The Fuerdai Generation

Fuerdai is defined as a Chinese term that refers to the children of the nouveau riche in China. These are the children of whose wealth has been acquired within their own generation, rather than by familial inheritance, which is the opposite of the fuerdai generation, who have gained this status due to their family.

So who exactly are these people and what is so important about them? China's young, rich and spendthrift are a very important spending power in any economy, accounting for over £56 billion in annual spending, representing almost a third of the global luxury market.

If you live in the United States, Europe, or Canada, you may have come across clusters of the younger generation of Chinese where they may be attending university in your city. As international students migrate to the world’s wealthiest cities, for superior education and quality of life, the cliché of the deprived student is undergoing a luxurious makeover as they are being seen driving expensive cars, wearing brand name clothing and having the latest gadgets, without actually having a job to fund this luxurious lifestyle.

It is evident that you will come across this generation in London, whether you be searching through a geotag on Instagram, attending an art exhibition or walking along the streets in Mayfair. Fun Fact: I follow my fair share of people based in London, to find aesthetic or new and upcoming places to visit, and a majority of the best people to follow are those who have money i.e. the fuerdai generation. They’ll always be the first at a new exhibition, or showcasing the best places to eat dinner on a Wednesday evening.

But, why are they important? Two luxury brand managers meet in a bar in New York. One says to the other: ‘Where are you going to open your next retail location?’ The other replies: ‘Wherever Asian tourists are travelling.’ While we know that Millennials have been driving sales in China for several years, Gen Z are paving the way. Therefore, wherever these fuerdai migrate to and decide to spend their money will have a significant effect on the economy of that place. According to research McKinsey conducted on Chinese consumers in 2015, more than 40% said they buy overseas because of the authenticity and experience of buying something “British from Britain” – and this in turn increases the popularity of the brand abroad.

As someone who plans to run a business one day, I should be mindful as to whom my audience should be, as the Chinese are as of now the future of the business and fashion sector. Whereas this may very well change in the next decade, as of now, any tribe with that much spending power should be paid attention to.

Erika Hanson