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Asset Management / Wealth Management
China’s Gen Z investors: wealth-conscious, tech-savvy but cautious
They have a strong wealth management awareness but they tend to start late on their investing journey
Janette Chen 31 May 2023

China’s Gen Z, also known as the "post-95" group, has emerged as a generation with a strong wealth management awareness.

While displaying a high aptitude for digital technology, using financial apps and online information with ease, they are also relatively conservative in their investment habits. They invest in money market funds, mutual funds, and wealth management products offered by banks.

Now in their 20s or 30s, Chinese Gen Zs grew up in an environment when the economy was rapidly expanding and the country’s birth rate was promising. Not surprisingly, they have been stereotyped as the spoiled generation. But nonetheless, they possess a strong grasp of investing knowledge and wealth management.

According to a recent study on the investment habits of China’s younger generations, conducted by Chinese data researcher and think tank DT, 93.1% of the Gen Z respondents consider wealth management as a must-have, and they invest to enhance life quality, prepare for future uncertainties, and gain financial freedom.

Nonetheless, most Chinese Gen Zs start relatively late on their investment journey. According to a report by the CFA Institute and FINRA Foundation, only 7% of Gen Z respondents began investing before the age of 18, which is significantly lower than their counterparts in the United States (25%), Canada (24%), and the United Kingdom (22%).

When it comes to learning the ropes of investing, Chinese Gen Zs primarily rely on financial apps (55%), financial professionals (45%), financial companies (44%), social media (41%), and internet searches (39%), the CFA report finds.

Social media and other online channels such as Weibo, WeChat, Bilibili, TikTok, Little Red Book, and Zhihu appear to be important sources of financial knowledge for the Chinese Gen. But when it comes to how they started their wealth management journey, most Gen Zs are motivated by either the desire to obtain profits or recommendations from family and friends, according to DT.

This finding is supported by CFA’s report, which says that most Chinese Gen Z investors (60%) are more likely to start investing out of fear of missing out on the opportunity to make money, compared with their counterparts in the UK (43%), the US (41%), and Canada (41%).

Chinese Gen Zs also tend to exercise caution when investing, with their total investment staying below 50,000 yuan (US$7,000). Their investment is mostly in money market funds, as well as in mutual funds and banks’ wealth management products, according to the DT report.

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