The 10 Critical Facts About Chinese Americans We Gathered for Marketers

Posted by Mikayla Lai on Dec 13, 2022 2:28:57 AM


How well do you know Chinese Americans? Do you still think they are typically good at math, eating rice with chopsticks, and knowing Kung Fu when growing up?

In this case, we think you need to have an updated knowledge of the group because knowing your target audience is just as important as crafting the perfect campaign. In this article, we will share our unique insights on Chinese Americans and part of our user survey results from 2022. 

Chinese Americans are the largest Asian-origin group in the U.S.

According to Pew Research, the Asian population in the US has doubled since 2000 and is projected to reach 46 million by 2060. In particular, Chinese Americans are the largest Asian group in the U.S., making up 24% of the Asian population, or 5.4 million people. Overall, the US-born Chinese population has better economic well-being compared with all other Asian Americans. For instance, the median annual household income of Asian Americans and US-born Chinese in 2019 was $85,800, and $100,000, respectively. On average, the annual household income of iTalkBB Chinese TV users is $129,000. 


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Image Source: Pew Research

Red is a lucky color on certain occasions

Western people may think of red as a color of love, passion, or anger but it actually has a different meaning for Chinese people. The color symbolizes good fortune in Chinese culture. Not only used extravagantly during Chinese New Year when everywhere you go has a lot of red decorations and received red envelopes filled with money, but also during special occasions, some people believe that the color can bring extra good luck. Elder Chinese ladies prefer wearing red on the outside while younger generations are more inclined to wear red underwear when they need extra luck.



8 is the lucky 7, and 4 is a number to avoid

In Chinese culture, numbers have a lot of different meanings too. Chinese often play around with numbers for symbolic implications because the pronunciation sounds alike and some numbers even have a negative meaning. While lucky 7 is favored by Americans, 8 (八) is a number that brings great luck in Chinese culture. It sounds like “ 發 ” (fa), which means make money. Many will use number combinations such as 58 ( I make money), and 168 (making money all the way). 

According to the Travel China Guide, 6 (六) is a lucky number meaning smooth or well-off. “六六大順“ means everything goes smoothly which is why many would choose their vehicle plate or mobile phone number including lots of 6s. Besides 6 and 8, Chinese people also like 9 (九) because the pronunciation (Jiu), means eternality. Many people would send 99 or 999 roses to their loved ones as a  symbol of eternal love on Valentine's Day or 5/20, another day of celebrating love for the pronunciation of “ I love you”. However, 4 sounds like “死” (si), which means death. Many elders would avoid this number whenever they encounter it in various situations. Some would think it is disrespectful when you give out money that ends with 4.


Chinese people strive for success 

As many of you might know about tiger mom, the stereotype of Chinese parenting in the U.S. According to Applied Psychology Opus, “The concept of the tiger mom as Americans perceive it represents an attempt to use American cultural beliefs of parenting as a baseline from which make sense of Chinese parenting.” This marks a cultural difference between both cultures. Chinese people believe that planning and preparing for their children is the best way to protect them and direct them to a better future, while American parents believe in individuality and respect for their children to follow their passion. 


In Chinese culture, people are motivated by wealth and power. Many Chinese left their home to pursue a better life in the U.S. when the Chinese authorities lifted emigration controls in 1978. The first generations usually start by working in low-paying occupations. Therefore, the second generations know how hardworking their parents are in order to provide a better living for them which stimulates the mindset of needing to become successful.  



Save for the rainy days

While American Millennials place a heavy emphasis on YOLO (you only live once), Chinese families actually value saving for rainy days to prevent any accidents. Many people were taught the knowledge of saving money when they receive it. For young kids, that may be red envelopes. For adults, it is when they get their paychecks.  

According to Simmons Research, Asian Americans are more likely to enroll in health, property, and vehicle insurance than other non-white groups with their lucrative lifestyle and market growth. Purchasing insurance secures their well-being. In particular, 76.69% of iTalk TV Platforms users shared that they have health insurance and 44.76% of them have life insurance. They also distributed their money in financial products such as stocks, funds, and retirement plans.

Every Chinese kitchen needs scallion, ginger, and garlic 

Scallion, ginger, and garlic are vital aromatics in Chinese cuisine. It's even impossible to make a Chinese dish without one of them. This also ties in with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), an ancient system of health and well-being that’s been used in China for thousands of years. Besides fresh ginger and garlic, goji berries, astragalus root, and red jujube dates are some other common ingredients that have been used as a treatment by Chinese medicine doctors and are often used in many Chinese dishes.


According to the iTalk TV Platforms user survey in 2022, more than 66% of our users also shop at Asian supermarkets. Mainstream U.S. markets do not carry the ingredients needed in Chinese dishes. Many Chinese Americans have the habit of getting separate groceries from Asian markets in order to obtain all the ingredients they need.   

Relationship-building skills ace in business settings

Relationship building is crucial in China and differs from what Americans think of networking. Harvard Law School's program of negotiation states “A guiding principle in Chinese society is “guanxi” – personal relationship building with people from whom one can expect (and who expect in return) special favors and services.” 


In the relationship hierarchy, family and friends rank the highest. Other outsiders may need to cultivate guanxi by developing relationships with key contacts regularly. The term refers to having personal trust and a strong relationship and can involve moral obligations and exchanging favors. Sharing information of personal nature, and sending holiday gifts are ways of building relationships with business partners and are essential cultural etiquette. 

The use of car brands reflects their personalities

In general, Chinese Americans have a high rate of trusting Japanese car brands for great quality and performance. According to our survey, the majority of elder Chinese prefer brands like Toyota and Lexus because of practicality. Whereas younger generations prefer luxury brands like BMW and Porsche for the symbol of status and success. Our user survey indicated the average household has 2.03 cars with 22% of them having more than 3 cars. Moreover, 35% of them would want to purchase a Toyota and 21% of them would want a Lexus for their next car. 


Typically has high brand loyalty 

Most Chinese Americans prefer in-language media. 25% of iTalk TV Platforms users only watch iTalk TV Platforms, according to our 2022 user survey. They are typical first-generation immigrants who have a nostalgic feeling about their roots and remain in a strong bond with their hometown. Constantly celebrating cultural holidays and carrying Chinese cultural habits, they still hold on to the traditions and hope to pass on the heritage to their offspring. Many advertisers leverage nostalgia in their ads to capture the attention of loyal viewers. 


The unique storytelling and content are the main reasons why iTalk TV Platforms have a lot of loyal audiences. As part of the iTalk Group of Companies, the corporation values a better immigrant life by understanding the experience and crafting products and services that are designed specifically for their needs. iTalk Group of Companies aims to create a better life for all overseas Chinese by providing innovative and authentic products and services. 


Now that you know the insights about Chinese Americans, you can have a better understanding of their behaviors. If you would like to know more about their media behaviors, don’t hesitate to contact us or download the media kit for more information.



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iTalkBB Media is a leading marketing and advertising source offering unique advertising opportunities to businesses penetrating the Chinese consumer market in North America. As a member of the iTalk Family Companies, it has exclusive advertising rights for placement of advertising on its affiliate companies’ state-of-the-art Set-Top-Box (iTalkBB Chinese TV) and streaming (iTalkBB TV) Chinese language platforms (the “iTalk TV Platforms”).

iTalk TV Platforms are the largest licensed Chinese-language television and streaming service in North America. iTalk TV Platforms are boutique ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) platforms with options of free and subscription tiers offering various Chinese streaming content through their Set-Top-Box platform and digital platforms on the web and mobile app versions. By reaching 2 million users, the services entertain audiences with a curated collection of movies, TV shows, and original content, in addition to 30+ live-streaming channels.

iTalkBB Media provides a wide range of multi-formatted advertising solutions for businesses to make their brands even more visible. Our enhanced ad-viewing experiences allow marketers to explore new-found interactive campaign formats with data-driven processes. To learn more, please don't hesitate to contact our representatives.  Contact Us 


With access to a 2.6 million viewer community, iTalkBB Media is a leading source for advertisers to effectively penetrate the Chinese American market in North America.
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