Forget Shanghai. China’s lower-tier cities are set to fuel consumption

Image credit: Boston Consulting Group

Move over, Beijing and Shanghai – lesser-known cities like Nanping and Weifang are on the rise.

Such lower-tier cities will play an increasingly important role in the Chinese consumer market, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report.

As the chart above shows, the country is expected to add 80 million middle-class and affluent consumers (MACs) by 2030. A whopping 70% of them will come from cities of Tier 3 or lower.

See also: Lessons from the demise of two Chinese grocery delivery pioneers

The BCG paper notes that altogether, MACs will make up nearly 40% of the Chinese population, meaning this consumer segment will be hugely important to any company trying to make inroads in the country.

In addition, even amid the difficult recent years of Covid-19, Chinese consumers were willing to pay a premium for quality across various product categories. This finding indicates those new MACs in lower-tier cities may be more interested in higher-value products than they would have been in the past.


Peter Cowan

Community content editor at Tech in Asia, based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Reach me via email at peter.cowan@techinasia[dot]com

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