Around the turn of the century, the Chinese government launched a college enrolment expansion plan to raise the national educational level. Consequently, China’s enrolment rate has soared, from around 5% in the early 1990s to 15% in 2002, then leaping to an average of 76% in 2013. This remarkable change has created a special group of young adults with their own particular needs, a group numbering nearly 30 million, according to a research by Shanghai Jiaotong University.

Despite being stereotyped as broke, this demographic actually has a considerable amount of spending power, given that students at university are very often only children, while Chinese parents are known for their willingness to invest heavily in education.

A report noted that in 2013, Chinese students’ average annual spending stood at around RMB11,347 (around US$1,826), or around half of the disposable income of Chinese urban citizens. Their income mainly comes from their parents, who contribute the majority, and part-time jobs.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.