New Report Sheds Light on Financial Habits of Chinese Middle-class Households

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A new report on Chinese middle-class households sheds light on their geographic distribution and investment proclivities.

The “2019 New Middle-class Household Consumption and Wealth Management Report” (2019新中产家庭消费与理财报告) defined China’s “new middle-class households as those with annual income of over 200,000 yuan (approx. USD$28,809), whose members have received higher educations and are in professional or administrative roles.

The report which was released in early January was jointly prepared by Tencent Licaitong (腾讯理财通) and the 21st Century Research Institute (21世纪经济研究院).

According to the report these households are currently most heavily concentrated in major cities around China, with Beijing host to the largest number of middle-class households, followed by Shanghai in second place, Shenzhen in third and Guangzhou in fourth.

57.5% of these households saw their incomes rise in 2018, while 26% received end of year bonuses in excess of 50,000 yuan.

Income changes of Chinese middle-class households in 2019

Income shift in 2019Share of Chinese middle-class households
Large-scale decline4.4%
Small decline13.1%
Held steady25.1%
Small increase45.7%
Large-scale increase11.8%

End of year bonuses of Chinese middle-class households in 2019

End of year bonusShare of Chinese middle-class households
No end of year bonus22.5%
Less than 10,000 yuan16.0%
10,000 to 50,000 yuan35.5%
50,000 to 100,000 yuan12.2%
100,000 to 200,000 yuan4.6%
Over 200,000 yuan9.2%

94.2% of China’s new middle-class households reported positive returns on their investments in 2019.

Returns on investments of Chinese middle-class households

Returns on investmentShare of Chinese middle-class households
No return5.8%
0 – 4%39.8%
4 – 10%35.4%
10 – 20%6.6%
Above 20%12.4%

Preferred investment choices are funds, wealth management products and real estate, while Chinese middle-class households prefer to deal with banks and online wealth management platforms.

Preferred investment vehicles of Chinese middle-class households

Investment vehicleShare of Chinese middle-class households
Funds and wealth management products65.3%
Real estate63.2$
Bank deposits55.9%
Insurance products41.3%
Shares in list companies31.1%
Cash 28.%
Enterprise shares14.9%

Preferred financial and investment platforms of Chinese middle-class households

PlatformShare of Chinese middle-class households
Banks60.1%
Third party online wealth management platforms54.6%
Fund companies29.1%
Securities companies28.0%
Insurance companies16.3%
Trust companies4.7%
Other3.8%

Chinese middle-class households would prioritise an increase in their expenditures on education for their children, as well as travel and their own educational opportunities.

Spending increase priorities of Chinese middle-class households

Spending areaShare of Chinese middle-class households
Childhood education 31.2%
Travel13.8%
Study increases12.4%
Health and medical treatment11.7%
Daily expenditures11%
Real estate rent and loans10.8%
Parental care6.5%
Social interactions1.7%

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