Which countries are their dreamlands to travel and spend their vacations in? Which country is their best choice for investment, emigration or studying abroad? All the answers can be found in the Country Image Survey Report released on (June 4th 2008) by N-Dynamic, an independent full service market research company based in Shanghai, China. N-Dynamic is the only representative of China in the International Research Institute (IRIS), a network of leading independent research companies in 35 countries. At the end of 2007, N-Dynamic conducted the research among 1,056 residents in five major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Wuhan. The results revealed each countries distinctive images in the eyes of the Chinese.
Overall Impression: Developed Countries are favored with Switzerland tops the list
The top 10 countries most favored by Chinese respondents are those economically developed western countries. Switzerland ranks No.1 as over 30% of Chinese respondents regard it as a "rich", "quiet", "noble" and "friendly" country, followed by France, Germany, Australia and Singapore. More than 10% of the respondents like South Korea, while less than 4% of them like South Korea's neighbor-Japan. Although most respondents
perceive Japan as "diligent", "innovative" and "cautious", only 4% of them perceive Japan as "friendly", the lowest score among 31 countries studied.
Purchase Intention: Nationalism, or Pragmatism?
When asked to name their favorite automobiles' country-of-origin, 72% of the respondents chose Germany, followed by USA (56%) and Japan (48%). Although Japan is regarded as the most unfriendly among all the countries studied, it has not reduced the purchase intention of Chinese people towards Japanese products. 74% of the respondents claim that Japanese digital products are their favorite. Another interesting finding is that USA, "the old opponent" of Red China, is liked and respected by the Chinese. Many respondents believe that USA contributes most to reducing global poverty and protecting the global environment. Furthermore, USA ranks second in contributing to international peace and security, close behind France. China has been accused for ultra-nationalism for long, but now it seems that pragmatism prevails among its people.
Travel Intention: Crazy Shopping Vs Natural Scenery Enjoyment
The study also revealed that the Chinese travel to other countries mainly for two reasons: shopping and sight-seeing. France, Australia, USA, and Switzerland, are the top four choices for Chinese people to travel and spend holidays in, followed by Greece (famous for sight-seeing of historical sites), Egypt and New Zealand. Apparently, "materialistic and luxurious lifestyle" of advanced countries and natural sceneries & historical scenic spots are what Chinese tourists chase after. France, a combination of shopping paradise and natural scenery, presents itself as an ideal destination for travel.
Investment, Emigration and Education: Developed countries are still the mainstream, and BRIC countries arouse interests
Developed countries like USA, Australia and Canada rank as the top three countries that the Chinese want to invest and emigrate most to. Interestingly, emerging markets like Brazil, Russia and India, the so-called BRIC countries are also popular. 70% and 60% of respondents chose USA and UK as the first choice for studying abroad, leading Germany and France by over 40%.
Entertainment: Men like Japan, Women prefer South Korea, and the aged favor France?
Around 70% of respondents consider USA as the most advanced country in the entertainment industry, followed by Japan (42%), France (28%), and South Korea (24%). Interestingly, around half of the male respondents are interested in Japanese entertainment, while females are more interested in Korean culture. Another finding is that young Chinese people tend to enjoy Japanese and Korean entertainment a lot more than the aged do, aged people are more interested in French culture and entertainment.
Generally speaking, one of the most important findings from this study is that, almost all the countries which enjoy positive images in the eyes of Chinese people are long-term trade-partners of China e.g. France, Germany, Australia, Canada, etc. As Chinese people know more about these countries and its people, their images improve. It proves that communication and mutual understanding can enhance country images and bilateral relationships. In light of that, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai World Exposition are golden opportunities for China as well as the world to improve understanding of each other.
Methodology and Background
These results are based on an online survey conducted in November 2007 with a representative sample of 1,056 residents of five Chinese cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Wuhan). The sample was stratified to ensure appropriate distribution by gender and age.
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