

Indeed, this could explain the uptick in Chinese consumers who are open to plant-based offerings and the idea of clean meat due to concerns about wellbeing and climate change. In a recent study published in Frontiers, eco and ethically-minded Chinese consumers exhibited high levels of approval for vegan and cultured meat products, more so than their American counterparts. This has led to a plethora of local and foreign food tech startups eyeing the Chinese market, from Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat to regional brands such as Omnipork and Zhenmeat

It additionally accounts for the regional health and fitness trend, which has seen increasingly rich Chinese consumers willing to pay premium prices for high-end wellness services. According to figures in a Global Wellness Summit report in 2018, over 104 million Chinese mobile users have a paid fitness app on their phone, and over 15 million are subscribed to an upmarket gym membership plan. But it isn’t just Chinese consumers.

These results further reflect a global shift in consumer trends towards businesses that showcase initiative in sustainability and eco-wellness. One thing is clear – if companies want to stay in the picture, they have to think in the long-term, which is to respond to what consumers care about the most: investing in health and wellbeing and combating the world’s biggest crisis – climate change.

Lead image courtesy of Getty Images / Blue Jean Images.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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