It's no secret that the world is watching the rapidly developing mainland Chinese consumer market with envy and with awe. And two reports released this week by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) are hoping to shed a little light on what makes your average Chinese consumer tick ... and spend.
In June this year, the HKTDC polled 1,050 middle-class consumers living in the major Chinese cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Dalian and Wuhan.
The results revealed 85 pe cent said they would spend on clothes, cosmetics, fitness training or even plastic surgery if it were to improve their appearance.
Despite a common perception that mainland consumers are suckers for major brands, 77 percent of respondents claimed personal taste was more important - and most of them also viewed themselves as trendsetters.
The average household income for the survey was near 10,000 yuan (1,000 euros) per month and 63 percent said they had paid off mortgages on their homes.
According to the HKTDC, many said they now own a car, international brand-name mobile phones and take holidays overseas.
"Middle-class families in the mainland have a high disposable income and strong purchasing power," HKTDC deputy chief economist Pansy Yau told a press conference Wednesday. "The survey results can help companies position their products and devise appropriate marketing strategies."
The HKTDC's other report can also help in that regard.
The "Consumer Survey of Home Furnishing on the Mainland'' revealed that 90 percent of those who had bought and moved into new homes in the past year had decorated when they moved in - and of those, 93 percent had full-scale decoration work done.
The HKTDC says that in the surveyed cities, the average spent on decorating a new home was 61,121 yuan (6,154 euros) - nearly twice that spent on decorating an old home (31,795 yuan or 3,200 euros).
And respondents said that the sitting room and the bedroom were the rooms were the places where they added a personal touch - so they were willing first to spend money on "superior-quality sofas and beds."
Finally, among the upholstered products that new home owners rushed out to buy, curtains and beddings accounting for 71 percent and 70 percent of new purchases, respectively.
Full reports on the surveys are available for purchase themselves at http://www.hktdc.com/bookshop