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Children make birds’ nests with their parents at a scientific carnival in Beijing, where activities for families have become lucrative. Photo: Xinhua

China’s market for children’s goods and services grows as family incomes rise

  • The country’s market for goods and services for children is worth almost US$700 billion, according to local media
  • Survey suggests it is common for 30 to 50 per cent of Chinese parents’ spending to go on their children
Children’s money is money earned most easily, goes a saying in China’s consumer market.

Covering kids’ clothes, food and drink, sports equipment and all kinds of extracurricular activities, the Chinese market for goods and services for children has expanded to 4.5 trillion yuan (US$695 billion), state media outlet Economic Daily reported on Sunday.

The growing market focused on kids comes with affluent, urban Chinese parents paying increasing attention to their children’s health and well-rounded growth.

A typical weekend day for Jiang Cong, a mother in Beijing’s Changping district, entails picking strawberries in a rural garden in the morning, then dining with friends in a mall before accompanying her child to an indoor playground in the afternoon.


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The average cost of such a day is about 1,000 yuan, excluding buying toys or paying to attend classes, Jiang told Economic Daily.

The average annual disposable income for Beijing residents last year was about 69,000 yuan, while it was 44,000 yuan for urban residents across the country and 17,000 yuan for rural residents, according to the National Statistics Bureau.

Almost half of the families surveyed in the 2020 Children Economy Insights Report, conducted by analytics firm QuestMobile, said 30 to 50 per cent of their overall spending went on their children. Besides daily necessities, they spent mostly on education, entertainment and classes such as music tuition.

Close to 90 per cent of parents aged 25 to 40 who had children aged under 12 spent 1,000 to 5,000 yuan on their children each month, the report said.


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Chinese parents pay for expensive etiquette classes to make ‘perfect’ children

Spending by people such as Jiang is generating growing revenue in shopping malls across the country, especially those that cater to both parents and children.

The management of the Intime mall in the capital’s Fengtai district is considering increasing the number of stores focused on entertainment for families, and child education, manager Yi Jiana told Economic Daily.

“The majority of our consumers are between 35 and 45 years old and most of them are parents,” Yi said.

The report listed skiing, horse riding, swimming, baking and playing with Lego as some of the activities most favoured by Chinese parents and children.

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China’s well-off families also prefer high-quality hotels when they travel, according to a report in January by the Chinese online travel company

It said most of the parents who travelled with children were below 40 years old and half of them favoured four-star and five-star hotels.