Shopping festivals create new bonanza for Chinese market

Bargain hunters will not have to wait until November to splurge as more shopping festivals begin to emerge in China.

Bargain hunters will not have to wait until November to splurge as more shopping festivals begin to emerge in China.

In the run-up to June 18, which marks the mid-year "618" shopping festival, businesses across China have already started warming up for the event.

In Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, large-scale promotional advertisements have been put up on skyscrapers scattered across the city with a population exceeding 8 million.

"We started preparing for the event two weeks ago, publishing advertisements in subways, elevators, bus stations and other striking places," said Yu Zhonghao, deputy manager of the Joy City shopping mall in Shenyang.

Additionally, online retailers made another push to grow their businesses. China's e-commerce behemoths including and Alibaba have launched a bunch of favorable promotion activities, satisfying shoppers' urges to splurge online.

With a long shopping list ranging from garments, lipstick, and liquid foundation to lemon tea and milk, Yan Qi joined the floods of people fighting over all kinds of goods with "doorbuster" prices online.

The Generation Z-er told Xinhua that she purchased some dresses she had coveted for a long time at 50-percent-off after integrating sundry discounts from e-commerce platforms and online stores.

According to statistics from Syntun, a provider of big data solutions for e-commerce in China, the total volume of online transactions reached 578.48 billion yuan (about 86.14 billion US dollars) during the mid-year shopping spree in 2021, up 26.5 percent year on year.

From June 1 to 20, 2021, more than 6.59 billion packages were handled during the mid-year shopping festival, up 24.24 percent from a year earlier, said the State Post Bureau.

Another emerging shopping festival is celebrated on May 20. The date is seen as another Valentine's Day by Chinese netizens and younger generations since the shorthand for the date in the three-digit number has a similar pronunciation to "I love you" in Chinese.

Resembling those for Valentine's Day, the celebrations of May 20 involve public displays of affection, dates, and romantic gifts, while a large number of shopping malls were decorated with Valentine's Day hearts and roses.

Yu Zhonghao said the sales on May 20 would double from that of regular days, and the sales of categories labeled as "romantic gifts," including jewelry and cosmetics, would be higher.

"Businesses combined people's emotional expression with consumption needs to celebrate the shopping festivals, conforming to the trend of consumption upgrade, which will inject new impetus into the economy," said Liang Bing, deputy director of the commerce bureau of Dadong District in Shenyang.

According to Zhang Sining, a researcher with the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, shopping festivals create a new bonanza and energize the Chinese market.

The booming consumption will boost confidence in the Chinese economy, and the popularity of shopping festivals shows the diversification of consumer needs and the continuous consumption upgrade in the country, reflecting the resilience and potential of the Chinese economy, said Zhang.

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