Recent research by JD Finance shines some light on how China’s 20-25 age group engages in crowdfunding (众筹).
Awareness of crowdfunding is high. Out of 2275 survey respondents:
- 19.12% said they were “very familiar with crowdfunding”
- 77.63% said they were “somewhat familiar”
- Only 3.25% said they were “not at all familiar” with crowdfunding
There’s a bizarre gender gap:
- 30.58% of men say they’re “very familiar with crowd funding”
- Only 7.26% of women said the same
Those who participate are more likely to be supporters than campaigners. Of the 1,156 respondents that had participated in crowdfunding before:
- 61.71% had participated as a supporter
- 30.64% had participated as a campaigner
- 7.65% had done both
Big e-commerce platforms double as the leading crowdfunding platforms. Of those respondents who had launched crowdfunding campaigns:
- 44.15% did so on e-comm mega-sites like Taobao and Jingdong
- 36.39% chose dedicated crowdfunding platforms (like Shuidi 水滴 or Kaishiba 开始吧)
- Some chose platforms that aren’t specifically for crowdfunding but that offer crowdfunding-like features (磨点, 5sing)
Most crowdfunding campaigns by this age group fail:
- 86.43% of campaigns were duds
- 13.57% said their campaigns were successful
Campaign support tops out around RMB 500:
- 40.53% said they donate RMB 100 or lower
- 46.9% donate between RMB 101-500
- Only 12.57% said they donate more than RMB 500
Why it matters
The fact that Chinese users are more likely to go through an e-commerce portal to launch a crowd-funding campaign might come as a surprise, but in China, mega-retail platforms aren’t seen as just, well, mega-retail platforms. They’re less like malls – where you can buy clothes and food and jewelry and makeup – and more like town squares – where you can do that shopping, plus your banking, laundry, and karaoke. That difference, between retail only and retail+services, is important, and essential for wrapping your head around China’s mega-platforms.
A few more reasons Chinese users may prefer mega-platforms to dedicated crowdfunding platforms:
- Convenience. Both supporters and campaigners are likely to have pre-existing accounts on platforms like Jingdong – with payment methods already configured.
- Trust. Well-known e-commerce platforms enjoy a high level of trust among users.
- Lack of competition. No startups have yet emerged that can compete with those platforms on design, features and support.
Research conducted by the JD Finance Research Institute (京东金融研究院) and published October 2018 in “Gen-95 Consumer Finance Needs Research Report” (95后金融消费需求调研报告”). 2275 participants, all born between 1995-1999 were surveyed, 10 were interviewed.
- Jindong Crowdfunding (mega-platform sub-service)
- Suning Crowdfunding (mega-platform sub-service)
- Kaishiba (dedicated crowdfunding platform)