Staff Reporters
Sep 25, 2019

China's 'singledom' trend gives rise to new opportunities

TOP OF THE CHARTS: Solo travel, solo dining and the pet economy are all outgrowths of the "single age", according to a report from WT Intelligence.

China's 'singledom' trend gives rise to new opportunities

Tourism companies are offering customised solo travel, restaurants are putting stuffed toys opposite solo diners and many young people keep cats as their campanions. Is marriage obsolete?

The number of never-married adults in China above 15 years of age amounted to 215 million in 2017. Add in 23 million people who have gotten divorced, and China's population of singles is nearing 240 million, equivalent to the total population of the UK, France and Germany, according to data from China's statistics bureau.

The majority of these single people enjoy being single and unattached, rather than making efforts to find a life partner, according to a new study from Wunderman Thompson’s research unit WT Intelligence.

Singledom is now emerging as a lifestyle of choice for many across the globe, WT Intelligence said. According to its report, 66% of single people aged 18 to 34 in China profess to loving being single, with 41% saying they would prefer being single to being attached. Meanwhile, 78% say they are single by choice and 91% say it gives them more freedom. Those sentiments are equally strong if not stronger in older age brackets.

The attitude of Chinese singles is closely matched by those of singles around the world. In the US, around 64% of those aged 18 to 34, and around 60% in the UK, profess to loving being single.

The financial freedom the single life brings appeals, with almost nine out of ten Chinese singles saying that making their own financial decisions is empowering and gives them confidence. 40% of singles say they like to spend their spare cash on treating themselves – compared to 36% of people in committed relationships.

The report surveyed 3,000 US, UK and China consumers in March 2019. In China, it involved 1,009 consumers, including 402 single respondents and 607 respondents in committed relationships.

“Brands that continue to push the outdated image of single people as somehow lacking do so at their peril. Innovative brands that recognize the cultural shift to singledom as a lifestyle choice will find opportunities in this space where old rules no longer apply,” said Chen May Yee, APAC Director of WT Intelligence.

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