The number of Chinese tourists and the collective amount they have spent shopping abroad has grown significantly as disposable incomes continue to rise and high luxury taxes make prices significantly higher at home. Based on our analytics and research, KAWO created an infographic as a guide to the shopping habits of Chinese tourists. 3 surprising takeaways include:

1. The shopping industry is a highly active topic on Chinese social media. This in itself isn’t surprising, but some of the effects are interesting. For example, the playing field is leveled for less established brands. Social media offers a direct way to engage with customers, allowing lesser-known brands to aggressively promote themselves, exposing established brands to more competition in China.

Increased access to information about shopping destinations abroad allows Chinese tourists to plan and comparison shop ahead of time or even share foreign shopping experiences, check prices, send photos, and take orders for friends in real-time.

2. Chinese tourists are venturing out of major cities and brands:  Armed with this knowledge, the retail/outlet market has also started to draw many bargain-hunting, but still brand-conscious Chinese tourists. So while luxury spending continues to grow, in addition to the major shopping centers in NYC and LA, Chinese tourists are increasingly going to suburban outlet malls.

Additionally, an increased interest in traveling alone, a ban on commission-subsidized tours and a growing desire for expressing an individual style drives more exploration of areas beyond major cities and brands.

3.  Chinese tourists have expressed an increased interest in fine dining/gambling & experiences: A recent survey by brokerage CLSA reports that more than other overseas tourists, Chinese tourists are more and more interested in high-end restaurants and entertainment. Destinations where shopping is readily accessible and combined with fine dining establishments, gambling and shows are desirable locations for Chinese tourists to visit.


Learn more about Chinese social media best practices with KAWO, a Shanghai-based startup whose technology takes your existing Facebook and Twitter social media content, translates and localizes it before putting it on Chinese social media.

This content is created collaboratively in partnership with our sponsor, KAWO.

Tags: china
Photo Credit: Chinese tourists tote merchandise as they shop at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon, California. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times/MCT