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Consumption patterns of Chinese urban and rural consumers

Tao Sun (Assistant Professor of Marketing Communications in the Department of Marketing Communication at Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Guohua Wu (Assistant Professor in Advertising at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



As an exploratory study on rural and urban consumers in an emerging market like China, this paper presents empirical evidence about the impacts of economic development on consumer lifestyles. Chinese rural and urban consumers were found to be statistically different in terms of their attitudes toward the whole marketing mix: product price, brand names, promotions and distribution. Possibly as a result of these disparate attitudes, rural and urban consumers were found to use different products to reflect the improvement of their living standards. All of these previous differences might be due to the fact that rural and urban Chinese consumers have different needs, as indicated by the words they chose to describe their ideal image. These lifestyle differences reveal huge marketing potentials for MNCs and other foreign investors, who will ultimately move into China's relatively untapped rural regions for marketing opportunities.



Sun, T. and Wu, G. (2004), "Consumption patterns of Chinese urban and rural consumers", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 245-253.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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