Changing consumer markets and marketing in China

Shu Zhang, Jenny van Doorn, Peter S.H. Leeflang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


China's enormous population and rapidly increasing consumer spending are attractive to many multinational corporations (MNCs) to supply products to the Chinese markets. Yet MNCs continue to struggle to find ways to serve this diverse and culturally unique market. This article reviews and integrates existing knowledge on Chinese consumers' responses to marketing efforts, and specifies and empirically tests several propositions. Chinese consumers are found to have higher brand consciousness, brand loyalty, lower price sensitivity for visible goods, and to be less responsive to sales promotions compared to Western consumers. We also find indications that the influence of face considerations (i.e., prestige earned in a social network) cause Chinese consumers to have higher emphasis on prestige in their channel choices and advertisement evaluations than Western consumers. By outlining these implications, our study can help MNCs better understand how Chinese consumers behave and that understanding can help MNCs adapt their marketing efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-351
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Business and Emerging Markets
Issue number4
Early online date17 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Chinese consumers
  • MNCs
  • multinational corporations
  • China
  • emerging markets
  • marketing channels
  • sales promotions
  • advertising
  • private labels
  • price sensitivity
  • marketing mix
  • consumer markets


Dive into the research topics of 'Changing consumer markets and marketing in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this