Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
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Name Zhai (Surname) Yuan (Other Names)
ID Number 10113165
Module Title EAP
Module Code EN00X28
Assignment Title Chinese People’s Perceptions of Two Competing Products
th28 March 2011 Submission
Tutor Responsible Natalie Meintjes
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Chinese People’s Perceptions of Two
Competing Products—Apple MacBook V.S.
A survey of 33 first-year XJTLU students was carried out to find out Chinese people’s opinions of Lenovo Ideapad and Apple MacBook Pro, including price, quality, looks, After-sales and other elements. In the analysis of the data, consumers value quality the most and price, brand, after-sale service as well. It is accepted by most respondents that Apple is better than Lenovo for its looks and quality. However, in most consumers’
eyes, Apple products’ prices seem to be too high for most Chinese people. It is therefore concluded that those companies which want to succeed in China should not only have a good brand image and good quality, but also reasonable prices of products. Introduction (Tom)
Over the past 2 decades, China’s economy has achieved the world-shaking achievement.
The world is amazed by the sustained pace of the economic growth. According to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics of China (2010), China’s economy
annual increase is about 9% a year since 1980s. Western countries’ business people
and companies realize the fantastic opportunity to get benefit from the Chinese market while Chinese native business people are working on creating the globally influential brands to defeat on foreign brands’ great influence on Chinese consumers’. As one of the most rapid development fields in the communications and entertainments among the world especially for young world, laptops have become an attractive product in Chinese market for business people. Owing to some historical and subjective reasons, western world maintain an edge in innovation for decades compared to China. However, with the development of manufacturing industry and local brands in China, native brands have started to convince Chinese consumers to buy their products. In contemporary society, great competition exists among western counterparts and Chinese local brands in Chinese market.
In this study, Chinese consumers’ perception of the two brands and suggestions on the two companies will be shown through these findings. The purpose of this research was
to help the two brands identify ways to improve their future production. In addition, the researchers also wished to provide some guidance to companies which want to have a good market share in China.
Sample: This study was conducted in XJTLU, Suzhou. Chinese consumers’ perception of Lenovo laptop and Mac book were documented through questionnaires of student in different classrooms of XJTLU. An anonymous survey was developed into different types of questions which included multiple choice, Likert-scale questions, demographic, and open-ended questions.
The sample questioned for the survey consisted of 33 students out of the entire Year-1 XJTLU students. Of all the 33 students, there were 17 males and 16 females. All of them were chosen randomly in the 4 venues of XJTLU and they were mainly SCI, FIN and BUS students. The mean age was 18.
Materials: A questionnaire designed by 5 students consisting of a total 17 questions, which were all written in English, on several aspects of the students’ perceptions of
Lenovo and Apple was selected to collect the data. The first part includes five questions about respondents’ basic information on using computer. Therefore, respondents’ personal data were collected at the same time, which included gender, major and every month’s living expense. The analysis of personal data aided in discerning the characteristics of the respondents who uses laptop. And some multiple choices were used to collect data of students’ opinions on different aspects of the two brands.
Questions from 11 to 17 were divided into 3 parts preparing for different samples (Part A: The one who uses a Lenovo laptop, Part B: The one who uses an Apple laptop and Part C: The one who uses other brand laptop). An open-ended question set at the end of each part aims to get samples’ perception of both their own laptop and Lenovo or
Apple or Lenovo and Apple. All the data was recorded will be plotted by Excel. Procedure: In these trials, people are randomly assigned to different classrooms in Building 1 to mix a temporary group by tutors. PowerPoint software was used to present the questionnaire, and machine-readable MCQ cards and pencils were used to record the respondents’ answers.
Results and analysis (Rainbow)
The data collected was processed and analysed. Considering the history of the two companies—Lenovo and Apple, Apple’s image is better than Lenovo. However, we
found that Lenovo has a much bigger market share (27%) than Apple (6%) in China. Interestingly, Apple MacBook got a mean score of 7.8. It was higher than Lenovo Ideapad’s scoring (7.2). In order to find out Chinese people’s perceptions of these two
competing brands, we try to find out what Chinese consumers would think about when they select a laptop.
Figure 1: 3 main factors influence consumers’ selection of a laptop
10Number of people5
PriceBrandStyle & LooksAfter-sale QualityFriends'
The bar graph shows the 3 main factors influence consumers’ selection of a laptop based on the data collected from the 33 randomly chosen students aged 18-20 in XJTLU.
It is clear that almost every Chinese people consider quality the most important when they choose a laptop, with 28 of the 33 students choosing it. 16 samples choose to take brand into consideration when they choose a laptop. Other factors like price (14 of 33), style & looks (13 of 33), after-sale service (10 of 33) and friends’ advice (5 of 33) are the other 4 factors that samples mostly choose. It should be noted that some other factors such as system do not exist on the graph because less than 2 people choose them.
Figure 3: Living Expense per Month (RMB)
Living expense per month
Figure 4: Acceptable Price of a Laptop (RMB)
Number of people5
Price of a laptop
It can be seen from the pie chart (Figure 3) that most students spend 500-1500 RMB per month, including the range of 500-1000 RMB, 1000-1200 RMB, 1200-1500 RMB, 1500-2000 RMB and over 2000 RMB (21%, 31%, 24%, 3%, 21% respectively). From Figure 4, it can be concluded that few people can afford to buy a laptop over 15000 RMB, or even 10000 RMB.
These findings indicate that the majority proportion of Chinese consumers think 4000-7000 RMB is a reasonable price for a laptop considering their living standard. Obviously, an Apple MacBook costing over 15000 RMB is too expensive for a person who spends under 2000 RMB per month. Lenovo Ideapad’s prices ranging from 5000 to
10000 RMB is just acceptable for most Chinese people, and they think Lenovo products have high cost performance.
In the open-ended question, respondents were required to give some suggestions to help Lenovo and Apple to improve their product. All of the respondents agreed that Apple’s products should be cheaper and Apple’s system should have a better compatibility. Ideapad’s computing speed should be faster and its weight should be lighter.
Due to the results of the research, Chinese consumers consider many aspects of the products when they select a laptop. Quality, price, brand and after-sale service are the most important 4 factors. In the comparison, it can be seen clearly that Apple MacBook does better than Lenovo Ideapad except in price and the system use. Considering Chinese people’s consumption level and their salary level, it seems that Apple’s products
are just a little bit expensive for most of them. Lenovo’s products have good quality,
after-sale service and a reasonable price. This causes Lenovo’s bigger market share
However, there are some limitations of the research that can be easily seen. We only covered 33 students of XJTLU, and the samples cannot represent the adults or even other school’s students. The respondents are still not employed and there are no poor students in the respondents. This may lead to the data we collected inaccurate for the analysis. In short, 33 students of XJTLU cannot represent the whole Chinese perceptions. So, for the further research, Chinese adults who have different jobs should be included in the research.
Nevertheless, the research still provides some useful information for both Apple and Lenovo. The manufacturer needs to produce such products that are of good quality with a low price. In addition, Apple needs to improve its laptops’ system compatibility and
Lenovo products’ look should be improved.
National Bureau of Statistics of China (2011), “China Statistical Yearbook 2010”, China
Statistical Publishing House: Beijing