Shoppers shift to local brands for Double 11, citing patriotism
Published: Oct 28, 2020 07:23 PM

Gift boxes of the Double 11 shopping spree. Photo: IC


About 66 percent of Chinese consumers will buy domestic brands during the upcoming Singles' Day online shopping festival starting November 11, and the majority of them cite "patriotism" as a primary reason, a survey from AlixPartners, a global consulting firm, showed on Wednesday.

The survey, which covered more than 2,000 consumers across China, also showed that 57 percent said that they will spend less on US brands than they did last year.

The results are in line with an online survey by the Global Times in July, which showed with increasing tensions between the world's two largest economies, the US had become the country where Chinese consumers' preference for American brands fall the most.

In the July survey, 63.7 percent of the respondents said they had less trust in and preference for US products. Interest in products from India, Australia, Japan and UK also dropped.

Analysts said that although consumers' brand preference has a connection with geopolitics, the shift to domestic brands is also due to the increasing quality and competitiveness of Chinese brands.

"When I was choosing a rowing machine online, I found some domestic brands such as Xiaomi have higher ratings than foreign brands, as well as being more cost-effective and using the latest technology," Irene Chen, a Beijing-based white-collar worker, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"If Chinese brands are indeed better than foreign ones, why should we insist on buying foreign brands?" Chen said.

Moreover, analysts said that Chinese consumers, especially young ones, are becoming more rational and focused on product quality rather than its origin.

For instance, Apple's first 5G smartphone - the iPhone 12 - had 3 million reservations on Chinese e-commerce platforms during its pre-sale period, which started at 8 pm Beijing time on October 16, beating expectations despite its late arrival to the 5G phone market.

"It's got nothing to do with patriotism - I chose Apple phones because I'm used to its ecosystem, and if Huawei's ecosystem can meet my expectations one day, I will switch to choose a Huawei phone then," Dai Chao, a university teacher in Dongguan, South China's Guangdong Province, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The survey found that 39 percent of Chinese consumers plan to spend more during Singles' Day shopping spree this year than last year. Only 15 percent plan to spend less, citing lingering concerns over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, according to the AlixPartners survey.

On October 21, within 10 minutes after pre-sales began on Taobao, Alibaba's e-commerce platform, the transaction volume for live-streaming promotions surpassed that of a full day last year, according to a report sent from Taobao to the Global Times.

Analysts have also predicted that sales of the online shopping festival, the first online shopping event as the pandemic in the country gets under control, are expected to post a double-digit increase this year.