Public face and private thrift in chinese consumer behaviour

Li Lin, Dong Xi, Richard M Lueptow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The concept of face, or mianzi, is quite important in Chinese culture. We examine how public face and private thrift together affect Chinese consumer shopping behaviour based on the results of a survey of nearly 400 Chinese consumers under the age of 40. When a product is used in public or the behaviour occurs in a public place, Chinese consumers are typically willing to spend more money than if a product or service is used in a private place or at home. In addition, non-Chinese or Western brands do not mean more 'face' to Chinese consumers. Instead, it is the expense of the item that matters most with the ultimate goal of being praised by others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-545
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


  • Chinese culture
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Face
  • Mianzi
  • Thrift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Marketing


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