A quick guide to China’s ‘She Economy’

Surveys show that Chinese women are more impulsive buyers than men. This is powerful information to any marketer, especially when one realises that women in China have an ever-increasing spending power to pursue their interests. If your company sells products to the female Chinese consumer, be aware of the cartload of research that is available to help you better tailor and target your product. To help you get started, Club China compiled some need-to-knows about the rising ‘she-economy’.

China Internet Watch compiled interesting data that support the growing importance of Chinese women in the consumer market. Based on the data, businesses are paying more attention to female preferences and needs in both product development and advertising and promotion. What does research tell you?

  • 58% of Chinese mothers say they are the person in their family who manages household finances.
  • Compared to men, women are more often impulsive buyers. They tend to be less ‘self-disciplined’ than men. 42% Of women say they cannot help buying when there is a shopping atmosphere in China, such as Double 11 or the Black Friday shopping festival. 34% Of men regard themselves as impulsive buyers.


Mintel research agency analysed recent developments in marketing China’s female consumers in a piece titled ‘The power behind China’s ‘She Economy’’. One of the remarkable facts is that Chinese women are becoming more active in gyms, yoga clubs and outdoor sports activities such as running and excursions. A Mintel survey shows that only half of female consumers think that doing regular exercise is the most important factor for a healthy lifestyle in 2014. This percentage rose significantly to 61% in 2015. The increasing number of women participants in activities drives demand for fashionable outfits and leisure services that cater to women’s specific needs.

Even beer and lingerie

Traditionally, categories like beer and lingerie have been taboo for Chinese women, but this is changing rapidly. Some examples: Shanghai brewery Reberg launched a new low calorie, honey peach fruit flavoured beer called Heey 2, targeted to female consumers. Lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret recently entered the Chinese market. Even sex is not a taboo subject for women anymore. Mobile social media app Yummy opened a digital platform for women to share their sexual encounters and experiences freely. The message in this: marketers should consider the rapid changes in the Chinese ‘She Economy’.

Did you know…

about these interesting statistics about Chinese women and how they live their lives?

  • Women are marrying later, with the mean average for women at 25 years old in 2015, compared to 23 years old in 2011.
  • Almost 50% of highly educated women (with post-secondary education) are unmarried, 10.1% higher than the percentage of unmarried and highly educated men.
  • The Majority of Mothers in China Work. 72% of mothers between 25 and 34 years of age with children under the age of 6 are employed.
  • Representation of women in higher education has steadily increased in the past decade.22
  • In 2013, over half (50.7%) of enrolled students in tertiary (post-secondary) education23 were women.
  • Women earn on average 35% less than men for doing similar work.
  • Maternity leave is at least 98 days,32 and 100% of wages for maternity leave are paid by the employer and government combined.
  • Women in blue collar occupations (e.g., factory workers) are often required to retire at age 50 and women in white collar occupations (e.g., professionals, managers) at age 55.
  • Despite High Labour Force Participation, There Are Few Women in Leadership Roles.
  • In 2015, women were just 17% of all legislators, senior officials, and managers in China.
  • Only 18% of firms in China have women as top managers.
  • 12% of ministerial positions in China’s government are held by women.
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