Once viewed as the world’s factory, China’s growth is now heavily dependent on consumption by Chinese shoppers.

While just a decade ago their retail market was a quarter of the size of that in the U.S., Chinese consumers are earning more, buying more, and choosing a varied array of higher-quality goods and services. Driven in large part by a more active and affluent youth population, their spending patterns are shifting too – from staples to discretionary items. Look no further than the $33 billion shopping bonanza that took place on last year’s Singles Day to get an idea of the scale of what’s at stake. No wonder that this year Chinese consumers are forecast to become the world’s biggest shoppers. All of this adds up to a massive opportunity for Australian businesses.