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Chinese Millennials on their mobile

Millennials are the most important part of the population to follow and target nowadays. They represent young people aged from 16 to 35 years old. We can subdivide them into two groups to better target them: the smartphone generation (16-25 yo) and the internet generation (26-35 yo).

Chinese Millennials

In China, Millennials are particularly important to understand because they define the future trends of every markets. We count 415 Million Millennials, which represents 31% of the Chinese population. There are fewer Millennials than previous generations due to China’s one-child policy. Consequently, they have a higher education than their parents. They are more satisfied from a materialistic point of view, and are more in the center of their family. This environment makes Millennials individualistic and self-centric.

Chinese Millennials are digital natives. With the development of Internet, they have access to data easily. They are experimenters and more risk-taking. This generation is mobile-first. Chinese Millennials use more the mobile, than laptops or tablets.


92% of internet users in China are Millennials and 90% of them own a smartphone. The mobile usage is increasing and brands have to adapt to this new consuming behavior.

Despite seeing all Chinese Millennials using their smartphone in any situation (in the subway, in the street, at the restaurant…), the data usage in China is surprisingly low compared to other Asian countries. In China, the average mobile user consumed 0,12GB of data per month in 2014. This low rate still enables Millennials to spend almost 30 hours a week on their smartphone. Notice that it is more than a full day!

What do Chinese Millennials do on their mobile ?

Communicate and share

Chinese people like to share their activities to their family and friends. The Millennials generation tends to have a strong community mindset and has at their its disposal many tools to communicate. Chinese Millennials, as other Millennials in the world, have access to internet since their earliest age so they are familiar to the new means of communication. The mobile in China is more used to chat and share on the social networks than to call someone. Chinese Millennials don’t have access to Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. In China, the most used used is WeChat, you can use it to communicate, social media and even pay.

For more information on WeChat, you can read WECHAT: From the Messaging App to the Super App


Millennials sharing


Chinese Millennials represent 73% of the online Chinese shoppers, therefore they are the main target for e-commerce. Millennials are digital natives and mobile-first so it is easy for them to navigate and buy online. The development of e-commerce websites, especially in China, has enabled young people to access products and brands easier than before. In 2 clics, they can purchase and be delivered. Then, they feel free and independent from their parents. Millennials purchase online at home or even at work, it is considered as a leisure activity.

retail ecommerce chinese millennials

This generation also really likes to order food. Many apps exist to do so in China, for example Dianping, Sherpa and even McDonald’s. This way of living is part of the Chinese Millennials’ culture, which is the zhai culture. They like to stay at home. In this environment, they can easily shop or communicate on their mobile.

Gaming and Video consuming

Today, the most downloaded free app in China is a Chinese video game, “Honour of Kings”. Millennials highly contributed to this success as they are daily playing video games. 40% of Chinese Millennials are playing more than 1 hour a day. This is one the most important activity during Chinese Millennials’ leisure time. Video games create big communities, and people can share their rates.  This community mindset qualifies this generation.

Chinese Millennials also like to watch different kinds of videos (TV shows, TV Drama and movies). They are willing to consume this media on mobile, as it is the most used device. Some apps enables them to watch videos on mobile: Youku (equivalent to Youtube), or iQIYI.



Chinese Millennials are changing the whole face of China. This mobile-first generation has a new way of life and consuming behavior, which is continuously evolving. Brands are already adapting their strategy to the mobile generation. They create apps, responsive websites on mobile and vertical videos for ads. They still have to follow this surprising and disruptive generation.


By Lauranne Poncin

Digital Marketing and Business Student in Shanghai #MBADMB

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