A new group of top consumers in China has taken the lead: The Little Emperors.

These are China’s only-child youth that lead a life pampered by two parents and two sets of doting grandparents who give all resources and attention to the sole offspring. But being the centre of attention comes with a  lot of expectations. Here is a glimpse into how these youngsters spend their days:

Commuting to school, classes, extra-curricular activities and homework take up on average eight hours each day, meaning that a large chunk of a Little Emperor’s day is spent on activities related to their education. This is hardly surprising, considering that six in ten parents indicate that they want their child to focus on studying rather than wasting their time on things like watching TV.

Educational activities take up on average eight hours each day. This is hardly surprising, considering that six in ten parents indicate that they want their child to focus on studying rather than wasting their time on things like watching TV.

This is a key market for many new consumer products as parents will buy anything that they believe will give their child a competitive advantage– from piano lessons, to private tutoring, to educational electronics.

Over nine in ten Little Emperors have their own bedrooms, which is fully stocked with toys and electronics devices. Desktop, laptop and tablet computers are amongst the most popular devices, as they can also be used to help with studying. Tablet (47%) ownership is now higher than laptop ownership (44%) amongst Chinese middle class children, largely owing to greater portability and interactivity.

Over nine in ten Little Emperors have their own bedrooms, which is fully stocked with toys and electronics devices. Desktop, laptop and tablet
computers are amongst the most popular devices, as they can also be used to help with studying. Tablet (47%) ownership is now higher than laptop ownership (44%) amongst Chinese middle class children, largely owing to greater portability and interactivity.

Thoughts from Mintel on these little Emperors:

China’s One-Child Policy was launched in 1979, just after the population topped one billion, and was aimed at drastically reducing the rapid population growth. As a result, more than eight in ten Chinese families in tier 1 and tier 2 cities now have only one child, the so-called “Little Emperor”. The major social consequence of the One-Child Policy has been that expectations for the Little Emperors are now exceptionally high. 

As parents don’t get a second chance to conceive as a result of One-Child Policy, the pressure not to fail in raising their only-children is intense. This leads to a heavy investment in babies and young children, in order to improve their education, career and future earnings prospects, whilst also catering to their every need. However, as a result of mollycoddling, only-children develop expectations of their own, as to what they should be provided with as they grow up.

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