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Chinese Consumers Increasingly Attracted to Domestic Brands | Report

By ZHAN CHEN|Sep 20,2022

Chongqing- With new life and work patterns emerging, the consumption ways and habits of Chinese consumers have changed, with a willingness to pay for attractive domestic products, according to a report of 2022 global consumer insights survey on the new retail landscape and new growth paths which released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on September 15.

Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street is a famous nighttime consumption destination. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Chongqing saw significant achievements as one of the first batches of international consumption center cities, said Peng Chao, tax service leader of PwC China consumer market industry. 

He explained that as Chongqing is built into a global buying and selling center and trade center based on Bayu features and location advantages, it is expected to radiate the central and western regions with new economic opportunities. 

Increasingly attracted to domestic brands

"Affected by various uncertain factors, the future development of China's retail market is facing great challenges in the short term," said Ye Min, leader of PwC China consumer market industry. "It is more important than ever for brands and retailers to identify new paths for sustainable growth." 

The report released four new normals (a new trend that is becoming a normal condition) that should be reshaped, including profound changes in consumers' thinking and behavior, refocus on important brand values, drastic changes in consumption patterns led by a new supply chain, transformations of the metaverse and future store.

Statistics show that Chinese brands are becoming increasingly popular among domestic consumers, where 45% of interviewees say that they are more likely to pay for domestic brands' products, which has increased by 10% compared to last year.

Besides supporting the local economy, consumers pay for the domestic brands' products at a higher price mainly because of the shorter delivery times, ease of purchase, and higher quality.


A picture of Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

Additionally, the rapid development of the metaverse has brought new changes and improvements to the retail experience. PwC analyses that the future will not replace physical retail stores but will gradually reshape retailers' strategies and physical operations to meet consumers' real and virtual needs better. 

As technological progress accelerates, traditional brands should prepare for the next phase of brick-and-mortar transformation, upgrading online and offline experiences to match the local consumers' needs.

"We suggest that brands and retailers make stronger efforts to integrate flexibility and resilience into their business models to achieve sustainable growth," said Ye. 

The Jiefangbei international consumption carnival. (iChongqing file photo)

High level of free trade facilitation

In Peng's view, since Chongqing was approved as a pioneer in building one of five of China's international consumption centers, it has perfectly positioned itself with Bayu characteristics, combined with Chongqing's local culture, regional attributes, and tourism resources. Furthermore, the concept of consumption plus tourism also helped create many fresh scenarios and upgraded the consumption experience in Chongqing.

"With over 30 million population flow, Chongqing is attracting more and more international brands to settle in," said Peng.

Chongqing can fully leverage the logistics edges in the Belt and Road initiative, the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), and the China-Europe freight trains connecting Europe and Southeast Asia. 

Peng suggested that a series of trade-supportive policies and facilitation measures should be landed as the global consumption center cities represent a high level of free trade facilitation. Therefore, Chongqing can accelerate its progress in building bonded areas, implementing tax-free and tax rebate policies, etc. 

(Yang Qinmei, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)


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