The shocking Growth of the Pet Industry in China

Market research indicates that the pet industry could reach $66.8 billion in China by 2023.

Other research from expects the pet industry to grow at a CAGR of 6-7% between 2020-2027.

The Chinese pet health market is growing, and this growth brings new opportunities for Western brands.

But what’s driving China’s pet market growth?


Multiple factors are contributing to the pet industry growth in China, one of which is the decision to delay marriage or to stay single. IN fact, some 43% of Chinese pet owners are single. While pet ownership is still rather low in China in comparison to Western countries, only 4-5 Chinese families own a pet. It is on the rise. But the ratio of investments in pets is slowly catchingup with the US, and there is exceptional room for growth.

So, What is the demographic of those driving this trend? Chinese millenials.

Pet owners in China are mostly women graduates born after 1985. They usually live in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities and decide to have a domestic animal in order to enrich their emotional life. Even though households with pets are usually made up by Millennial parents with children under 12, single and elderly people looking for four-legged companions are increasing.


Specifically, millennials under the age of 30 made up some 45.2% of all pet owners in China in 2019. Conversely, millennials in the 30 to 40 year range made up less than 30% of pet owners.

Not surprisingly, this same demographic has increased the demand for a digital method to buy pet products. They also have a greater desire to care for their furry companions. They loo at animal welfare as a top priority and are more than willing to spend money on their pets to keep happy and healthy, even if those pets are unusual.

Consumers are more concerned on the  wellbeing of their pets and are willing to  invest on vaccines,  health supplements, medical check-ups…They will actively look into ways to improve the  wellbeing of their pets.

For western pet brands, the most pressing question is, how do pet lovers in China buy their products and how can we capitalize on this growth?


E-commerce is the number one force in the pet health market in China. It has remained the leading distribution channel for pet products in China, with over 90% of pet owners purchasing at least one pet product on-line. The convenience of buying products on-line mobilizes pet owners to browse and buy with a few simple clicks.

Another reason that pet owners buy their products via e-commerce is an abundance of premium luxury pet imports that are not yet widely available in China. This presents a rich opportunity for international luxury pet brands in China’s market.

While existing international pet health brands are currently dominating the landscape, there is still plenty of space for new foreign brands to enter the market and establish their trustworthiness.

Yet, jumping into the Chinese pet health and product industry remains risky, especially for up-in-coming brands inexperienced with the dynamics of this industry. That’s why Emotion Digital exists.


Brands that want to enter the China market should be aware that Chinese consumers don’t buy products they don’t know. Branding in China is essential to reach consumers and sell your products. Chinese people rely on people who have already tried that product, friends, reviews on social networks, and especially the reviews of influencers. An effective digital marketing campaign is essential to allow your brand to enter the Chinese market. Generally speaking, WeChat, Weibo and Douyin are the essential apps for pet owners. E-commerce platforms also play a key role in assisting conversions and further moves users down the funnel.

Therefore, you should localize your content and promote your products on Chinese social media like Wechat and Weibo, XiaoHongShu, Douyin and Zhihu.

Word of mouth is at the heart of developing a brand awareness in China. Also, the majority of social media in China are social eCommerce, it means that they use UGC and their communities to sell. A brand can promote and sell products directly in the same social app, using one of these platforms can be an alternative to traditionnal e-commerce platforms and it is more cost effective at the beginning., asing

Using WeChat, you will develop the brand awareness, nurture your leads, and create a community.

To be present on Zhihu will allow you to educate your target audience about your products. It is an powerfull tool to increase your conversion rate and to increase brand awareness.

Virbac WeChat account

Emotion Digital fully understands the potential and challenges of the pet product industry in China. Our goal is to help new and existing brands to establish themselves in China’s booming economy.

Access one of the largest population in the world, and be successful, when you partner with our agency.


Emotion Digital has a strong understanding of the Chinese market― we want to help you unleash your business’s potential to one of the largest populations in the world. Schedule your free consultation today.

Opportunities for Western Companies in the Chinese Fitness Industry

The health awreness is continuing to grow in China and consumers want to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

As the global economy suffers under the weight of the pandemic, the Chinese fitness industry continues to gain traction. Although the rise of fitness influencers has created exponential growth in the fitness market, COVID has pushed the vast majority to pursue health and fitness online. This combination puts Western companies in a prime position to digitally sell and market to Chinese fitness enthusiasts.

Pandemic has also impacted postively the health food market and supplement brands.


The Chinese government has strong influence in local economies, which can artificially sustain growth briefly, so it can be difficult to tell what is popular with the Chinese consumer base. However, the fitness industry is different because– while other markets simply maintain– the Chinese fitness industry grew 160% between 2015 and 2020 and continues to grow even during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not killed the fitness boom in China, instead redirected consumers to the digital fitness market. This new trend is great news for Western digital suppliers because it makes it extremely easy to sell products in China without worrying about the global supply chain log jam. In addition, platforms like Douyin are great tools to help Western companies connect with the Chinese consumer base.

The two increasingly popular activities of yoga and boxing represent a larger premiumization trend in China’s fitness consumption. For instance, Tier-1 cities are fostering a growing yoga culture bolstered by fitness digitalization.


You may be wondering how Western companies can compete in the Chinese digital fitness market. Every fitness movement typically has three consumption categories: workouts, food and supplements, and activewear. So all you need to do is discover how your company can deliver in one or more of these categories.


Brick and mortar gyms are struggling in China, not only due to pandemic social distancing requirements but because Chinese gyms typically offer long-term memberships that consumers don’t want. If you are a fitness guru, now would be a great time to develop an app or website to sell video subscriptions of workouts. Popular workout niches include yoga, martial arts, and a growing interest in classically American sports like football and basketball.


As the final part of the triple threat of the health industry, the sale of healthy food and supplements always spike with workout subscriptions. You can participate in this trend in several ways, including digital products and actual foods and supplements.

Gen Z and millenials are the key customers for many brands in this market as brands build a youth image. Baidu Index shows Gen Z and millenials have the most interest in vitamins and health supplements.

For example, every business has expertise in their industry that can be taught in a class or seminar. Digital courses offer a high profit margin since the expense is up-front in recording and editing, but there are very few expenses and unlimited purchase ability once created. If you are a nutrition expert, you can create classes on how to meal plan, cook healthy food, calculate macros, or review fad diets. All of these options don’t require any physical shipment.


The influencer movement has taken hold of athleisure, and China is pushing that wave. Athleisure is high-end athletic wear, with designer touch to make it suitable for meetings or other activities while promoting comfort and mobility. Again, Chinese influencers are pushing this clothing line, so now is a great time to sell or design these clothes.

While selling digital athleisure products may be slightly more challenging, digitally marketing your line can be incredibly easy when using platforms like Douyin.

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Douyin is owned by Bytedance, the same company that owns Tiktok. While the two have been confused as identical products, Douyin is more advanced than its counterpart. Much of its competitive edge comes from its superior e-commerce ability. It offers the same primary platform of short videos, and influencers have a similar presence where they can have great success in displaying their products and services while building a friendship with their client base. The difference is that Douyin makes in-app purchases much easier and allows a better search function to find the desired products.

Also do not forget that there is a strong trend for using short videos to impact audience in China, and Douyin is right platform for this.


Emotion Digital has a strong understanding of the Chinese market― we want to help you unleash your business’s potential to one of the largest populations in the world. Schedule your free consultation today.

Direct to consumers sales with WeChat

Why develop Direct to Consumer sales on WeChat?

Brands should also not overlook the development of brand-owned direct-to-consumer sales in China, even if active on big e-commerce platforms such as Tmall or  

As you know in China, WeChat is your Website, therefore DTC e-commerce should be implemented on WeChat. Chinese consumers are not using website for e-commerce.

WeChat is the leading platform in China with more than 1,2 billion monthly active users.

The main features are:

  • Official accounts which push feeds to subscribers, interact with subscribers and provide them with contents
  • Mini-programs are really apps within an app. It is possible to do business through a mini-program while users can enjoy other functions
  • Channels, the new feature of WeChat launched this year, where people can enjoy short videos shared by their network and other business owners

“A WeChat DTC business offers brands multiple touchpoints to engage with consumers proactively and repeatedly, maximising the lifetime value of a single brand,” says George Xie, Planning Head of CPG Industry at Tencent Marketing Solution.

 WeChat has touchpoints spanning the entire consumer journey from awareness to loyalty, then brands have a greater opportunity to engage with and reactivate client profiles once they are part of the brand’s WeChat database.

DTC or traditional e-commerce platforms have both advantages and disadvantages, depending on business profile, brand milestones, range of audience….

Brands should not rely only on DTC or only on traditional e-commerce platforms, but develop a mix of both.

However at the time of China market entry, we advise to start with DTC only if you address the consumer market. It is cost effective way to test the market and start the sales.

With the development of cross-border e-commerce, WeChat shops are also a good solution to connect Chinese consumers with foreign brands.

Activating WeChat Stores

There are 2 ways to activate WeChat store, as explained below:

It is important for brands to create scarcity through campaigns and marketing initiatives to generate sense of urgency for consumers to shop on WeChat. They must give a reason to visit and shop directly on WeChat.

Brands also need to ensure that the quality of content on their WeChat Stores is proper to excite consumers. Besides making sure that the store is constantly updated with the latest campaign products, brands should leverage visually trending  formats such as videos or animations on this channel as well.

It is also possible to launch new or exclusive products only on WeChat store to differentiate from other marketplaces. This is usually the strategy of some luxurious fashion brands.

Brands are also starting to explore other entertaining methods of shopping within the WeChat ecosystem, such organising raffles to give consumers a chance to purchase limited edition products.

Driving Traffic to WeChat Stores

One of the most effective ways a brand can drive traffic to its WeChat Store is through content published on its Official Account. A brand can push content directly to its followers’ WeChat inboxes up to four times a month, and these content pushes should be fully leveraged with relevant product links and calls-to-actions embedded within articles to drive consumers to the WeChat Store

Brands can also drive traffic to their WeChat Stores by designing specific user journeys.

And it is also possible to use advertising or other social media platforms to generate traffic.

For more information about the Chinese market, do not hesitate to contact us.