International Chinese students influence western brands through Chinese social media posts.
An excellent example of a company that took this initiative is the Aspinal of London. Virtually an unknown brand in China, they targetted the Chinese market in the UK through Weibo and Wechat, and next thing they know, sales from China have also significantly increased.
The purchasing power of Chinese students in the US
Leading luxury stores in London are a familiar spot to see wealthy retirees, tourists, and fashion lovers. But one thing unexpected in this crowd of big spenders is a group of Chinese students who have such competitive purchasing powers.
Not only boutiques on the British capital but also US expensive shops vie for the attention of these Asian shoppers in downtown Los Angeles. This is the shopping spot for Chinese students with hefty allowances come from schools like the University of California, University of Southern California, and California State University.
On the US east coast, you can see these students renting apartments at the Fifth Avenue of the Big Apple, which is known as New York’s millionaire’s row.
The same goes for areas like Melbourne and Vancouver, where these wealthy Chinese students cause an increase in rentals in areas where they favor to stay.
There are quite a handful of these international students that study abroad with distinctively huge allowances, which sometimes exceeds a worker’s monthly salary.
Influencing through social media
Unknowingly, Chinese students have a significant impact on western brands through their social media posts.
For example, is Annabel Yao, 22, a Harvard computer science student and ballerina. She is the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei. Annabel posted on her social media account her jet travel around the world while wearing Dior, Saint Laurent, and Louis Vuitton. With her considerable number of followers, she unknowingly influenced them on her brand of choices.
Emerging Communications, a London-based intelligence firm that focuses on Chinese retailing through its director Melody Yeh confirmed the huge interest of popular brands in targetting the Chinese market.
We have calculated £28,236 (around US$37,000) of annual disposable income from these Chinese students in the UK. Spending considered in this data is just from personal goods, accommodation not included.
Another way to boost brand popularity for Chinese patrons is to advertise on China’s primary social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo rather than on Instagram or Twitter.
A tip from Yeh on how to catch the interest of the Chinese market:
Make content that is relatable to Chinese festivities like the Chinese New Year, Singles Day, and the Golden Week holidays. Chinese love to celebrate, even if living abroad.
The United States is still the top choice for Chinese international studies, but with prevailing issues regarding US President Trump’s trade war against China might be a considerable reason for some students to shift into the UK.
This poses a positive effect on the market for European brands from these wealthy students from China. Trump’s trade war is apparently affecting more than big-time stakeholders in the US, but luxury retailers at the sidelines are homing in like vultures on carrion after the big one is cut down.
Wondering where all that money is coming from, or the sensibility of such useless expenses.