Welcome to a new breed of analytical report on China's Consumers, featuring original research from the field.

Will We Ever See Another Four Great Inventions from China?

By Brandon Berry Edwards 艾顿, Lilian Tse 谢丽欣, and Vivian Weng 翁维蔬

China’s Four Great Inventions—papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and printing—were innovations from bygone eras. When looking at China’s history over the past 50 years, it’s very difficult to find a single innovation that has made a significant impact on the world. Instead, the “Chinese version of something Western” phenomenon has characterized much of China’s recent product launches. For example, there is, which is essentially the Chinese version of eBay.


“According to popular Chinese consumer sentiment, what makes a company innovative is how often it launches new features.”

The Power of Connectedness

By Emily Chong 钟子茵 and
Rocky Liu 刘毅林

China today has the world’s most active social media population. According to an April 2012 report released by McKinsey, 91% of those connected to the Internet have visited a social media site during the last six months, compared with 30% in Japan, 67% in the United States, and 70% in South Korea. In a country where the majority of consumers are skeptical of formal institutions and traditional media outlets, social media has emerged as an effective and powerful communication channel for Chinese consumers across all segments to engage.


3 Questions for John Kao, Author of Innovation Nation

By Reena Jana 莉奈

“My definition of an “innovation nation” is one that has mobilized all of its innovation assets toward a world-improving goal. China has an explicit innovation agenda and leadership structure. The country is pouring a lot of money—staggering public funds—toward national technology and engineering initiatives. It will be exciting to see what develops in terms of new solutions in energy, transportation, and materials. The aim of the Chinese push for national science and technology agendas is clearly toward pushing the horizon.“