Chinese Family Parenting Report 2016

Post-85s and post-90s constitute the majority of new mothers in China, and it’s especially true with the latter in low-tier cities. Post-90s make up the largest part in China’s new mothers, up to 46%. Post-90s new mothers occupy a significantly high proportion in 4th –tier cities and rural areas.

Chinese Family Parenting Report 2016

Introduction to Chinese Consumers of Maternal-Child Products

Post-85s and post-90s constitute the majority of new mothers in China, and it’s especially true with the latter in low-tier cities. Post-90s (born in 1990s) make up the largest part in China’s new mothers, up to 46%, followed by post-85s (born  in 1985-1989), 41%, and except for 1st – tier cities, the proportion of post-80s and post-70s new mothers is low. Post-90s new mothers occupy a significantly high proportion in 4th –tier cities and rural areas.


The number of post-90s new mothers grows rapidly and becomes a mainstream crowd.


The average household income of new parents is RMB 7,309 in China. It is the highest with post-80s (1980-1984) parents, or RMB 8,514, significantly higher than that of parents from other age groups. Household income of post-90s parents is relatively low.


Over 70% of young parents have their own houses, and about 40% of young parents need to buy or change the house. About 75% of young parents have their own houses, and it is still a trend of Chinese families to own a house before having babies.


52% of young parents own a car, and nearly half need to buy or exchange for a new one.


Information Sources of Chinese Maternal-Child Product Consumers

Maternal-child websites/APP are main channels for China’s new mothers to obtain parenting knowledge in China.
Access to Parenting knowledge - top 3 - ChinaMaternal-child websites/APP take up 48% of time spent on the internet. Maternal-child websites/APP make up the major part of the time new mothers spend on the internet, and it is especially true after the baby is born.


Over 60% of new mothers prefer highly recommended knowledge, and it is especially the case among post-90s. 64% of new mothers prefer highly recommended featured topics, and 36% are interested in comprehensive parenting knowledge. It seems both are indispensable.


Professional knowledge, exchange of feelings and experience, and expert’s advice are three sources of parenting knowledge most needed by new mothers. Professional knowledge is most valued by new mothers, so expertise and expert advice are most popular among them. It is a general demand for them to exchange experience and feelings with other internet users also in pregnancy.


Most new mothers reduce the use of computers after being pregnant, and the importance of mobile internet is  further highlighted.


Online/Offline Purchase Behavior of Chinese Maternal-Child Product Consumers

The monthly average expenditure on maternal-child products is high among people of high income and from high tier cities.

Diapers, baby care products and children’s clothing are the most purchased categories.


85% of maternal-child crowd have purchased corresponding products online via comprehensive or vertical e-commerce websites.


People do not purchase online for fear of buying fakes, but those from 1st-tier cities show the highest confidence in online shopping. Improve brand credibility in consumers, especially maternal-child crowd in cities of low tiers through brand communication process.


Generally speaking, they buy maternal-child products online about twice a month and those from 1st-tier cities enjoy the highest frequency.


Quality and certified products, comments from other mothers and brands are major considerations in making purchase decision.


People usually shop around before making the final purchase decision.


Nearly 70% of mothers are worried about the security of online payment, but post-90s and young mothers from big 1st-tier cities show higher confidence in it.


Conducive Policy–Universal Two-Child Policy

There is no significant preference of boys in family planning for a second child. Of families whose firstborn are boys, most want a girl for a second child; of families whose firstborn are girls, nearly 60% hope the second child to be a boy, and over 30% say either is OK.


An only child will feel lonely and to provide companionship is the main reason for having a second child. In addition, a family with more than one kid can better cultivate children’s solidarity and sense of responsibility, and will  have more happiness and fun, which is also a major reason for having a second child.


Heavy economic burden is the major reason for not having a second child. Having no time to take care of babies, sound child rearing, pregnancy and labour pains, limited time and energy, etc. all explain why they do not want a second child.


Most parents want a 2 to 3-year age difference between the firstborn and the second child. Most parents consider the expenditure of the second child to be similar to the firstborn; but in reality, it is higher than  imagined. 59% of the parents think the expenditure of a second child is more or less the same as the firstborn. In contrast with people prepared to have a second child, those who already have one think the expenditure of the second child is higher than the firstborn. That is, the actual cost is higher than imagined in pregnancy and before giving birth to a second child.


General Concern Scientific Parenting

The top three scientific parenting concerns of are education methodology, character cultivation, and knowledge learning/intelligence building.
Scientific Parenting concern - top 3 - China

Grandparents/Maternal grandparents are the main force in babysitting and fathers gradually become the backbone in the process. In Chinese families, the elders remain to be the most important helpers in child rearing. The role of grandparents/maternal grandparents in taking care of the kid is even higher than its dad.


Disagreement with the elders commonly exists in parenting concepts, including feeding, education and parenting styles. The elders play a significant role in babysitting, and inevitably, disagreements exist in parenting. 82% of the families say they have encountered differences in parenting styles and methods. The most common difference is ways of feeding, followed by education methods and parenting styles.


Over 60% of the maternal crowd have heard about online medical treatment, of whom only 18% are very familiar with it. Likewise, nearly 70% of the respondents say they are willing to use online medical treatment, but under the influence of “free” internet services, 44% say it depends on the costs, and 15% will use it if it is provided for free.


Post-70s and high-income maternal crowds show higher willingness to use and pay for medical treatment online.


Network Hotspot – Webcast, Draw Closer to Mothers

About one in four parents say they are interested in webcasts. People preparing for pregnancy are more attracted to webcasts. People in pregnancy and those having given birth to babies are busy and less obsessed with webcasts.


Gemini/Aries mothers show higher interest in webcasts than other constellation.


The maternal crowd show higher interest in parenting and expert lecture webcasts.


Of the maternal crowd willing to pay to watch webcasts, over half prefer that of expert lectures and other mothers’ parenting webcasts.


The maternal crowd are more willing to watch other mothers’ webcasts on parenting experience or skills, and how to make food supplement; slimming exercise of mothers is also very popular.


Key findings

1. Highest ratio of post-85s and post-90s in China’s new mothers. 

  • Especially post-90s and post-85s mothers in low tier cities.
  • Post-90s occupies nearly half of pregnant mothers and that of 0 to 1-year-old kids, a significant increase as compared with 2 years ago.

2. The birth of new babies will somewhat stimulate exchange  for new cars and houses

  • About 75% of young parents have their own houses, and up to 40% need to exchange for new housing.

3. Maternal-child websites/APP are the most important channels  to access to parenting knowledge

  • Over 60% of new mothers prefer selected and highly recommended knowledge, and it’s especially true with  post-90s.

4. The maternal crowd buy maternal-child products mainly via  online channels

  • Diapers, baby care products and children’s clothing are  most bought categories.

  • They buy maternal-child products twice a month on  average, and most frequently in 1st-tier cities.

  • Smart phones are most used equipment in the purchase of maternal-child products today.

5. More than half have given birth to/plan to have a second child  under the universal two-child policy

  • Families planning for a second child show no evident preference  for boys.

  • The only child will feel too lonely. To cultivate solidarity and sense  of responsibility and increase fun in the family is major reasons  for having a second child.

  • The 2 to 3 years of age difference is the most ideal.

6. Scientific parenting is a hot topic in parents

  • Nearly 80% say they concern themselves with scientific parenting,  especially education methods, character cultivation, knowledge  learning and intelligence building.

  • Mothers are willing to exchange and insist on their own parenting in time of disagreement.

7. There is great space for the popularisation of online medical  treatment

  • Over 60% have heard of it, but only 18% are truly familiar with it.

  • People with high income and the post-70s are more familiar with  online medical treatment and more willing to pay for it online.

8. Webcasts – A new platform for learning

  • The maternal crowd are more interested in webcasts of other  mothers’ parenting and of expert lectures

  • The most popular content is on parenting experience, skills and  how to make food supplement in a mother’s webcast.

Chinese family pareting - key findings

Consumer & Shopper