With an area measuring 9,597,995 km², China takes up the largest share in the Asia-Pacific region. The majority of its roughly 1.3822 billion citizens live in the provinces alongside the coastline as well as in the eastern part of central China. After abolishing its one-child policy, China’s birth rate is 1.6 children per woman.

Economy and consumerism in China

The global economic engine that is China is the world’s second-largest economy. Its steady economic growth is owed primarily to the substantial evolution of the services sector and the distinct increase in online retailing. China’s gross domestic product totalled US$ 11,940 billion in 2017 at a 6.8 % growth rate.

China has the world’s largest, steadily-growing middle class which explains the extremely high purchasing power of the Chinese. Moreover, the Chinese are the most optimistic consumers worldwide as the growth in real money income gives them confidence. The growing income, especially amongst urban citizens, is reflected by a rise in consumer enthusiasm as well as demands for quality. Especially young Chinese are highly aware of, and knowledgeable about brands.

The high purchasing power helps the retail trade to boost sales. Especially sales via supermarkets and hypermarkets have been on the rise in China. The reason for this lies in increased hygiene and a trend towards shopping centres, which explains why more and more malls are being built in the cities. Despite urbanisation, sales figures have been increasing in China’s rural regions, too. In terms of per cent, the relevance of e-commerce continues. 

China's toy market

Over 230 million children under the age of 14 live on Chinese mainland. The rise in the number of new-borns is expected to continue even in the future. This bodes well for the toy market. Growing income means that many Chinese are willing to spend more on children’s toys. At the same time, China is still an important toy maker. Around 80 % of all toys produced worldwide are made in China. The increase in export and import rates for toys is respectively high. Overall, further growth is forecasted for China’s toy market.

Popular toy product groups

Retail sales for toys and games have grown considerably over the past years and total over RMB 230 billion. Roughly 70 % of sales are generated by tech toys, and the remaining 30 % by traditional toys. Digital games in particular are gaining market shares. This is partially the case because traditional toys are combined with electronic components. And even educational toys which boost children’s creativity and imagination are recording a growth in sales. As the income of urban citizens is growing, the demand for quality toys has been growing, too. This includes electronic and smart toys, quality soft toys and decorative toys. Low-income communities, on the other hand, tend to opt for more budget-friendly toys. Licensed toys are very successful on the Chinese market. Chinese movies and TV series must also be added to this equation. Toy safety is becoming more and more relevant not just globally, but even in the Chinese toy market.

Preferences and sales channels for toys

The primary consumers of traditional toys are children under the age of six. Children aged between 7 and 19 undergo a shift in preferences which increasingly leans towards tech toys. The choice of sales channel for toys should be taken into consideration depending on the individual price segment. Toys of medium to high-end quality are distributed primarily at shopping centres, while supermarkets and consumer markets tend to be the traditional sales channel for medium-quality toys. Specialty shops have expanded over the past years and even the relevance of online stores continues to increase.