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If you’re interested in targeting the youth in China, there are several things you need to know about them to be successful. While China’s millennials are similar to millennials in other countries, there are some important distinctions that could make or break your business.

They Are the World’s First Generation to Be Only Children

Because of China’s one-child policy, Chinese millennials are the world’s first generation to be almost entirely only children in their households. An only child grows up differently than a child who was raised with a sibling. Common characteristics of only children are high expectations, pampered, slightly eccentric, and attention-hungry. China ended their one-child policy last year, so the world may not see a generation like this again.

Parents pushed their millennial children to educate themselves, secure good jobs, and marry into the right family. They had high expectations for their only child and didn’t have to divide their attention among more than one child.

Approximately 100 million Chinese millennials were emotionally neglected by their parents, however. These parents worked in the cities and saw their children once or twice a year. Some of these children became rebellious, whereas others became fired up to create better lives.

Individuality and Freedom

Chinese millennials share a similar mindset as millennials in other countries, but have a focus on individuality and freedom. According to Lu Xiaming, a web magazine editor in Shanghai, his generation (millennial) are more concerned with individuality and freedom because they grew up in a materially sufficient environment and didn’t have siblings to play with:

“With my generation, as we are mostly the single child in the family, kids are used to a materially sufficient life, but the downside to that is you don’t really find a lot of peers to play with. That’s why my generation can be individualistic sometimes, and also, since you already grew up in a materially sufficient life, you tend to chase the adventure and thrill of life a bit more as well.”

Willing to Try New Things and Embrace Change

Another interesting fact about Chinese millennials is they are more willing to try new things and are more willing to change. In a JWT Survey, 74% of Chinese millennials said that they would start their own businesses if they struggled to find work or lost their jobs. 85% of Chinese millennials believe that their job should be in alignment with their passions.

Filial Piety, Social Responsibility, and Traditions are Important

Don’t get the wrong impression, however. China’s millennials still greatly value traditions and social responsibility. 91% of millennial respondents in the JWT Survey think that it’s important to uphold family traditions with 75% believing that traditions hold society together. 88% of respondents are proud of national traditions and customs as well. Therefore, if you’re targeting China’s millennials, you must understand their customs and culture to connect with them.


China’s millennials are a great target audience to have, but you must research them instead of applying general millennial psychographics to them. Although they have much in common with the global millennial generation, there are important nuances to be aware of, such as the fact they grew up as the only child in their households and value their country’s traditions.

Contact us for more helpful information on China’s millennial generation and assistance with setting up your business in China.

If you are interested in knowing more about China, download the first free chapters  of my book here.

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