Digitalizing Chinese Valentine's Day

Xinhua
How many roses do you expect from your boyfriend on Qixi, Chinese Valentine's Day? Big data said it probably would be 19.
Xinhua

How many roses do you expect from your boyfriend on Qixi, Chinese Valentine's Day? Big data said it probably would be 19.

Known as the Chinese version of Valentine's Day, Qixi originated from a 2,000-year-old love story and falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month on the Chinese lunar calendar, which is August 7 this year.

Weeks before the celebration, online sales of relevant gifts have begun to soar, data from major e-commerce platforms showed.

On Alibaba's two major e-commerce platforms Tmall and Taobao, sales of Qixi gifts welcomed its peak a week before the festival and registered an increase of 118 percent from the previous year. Among them, domestic products were most popular, with sales of the traditional Han clothing jumping by 184 percent while Chinese rouge, an ancient-style blush, saw its sales up over 37 percent from a year ago.

Compared with Western-style Valentine's day, data showed that Chinese couples prefer to celebrate Qixi in a more traditional Chinese way.

A report on the consumption habits of the 2018 Qixi published by online food delivery platform Meituan said 42 percent of the food consumption on Qixi in 2018 was spent on Chinese cuisine, while on Western Valentine's day, it was 35 percent.

Fresh flowers have always been a hot gift choice among lovers. According to the Meituan report, gift boxes comprised of 19 roses were most popular among male consumers during last year's Qixi festival, followed by boxes of 11 roses and 33 roses, respectively. And sales of beauty services, including manicures, hairdressing and cosmetic services also rose sharply.

While many young people purchase gifts for their partners, many choose to embark on a tour to celebrate the festival.

Data from the report showed that last year the Happy Valley amusement park in Beijing, Haichang Ocean Park in Qingdao, the Palace Museum, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding as well as the Shanghai Disney Resort were the top five domestic destinations during Qixi. Singapore's Gardens by the Bay was the top overseas destination among Chinese tourists.

"High-priced meals, overseas tours, couples photos and night amusement park tours are gaining higher popularity among young people," said the report.

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