Digital Advertising

Chinese Australian consumers say they trust brands who speak their language


By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

March 24, 2021 | 4 min read

Brands that use Western media alone to connect with Chinese-speaking audiences in Australia can find that it is an ineffective way of communication.


57% of respondents say trust brands who translate their advertising into Chinese

There are almost 600,000 Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) speakers in Australia in 2016, almost twice the number in 2011, with the 2021 Census showing that the number is increasing.

For many Chinese Australian consumers, English remains a barrier because they are still speaking Chinese at home even after many years in Australia, which 84% of respondents indicate they do.

This is according to a study by EternityX Australia, which examined Chinese speaking consumers’ media habits and the most effective strategies and channels to engage them.

“Our study has shown that Chinese consumers are young, wealthy and educated with a high tendency towards discretionary spending,” says Luke Bussell, director, EternityX Australia.

“As a result, they should be on the radar of all Australian advertisers. We also know that marketing communication in Mandarin heavily impacts their consumer behaviour, and for the many with limited English, Chinese media is a necessity, not a choice.”

What did the survey find?

  • Chinese TV streaming services have 82% more regular viewers who speak Chinese than free-to-air TV networks in Australia.

  • 60% of Chinese-speaking consumers say they appreciate the effort taken by brands who translate their advertising into Mandarin.

  • 57% of respondents say trust brands who translate their advertising into Chinese.

  • 53% say they are more likely to purchase from a brand who translates their advertising into Chinese.

  • 59% of the sample identified luxury goods or beauty products as where they preferred to spend discretionary funds, with those earning over $150,000 spending on average a substantial $2537 a month on luxury goods or beauty products.

Why does this matter?

  • Chinese-speaking consumers in Australia have a very strong bias towards Chinese media channels.

  • Chinese speakers use both Chinese and Western media in Australia, four out of five channels regularly used are Chinese media channels.

  • It can take up to 20 years before Western media channels are favoured over Chinese channels. This applies to both the traditional media channels of TV and print, along with digital, social and streaming channels.

  • There is a huge opportunity that a lot of Australian advertisers are missing when it comes to meaningfully engaging Chinese-speaking audiences.

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