With an increase of income, Chinese people now show a growing willingness to buy imported quality goods, the People’s Daily Overseas Edition reported on June 5.
A businessman from New Zealand introduces his dairy products to a Chinese buyer at an imported products expo held in Yiwu, China in 2018.
About 86.6 percent of Chinese consumers with a monthly household income of over 20,000 yuan ($3,121) say they have either already bought or plan to buy imported goods within the coming year, according to a survey recently conducted by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
Consumers show most interest in imported goods including food, clothing, shoes and cosmetics. The growing demand for imported goods reflects the insufficient domestic supply, the survey points out.
The survey also shows that consumers usually care more about safety, price and quality of imported products.
“Some imported goods are of better quality than domestic ones, and at a reasonable price,” said Li Xiao, an employee at a Beijing-based technology company.
Li added that consumers can occasionally buy fake products from purchasing agents, so they hope China will further expand its import of overseas high-end cosmetics.
Statistics indicate that China’s total retail sales of consumer goods reached 36.6 trillion yuan last year, making China the world’s second largest consumer market. It’s therefore necessary to expand imports to meet domestic personalized and high-end consumer demand.
Moderately expanding China’s imports will benefit more countries by improving total trade volume and optimizing trade structure, said Zhao Ping, director at the International Trade Research Department under China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
In addition, it will promote the industrial transformation and upgrade of consumption in relevant domestic industries, Zhao added.
Taking the household appliances industry as an example, China’s first ever color television, produced in 1970, was inferior to imported versions in terms of both quality and performance.
However, driven by imported products, the household appliance industry in China has seen rapid development over recent years, so much so that it is now a huge manufacturer and global supplier of household appliances.
The State Council recently said that China will further cut import tariffs for daily consumer goods starting July 1, involving products such as clothing, shoes, kitchenware, sports and fitness supplies.