Shù-zì-lì: China’s new high-tech lifestyle trend

Dec. 11, 2018
  • News
  • HILL

Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living Shanghai unveils “The Dynamics of Chinese People 2018” in Beijing

Tokyo―December 11, 2018―Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living Shanghai (HILL Shanghai), a fully owned subsidiary of Hakuhodo Inc., unveiled its sixth set of findings on “The Dynamics of Chinese People” today in Beijing, China. The theme of this year’s research, again conducted jointly with the Communication University of China’s School of Advertising, was high-tech lifestyle trends in China.

Recently China has been busy growing its high-tech industry under its policy of transforming the country from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power. As a result, digital technology is being rolled out in every area of life. With the backing of a national strategy, vast sums of money are being poured into high-tech companies, so that high-tech products and services are now available at very reasonable prices indeed. Owing to these social factors, technology is spreading in China at a speed unparalleled anywhere else in the world, greatly affecting the lifestyle of the individual Chinese sei-katsu-sha*.

*The term Hakuhodo uses in place of consumer to mean the holistic person with a lifestyle, aspirations, and dreams.

To ascertain the impact of the high-tech lifestyle on ordinary Chinese people, HILL Shanghai conducted a wide range of research, including a survey of technology lifestyle trends in China, Japan, and the United States, and interviews with ordinary people and experts. Our research revealed that, in Tier 2 as well as Tier 1 cities, technology has become part and parcel of the everyday lives of people in every demographic, young and old. It also revealed that while people happily incorporate technology into their daily lives, their attitudes and behavior are beginning to change. Instead of simply relying on the power and convenience of technology, they are increasingly keen to meet life’s challenges through their own efforts, without being swept away by technology. We have coined the term Shù-zì-lì to denote the insight behind this lifestyle change.

Shù-zì-lì, a portmanteau of shuzi, the Chinese word for “digital,” and zili, meaning one’s personal abilities, refers to a new approach to solving life’s challenges that has emerged from the high-tech lifestyle.


The emergence of this new lifestyle technique, Shù-zì-lì, among China’s sei-katsu-sha has led to new patterns of consumer behavior.

Asking in the quest to resolve one’s own pet concerns, which cannot be done simply by gathering whatever information others choose to share.

Trying things out to determine whether they meet one’s own pet needs, which cannot be done simply by gathering whatever information others choose to share.

• Instead of adapting to the provider’s standards, doing things one’s own way (my way) by tailoring things to one’s own pet requirements, using services that bring technology and human abilities together.

We have christened these three new patterns of consumer behavior “ATM behaviors.” And we have coined the term “ATM marketing” to designate a new approach to marketing that takes account of the changes in the sei-katsu-sha mindset resulting from the high-tech lifestyle. ATM marketing involves observing the ATM behaviors of Shù-zì-lì-enabled sei-katsu-sha and catering to their pet concerns, which defy one-size-fits-all solutions, by developing a portfolio of services that meld technology with personal abilities. HILL Shanghai believes that ATM marketing will prove an effective new approach to marketing to today’s high-tech sei-katsu-sha.

These findings on “The Dynamics of Chinese People” do not just reveal how far ahead the Chinese high-tech lifestyle is; they also reveal that China’s sei-katsu-sha are even further ahead in that they now have a new lifestyle technique at their disposal in the form of Shù-zì-lì. Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living Shanghai will continue observing China’s constantly evolving sei-katsu-sha and offering marketing insights as only we can.

Click here for more details on this research

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