• More Research + Numbers + Bibliography


    "A fifth of the world’s population – 1.5 billion people – are Chinese. In 1982, only one in five Chinese people lived in cities; by 2000 it was up to a third. China has a rising middle class with consumer expectations, supported by an economic growth rate of 11.3 per cent last year. "(Homes & Property)

    "A Chinese middle-class, now estimated to number between 100 million and 150 million people. Though definitions vary-household income of at least &10.000 a year is one standard, middle-class families tend to own an apartment and a car, to eat out and take vacations, and to be familiar with foreign brands and ideas." (National Geographic)

    "According to officials with the China National Furniture Assn., which celebrated its 20th anniversary in September, China furniture industry exports rose 28% during the first half of 2008." (Furniture Today)

    “Furniture imports to China rose 33% during the first half of 2008, according to a statement citing the results of the Shanghai show.” (Furniture Today)

    “Within a few years, China will become the fastest growing consumer market in the world for furniture,” the report said. “With more than 10 million new wealthy people living in China, it is further expected that up-market (higher-end) furniture sales will continue to show strong market growth.” (Furniture Today)

    According to Trade Council of Denmark, China‘s furniture and interior design section. "The Chinese getting more housing space, the expenditures on furniture and interior design have increased. Moreover have the increased new construction projects and home ownership in China been the catalysts behind the home improvements market and has encouraged consumers to engage in Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and home improvement/decorating activities. During recent years the total home improvements market (which includes DIY products, home improvement services, home furniture, bathroom and toilet ceramics and home lighting) has shown continuous strong growth.

    On average the furniture consumption per head is only USD 10, which is only 10% of the world standard. The room for growth and improvement is evident.

    The western-style part of the furniture industry in China is mostly based on sourcing and export to Western countries. However, an increasing part of the young Chinese now prefer to buy modern western-style furniture instead of traditional Chinese furniture.

    The demand for foreign imported furniture and interior design in China is increasing. The opening of the economy, which has resulted in large foreign investments, economic growth and a better living standard, are primary reasons for the increasing demand.

    The Swiss-based bank estimates that Chinese consumption will account for 14.1 percent of the total consumption among major economies in 2015. This boom will create a huge market for home improvement and furniture retailers. Besides this will the Chinese new middleclass continue to rice that will increase the demand for foreign luxury goods."

    My next step is to contact research library and my NFPs to gather more other related statistic numbers.

    Bibliography: Chang, Leslie. “Gilded Age Gilded Cage”. National Geographic: Travel & cultures. May 2008.

    Homes & Property. “Beijing Bling.” March 10, 2008.

    Knudsen, Mette. “Furniture & Interior Design.” Ministry of foreign Affairs of Denmark. May 7, 2008.

    Russell, Tom. “China’s furniture industry appears strong despite recent challenges.” Furniture Today. Oct 05, 2008.

  • Chinesefor1_177_

    Michael, you have done a good job of laying the groundwork for your thesis arguments. You have convinced me that the market for furniture in China will be a fertile area for introducing new product designs, if you can make things that are unique (to avoid having to compete with existing products) and if your designs respond to some feature of Chinese culture that resonates with member of your target audience, that is the emerging middle class. I am looking forward to seeing where you go next. I think, that the idea that Chinese people will begin to feel more favorably about traditional Chinese design is tempting, but not necessarily accurate. You could make the case that, when China regains its status as the wealthiest country, that people will no longer want simply to copy Western styles, but will instead start to place greater value on their own heritage and long traditions. I think that it is equally likely that Chinese design will evolve into something new, either a hybrid of traditional and modern styles, or something that we have not seen yet. So, the questions you are asking are very important, but I don't know if you have really solved the problem yet.

  • Thank you for your response Steven. At this moment, I am still waiting for my NFP's responses in order to answer questions and clarify my thesis idea further. I also contacted the Asia Society and asked them to explain Chinese taste, because I am designing specifically for the Chinese in order to make my thesis more convincing and successful, I think it's important for me to understand the local needs, and ask related questions like what they think about the traditional Chinese design and the foreign design,etc. As you said my idea may not be true, I think I am still at the assumption stage and I need to find more accurate information. So, I am planning to make a survey in a Chinese blog in China and find out more relevant facts from their point of view. My NFP also referred me to many members who are based in China and I am sure that they will be able to help me further.

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