Study profiles Chinese Cdns.

A new study says Chinese-Canadians are younger, have more education and are financially better off than the average Canadian.The syndicated study, called 'The Chinese Consumer in Canada,' was conducted in March and April this year in three languages - Cantonese, Mandarin...

A new study says Chinese-Canadians are younger, have more education and are financially better off than the average Canadian.

The syndicated study, called ‘The Chinese Consumer in Canada,’ was conducted in March and April this year in three languages – Cantonese, Mandarin and English – by Toronto-based DJC Research.

Phone interviews

To conduct the study, DJC Research held 1,500 telephone interviews in Toronto and Vancouver, the two cities in Canada with the largest populations of Chinese.

There are an estimated 260,000 Chinese in Toronto and an estimated 170,000 in Vancouver, meaning about one in 10 consumers in each city is Chinese.

Clare Chui, a research associate at DJC Research, says the study found the core of the Chinese community is comprised of business immigrants, most of them coming from Hong Kong.

Own residences

These newcomers, says the study, are more likely to own their own residences in Canada than other immigrants while maintaining property or assets in Hong Kong.

Among Chinese-Canadians in Toronto and Vancouver there is a higher percentage, 60%, of them who have college, university or above education compared with the Canadian population at 50%, says the study.

Although Chinese-Canadians have similar levels of earned income as the average Canadian in Toronto and Vancouver, the study points out they have accumulated their wealth overseas and transferred it here.

Wealth transfer

The fact that more Chinese-Canadians live in single, detached houses than the general population, and a lot of them own the residences they live in reflects this wealth transfer, the study says.

Chinese-Canadians show differing patterns of ownership of non-financial assets such as household appliances or electronics compared with the general population, it says.

And, moreover, it reports, Chinese-Canadians tend to have more luxury durables with the ownership of such items as microwave ovens and compact disk players much higher among the group surveyed.

The proportion of Chinese-Canadians who have a home computer is more than twice the Canadian average, the study says.

Don Colquhoun, vice-president, quantitative services, at DJC Research, says the study gives marketers an ‘unprecedented’ window on the behavior and attitudes of one of Canada’s most important new markets.

Better understanding

Chui says the study was designed to give marketers a better understanding of Chinese-Canadians’ potential as consumers.

It covers such areas as shopping behavior, consumer durables bought, use of financial and insurance products, media habits, lifestyle and travel preferences.

The report found that despite high levels of English comprehension, more than half the Chinese-Canadians surveyed indicated they read a Chinese-language newspaper weekly.

Also, the study says among younger Chinese-Canadians 40% of them in an average week watch Chinese-language videotapes or laser disks.

Automotive

Information from the automotive component of the study indicated that 10% of Chinese-Canadians said they were in-market intenders within the next six months compared with 6% of the general population.

Hong Kong was by far the most frequently visited destination outside of North America, the report found, with China and Taiwan coming second and third, respectively.

In North America, the survey discovered, the most popular destinations were Los Angeles and San Francisco, two cities with large populations of ethnic Chinese.

Discontent

The survey also found that Chinese-Canadians are discontent with the socio-economic system, with high taxes and the welfare system being major grievances.

However, the survey also reported the longer Chinese immigrants have lived in Canada the more appreciation they have for the quality of life here.