The “she economy” in China is a growing phenomenon that refers to the increase in the purchasing power and influence of women in society and the economy. This trend has been fueled by the increase in women’s participation in the labor market, by the growth of the middle class and by the growing awareness of companies of the importance of women as consumers.
According to AliResearch, the research unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Chinese women account for 41% of the country’s online consumers and their purchasing power is in constant growth. In 2020, total spending by Chinese women reached 8.8 trillion yuan (about 1.5 trillion euros), accounting for nearly half of total Chinese consumer spending.
In addition, Chinese women have more influence over the family’s purchasing decision than in other countries. According to the same research by AliResearch, 74% of Chinese women consider themselves the main person when choosing the products to buy for their family.
This trend has been fueled by the growing economic independence of Chinese women. In 2021, the participation rate of women in China’s labor market was 61.3%, up from 60.6% in 2020, according to data from National Bureau of Statistics. Chinese women have obtained more and more high-level jobs and have become increasingly present in traditionally male sectors such as engineering and technology.
The growing purchasing power of Chinese women has led many companies to focus on this growing market. Many consumer goods manufacturers are tailoring their products to the preferences of the fairer sex, such as offering beauty products with natural ingredients and creating lines of baby care products.
But let’s see how women have influenced some of the most popular industries in China:
The luxury sector is seeing growth thanks to Chinese women. According to the China Luxury Report 2021, women account for 55% of consumers of luxury goods in China. Furthermore, according to a report by Business of Fashion, Chinese women have a particular interest in Italian luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada and Versace (well, not just them!).
The wine industry in China is becoming increasingly important to she economy. Chinese women account for 55% of wine consumption in China, and the figure is set to rise. Many Chinese women have become sommeliers or have opened their own wine shops, creating an increasingly diverse and sophisticated market. Several wineries are trying to meet the needs of this group by creating light, fruity wines that pair well with Chinese cuisine. Also, some companies are trying to create a more inclusive shopping experience for Chinese women. For example, they are organizing tasting events and sommelier courses aimed exclusively at Chinese women.
The fashion industry is another industry where she economy is having a significant impact. As we have said, Chinese women account for more than 50% of the luxury goods market in China. Many fashion brands are trying to meet the needs of Chinese women by creating products that combine elegance and practicality, such as dresses that can be worn both in the office and during leisure time. Furthermore, collaborations with Chinese female influencers and celebrities to promote fashion products are increasingly frequent, as well as fashion shows dedicated entirely to women.
- Interior Design
Even the interior design industry tries to respond to the needs of she economy. Chinese women are often responsible for purchasing furniture and home accessories, which has led to more attention being paid to their preferences and lifestyles. Many interior design companies are trying to create products that combine functionality and aesthetics, with attention to the trends and preferences of Chinese women.
In addition to consumer sectors, she economy in China has also had an impact on the technology industry. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, China ranks first in the world for the number of women engaged in the technology industry, with 44 % of Chinese technology company employees who are women. Furthermore, many Chinese women are becoming successful entrepreneurs in the technology sector.
Even the world of work is evolving, many companies in China are trying to address these challenges and create a more inclusive working environment for women. For example, Alibaba launched a program called “Wufu She” to support women’s empowerment through education and entrepreneurship. Similarly, Tencent has instituted paid parental leave policies for both parents and created a mentoring program for women working in the tech industry.
In summary, the she economy in China it is a growing phenomenon that has had a significant impact on the Chinese economy and society . Chinese women have steadily growing purchasing power and ever-increasing influence over family purchasing decisions, and brands should take this trend into account if they want to succeed in the Chinese market.