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Chinese patriotism is new sales octane as millennials embrace home-grown brands at the expense of fo

In China, nationalism sells.

Months of a gruelling trade war with the US and geopolitical spats with Asian neighbours have stoked nationalistic fervour among millennials, who are flexing their spending muscle, splashing out on guo huo, or Made-in-China brands, at the expense of foreign icons.

The trend helped propel sales of local companies including cosmetics maker Shanghai Jahwa United Co. and apparel manufacturer Bosideng International Holding, outpacing international brands like MAC and Canada Goose during the Singles’ Day online-shopping gala on November 11, amid trade tensions and boycotts.

Dr Yu, a skincare business unit of the century-old Shanghai Jahwa, is one of the top names among the “patriotic” brands that Chinese consumers are gravitating towards to counter Western brands. The unit, whose products are co-developed with local doctors, saw a seven-fold increase in sales to 60 million yuan (US$8.6 million) in December.

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