Chinese Gen Z want ‘China chic’ not foreign brands, as the rise of Anta Sports at the expense of Adidas and Nike in China shows

  • From preferring home-grown sports brands to Adidas and Nike, to their purchases of Chinese-branded make-up products, Gen Z in China are embracing ‘China chic’
  • Called guochao in Chinese, the trend reflects growing nationalism in the country. It’s one that more Chinese businesses are capitalising on to lure customers

Zhang Zhe, born in 1999, has many Chinese-branded cosmetic products or make-up items with Chinese designs.

“I like designs with Chinese elements,” says Zhang. “They are as good as overseas brands in quality. Now there are more Chinese make-up brands in my cosmetics collection.”

Zhang’s shopping habits reflect the popularity of guochao, a trend that translates as “China chic” and has been embraced by the nation’s millennials and Gen Z. The trend became even more popular after the Winter Olympics held in China earlier this year, reflecting a rise in nationalism in the country.

The younger generations’ love of Chinese culture and embrace of national identity can be seen in the popularity of the Winter Olympics mascots, as well as in the booming sales of cultural products related to the Forbidden City in Beijing.

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