Understanding China’s wealthy


China will soon be home to the world’s fourth-largest population of wealthy households. Companies that hope to reach them must understand how they differ from their counterparts elsewhere, from other Chinese consumers, and from one another.

Talking about wealthy consumers in China may seem odd during the middle of a global economic crisis. Yet for many companies around the world, wealthy Chinese represent a rare opportunity in an otherwise dismal picture.

Despite the global downturn, the number of wealthy households in China continues to grow. By 2015, the country will hold the world’s fourth-largest concentration of wealthy people. Companies that better understand the factors behind their purchases could steal a march on the competition.

Our research shows that their behavior is very different from that of their counterparts in other countries and of consumers in other income classes inside China.1 Indeed, the pool of luxury consumers has become large enough to form distinct segments, each with its own behavior and needs.

Our work included face-to-face interviews in 16 cities with 1,750 wealthy Chinese consumers—people in households earning more than $36,500 annually, which gives them the spending power of a US household making roughly $100,000 a year. These wealthy Chinese households, with an average annual income of about $80,000, represented the top 1 percent of earners in China’s cities. We supplemented the interviews with home visits by our researchers, who also accompanied many respondents on shopping trips.

In addition, we talked with brand managers and marketing specialists in China who serve this sector, visited luxury brand stores, and conducted exit interviews there.

To succeed, marketers selling luxury brands or the premium end of mainstream brands must understand what makes these consumers pick one over another. Indeed, they vary sharply in their preferences: for example, some wealthy consumers in China are still looking for status labels, while others try not to display their wealth. Companies that fail to understand such distinctions could end up wasting millions in marketing dollars and missing big opportunities.


beijing, china, chinese students, seattle, technology, uw

Seattle Holds Special Allure For Chinese Students

Sarah Ye (left), Eric Wang and Elaine Cheng are students at Seattle University.

Part two of a five-part series on Chinese students aiming to earn degrees in the U.S.

For students from China, Seattle is a place to stretch their wings and build a foundation for future success, according to three Seattle University graduate students.

Elaine Cheng, Eric Wang and Sarah Ye arrived together in Seattle nine months ago from Shanghai to study for a Masters of Professional Accounting at Seattle University. All three previously studied financial accounting at Shanghai International Studies University, and their Seattle University studies will complete their undergraduate degree in China. In their short time here, they’ve learned to overcome the “Seattle Freeze,” deal with stereotypes, and get to know more about how American people think and live.

They agreed to meet me for an interview over huo guo (“hot pot”) at the noisy Hong Kong Bistro in the International District and share their perspectives about why they chose to study in Seattle and their experiences so far. We had previously come to know one another through church.


beijing, billionaires, china, ethiopia, millionaires

Digital Currency Hedge Fund Connects Seattle Chinese and Ethiopian Business


Bridgeport Partners has now been established in Seattle Washington.

Bridgeport Partners, A Ron Williams Company, will connect Seattle Chinese and Ethiopian Capital in Fall 2014.

Bridgeport Partners will align its real estate, retail, oil, financing, contruction and technology business ventures proposals that will connect Chinese and Ethiopian business persons in the Seattle, and Vancouver British Columbia area’s.

China has been a strategic business partner in Africa with Ethiopia since 1970.

beijing, china, mandarin

China’s Singles Day Shopping Spree Breaks Sales Records


This November 11th, China’s Singles Day broke sales records.

According to data released by Alibaba, the Paypal-like Tmall Alipay transactions hit 100 million yuan ($16.42 million) within the first fifty-five seconds of this year’s sales event. Sales exceeded 17.52 billion yuan ($2.876 billion) around noon, and a whopping 35 billion yuan ($5.746 billion) in sales by the end of the day, breaking last year’s record. Alibaba’s websites alone sold more than $3 billion worth of goods on last year’s Singles Day.

“Thirty billion yuan is not a surprise. What we care more is something behind the figure, such as helping more companies build their capabilities and benefiting the whole society through a variety of economic operation.” said Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group.

This year, the largest single transaction was made by a woman who spent 20.5 million yuan ($4.1 million) on a 13.33 karat diamond. Electronics, apparel, baby products and financial products are among the most sought-after categories. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi was one of the big winners with its single store sales reaching 100 million yuan ($16.4 million) for the first time.


beijing, china, mandarin, Uncategorized

Chinese Mom Buys $6.5 Million New York City Apartment for 2-Year-Old


Think you’re spoiling your child? Think again. A CCTV story is making international headlines after a New York City real estate agent revealed that a Chinese mother purchased a $6.5 million apartment for her toddler.

Sotheby’s senior vice president Kevin Brown told China’s CCTV that he showed apartments all over Manhattan to the buyer, who is remaining anonymous

Read more: Chinese Mom Buys $6.5 Million New York City Apartment for 2-Year-Old

The woman ended up buying in the luxury Manhattan building One57. The 90-story building, which is still unfinished, was designed by a Pritzker Prize–winning architect and will have a library with a pool table and 7.3-m aquarium, a private concert hall and a “pet washroom” along with an enviable location on 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.