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Research Shows Chinese Consumers Want American Products
Aug 11, 2005
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A recent public opinion poll of China's emerging urban middle class found that high-quality consumer electronics lead the list as one of most desired American products.

The research was conducted by UPS and Research International and involved 1,140 Chinese consumers between the ages of 20 and 59 in six cities.

According to the survey, 45 percent would like to see more U.S. durable products, including refrigerators, washers and dryers, and microwaves. In addition, 53 percent of those polled want a broader selection of American electronics. The most likely purchases this year are digital cameras, laptop computers, and video/digital recording devices.

"These findings show the urban consumer market in China has a great potential for foreign, and especially American, exporters," said Fei-Ling Wang, International Affairs professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "It confirms there is a sizeable group of urban residents in China with considerable disposable income who are developing brand-name consciousness, becoming savvy consumers and acquiring a taste for foreign goods."

The survey also found that when making purchasing decisions, 60 percent of respondents cited quality as the most important purchase decision factor. That was followed by price/value at 18 percent, which was more important to older respondents than to younger ones. The country of origin and manufacturing location both fell far below quality in importance at 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

"According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. exports to China have grown 80 percent since 2001, but this survey shows the Chinese would like even more quality American items," said Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing. "The spending power of this middle class is exploding. Many American companies view China as a threat rather than an opportunity; they run the risk of missing the China potential and being left behind.

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