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Probing into China's Silver Economy

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

The population of silver consumers in China is increasing and the number is staggering. If you intend to expand your business into China, especially with the help of digital marketing, here are three reasons you should pay attention to the silver economy in China.

China's staggeringly increasing ageing population

According to statistics and estimation from the United Nations, in 2020, 65+ population in China reaches 172.3 million, which means 12.0% of the total population; the numbers in 2030 are going to be 247.0 million and 16.9%. As a comparison, the estimated proportion of the World's 65+ population in 2020 and 2030 is 9.3% and 11.7% respectively.

China's rapidly expanding silver economy

In the past three years, the number of products designed for senior citizens on e-commerce platforms has increased by 39% annually. A report from Deloitte points out that in 2018, various products of the elderly market maintained a positive growth rate, with the fastest growth rate of pet products of which the growth rate exceeds 150%. The same report also mentioned that from 2014 to 2018, the main consumption of China’s silver generation via cross-border e-commerce is mainly focused on three aspects, disease management, health maintenance and daily life. And the healthcare products, daily necessities and food take a big part.

According to a report issued by JD Big Data Research Institute, the silver-generation products in 2019 are 78% more than that in 2017, and the number of brands has almost doubled. Worth noting, JD reports about 48% of elderly products are purchased by the Millennials in 2019, which represents a unique culture of “ taking care of the elderly” in China. Different age groups have different foci while selecting elderly products.

China's e-commerce savvy silver consumers

We learn from the these interesting numbers. By 2019, 40% of silver consumers have been partaking online shopping. Chinese senior citizens had proven their remarkable shopping capacity in Double 11 in 2019, with 30% more users aged 60 and above. In 2019, while the increase of e-commerce platforms users is slowing down in general, the 65+ user group sees a growth of 29.1%. This 29.1% growth means 7.66 million more users. In China, the most popular digital terminal has already switched from computers to mobile. Which removes the last barrier between senior citizens and e-commerce, since many senior citizens have very limited experience with computers. We could expect that digital marketing will be an effective way to reach more and more silver consumers in China.


This article intends to share with you the expanding market for silver consumers in China. And, in reality, sales and marketing strategy can vary quite a lot from product to product, from industry to industry, from one region to another. One extra complexity in China lies in the fact that the decision-makers are often not the senior citizens themselves. Many silver consumers tend to trust their children or younger family members simply because they believe the younger generation has more means to validate product information.

The proportion and needs of the silver generation in China is growing at such speed, however, the society and domestic economy might not be ready to adjust on time. Therefore, there are many opportunities for foreign companies (especially European companies) to offer innovative products and services, share experiences, and provide consultation to the Chinese market or Chinese companies.

Do not miss the opportunity! Contact us for more detailed information about China's silver economy and the silver generation. At Connect Flow International, we are also happy to provide you with information about other age groups in China upon request.


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