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Editor's note: Hou Ruoshi is the deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Big-Data & Policy of Zhejiang University. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.|
As China becomes the world's largest exporter, Chinese products now enjoy growing popularity in global markets. Quite a number of Chinese brands are much sought after by foreign consumers.
Just a few years ago, Chinese consumers were infatuated with foreign products like toilet lids, mobile phones, computers, milk powder, etc. To get stuff like these, they went abroad for shopping, or commission others to buy things on their behalf, or use the international services of online shopping websites.
Back then, to meet Chinese consumers' demand for foreign goods, international companies started to cast their eyes on China's enormous market, which possess 1.4 billion consumers. As put by The Wall Street Journal, "for years, American companies view China as a land of new opportunity."
Today, China contributes to one-third of the world's economic growth and ranks second globally in terms of household income.
It is also expected to overtake the U.S. in 2021 to become the world's largest consumer market with a 5.8 trillion U.S. dollars worth of retail sector. In a sluggish global economy, foreign companies look to Chinese consumers to cushion the blow of weak domestic consumption and shake up their businesses.
However, as the development of domestic brands gathers new momentum, Chinese consumers are turning their back on foreign goods.
According to McKinsey & Co., the market share for foreign products in China has dipped to the lowest point since the Global Financial Crisis, with the most prominent drops seen in areas including pet food, vehicles, video games, smartphones, and home appliances.
The shift, according to The Wall Street Journal, "signals a possible end of an era."