China to cultivate new consumption pattern for sustained economy

Numerous customers are seen shopping at a 7-Eleven store in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai, China, on March 15, 2024./CFP

Numerous customers are seen shopping at a 7-Eleven store in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai, China, on March 15, 2024./CFP

Editor’s note:  Liu Chunsheng is an associate professor at the Beijing-based Central University of Finance and Economics. The article reflects the author’s opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

China is making a transformative shift towards a consumption-driven economy, a move that aligns with global economic uncertainties and the volatility of international trade. This strategic pivot is not merely about enhancing domestic markets but about a holistic embrace of innovative, sustainable, and technologically advanced consumption patterns poised to influence global economic strategies.

At the core of this economic transition is a deep-seated commitment to innovation. China’s investment in research and development across emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and advanced telecommunications, is setting the stage for the consumer markets of the future. This innovation drive is redefining consumer expectations and lifestyles, with Chinese enterprises introducing groundbreaking products that are reshaping market dynamics.

Digital transformation is another key pillar of China’s new economic model. The widespread adoption of internet and mobile payment technologies has catalyzed the creation of a digitally native consumer culture. The surge in e-commerce, online education, fintech, and telehealth, especially during the pandemic lockdowns, has demonstrated the adaptability of Chinese consumers and underscored the resilience of digital economic infrastructures.

Wind turbines spin to deliver green energy in Rongcheng, Shandong province, China, Jan 24, 2024./CFP

Wind turbines spin to deliver green energy in Rongcheng, Shandong province, China, Jan 24, 2024./CFP

Sustainability has also emerged as a fundamental aspect of China’s economic realignment. The integration of green consumption principles into the market is not only attracting environmentally conscious consumers but is also facilitating international collaborations, leading to the development of innovative market segments. This focus on sustainability is aligning China’s economic ambitions with global environmental stewardship efforts.

Personalization is increasingly becoming a hallmark of the Chinese consumer market. The demand for tailored products and services, from customized travel and wellness plans to smart home ecosystems, is driving a shift towards a culture of luxury and premium consumption. This trend is reflective of a broader global move towards individualized consumer experiences.

The expansion of the service sector signifies a departure from China’s traditional manufacturing-centric economic model. By bolstering services in education, healthcare, elderly care, and cultural offerings, China is responding to demographic changes and a growing desire for experiential consumption, thereby enriching its economic and social tapestry.

Shanghai’s Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street launches a consumption activity to promote consumption through digital and green means, on Jan 17, 2024,./CFP

Shanghai’s Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street launches a consumption activity to promote consumption through digital and green means, on Jan 17, 2024,./CFP

Government policies have played a crucial role in shaping this new economic landscape, with initiatives such as tax incentives, subsidies, and regulatory reforms aimed at fostering a consumption-centric economy. These measures have not only shaped market behaviors but also signaled the government’s dedication to sustainable economic development.

In this evolving market, consumer protection remains a top priority. Strengthening consumer rights and building a trustworthy market environment are essential to ensuring that consumers are informed and engaged participants in the new economy.

China’s strategic initiatives in innovation, digital transformation, sustainability, and consumer engagement are positioning it at the forefront of a global shift towards consumption-driven economies. This transformation, pursued with diligence and foresight, promises to redefine not just China’s economic growth but also to influence global consumption patterns, embodying a vision of a unified world propelled by shared economic aspirations and collaborative success.