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Holiday spending reflects upturn in China's consumer market

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-10-04 17:43
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Tourists pose for a photo in Beijing's Qianmen pedestrian street on Oct 1, 2022. [Photo/CFP]

BEIJING -- During the National Day holiday in China, both online and offline shopping have gained momentum in the country, thanks to heightened consumer enthusiasm and the implementation of pro-consumption policies.

During the seven-day Golden Week holiday, various pro-consumption activities have been launched nationwide to boost spending and sustain the recovery of China's consumer market, said Shu Jueting, a spokesperson with the country's Ministry of Commerce.

Local governments have come up with diversified measures, including handing out consumption vouchers, enriching traveling activities and organizing consumption festivals to boost culture and tourism consumption.

For instance, Fuzhou city in East China's Fujian province plans to issue consumption vouchers worth 3 million yuan (about $423,000) during the holiday season to encourage spending, and Southwest China's Sichuan province will organize over 70 activities such as cultural and night tours to attract travelers.

"Local governments have adopted vigorous measures this year, and these are accessible to a wider range of consumers," said Chen Lifen, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, adding that such moves will further unleash consumption potential.

Travel fervor runs high during the Golden Week holiday season. According to Lvmama, a domestic online travel agency, bookings for trips during the seven-day holiday through their platform increased by over 87 percent from Sept 11 to 20, compared with the previous 10 days.

Travel goods have become increasingly popular on online delivery platforms, mirroring the holiday boom.

Data from Meituan, one of China's online delivery platforms, showed that a week before the holiday, online searches for travel toothbrushes, travel sub bottles and travel shampoo packs soared by 1,037 percent, 368 percent and 272 percent, respectively, compared with a week ago.

With a growing interest in outdoor recreation among the Chinese people, sales of outdoor equipment have also increased sharply. Two weeks ahead of the holiday, sales of outdoor photographic equipment, in particular, increased by over 300 percent compared with the previous two weeks, data from e-commerce giant showed.

Along with the recovery of the tourism sector, the country's catering industry is also warming up, as restaurant businesses have boomed during the holiday.

Restaurant reservations during the National Day holiday via online platforms increased by 87.6 percent compared with the same period last year, according to data from Meituan.

The data also revealed that besides big meals, consumers are showing greater interest in snacks, beverages, pastries and other food items in small eateries during the holiday.

Sales of home appliances have also soared during the week-long holiday, fueled by subsidies from local governments and generous discounts offered by e-commerce platforms.

According to data from the online retailer Suning, on the first day of the National Day holiday, customer flow in its physical stores surged by over 200 percent from the day before, and the number of orders placed at its newly opened stores rose 120 percent compared with the previous day.

On the first day of the holiday, online sales of air purifiers, robot vacuum cleaners, dishwashers and other advanced home appliances jumped more than 100 percent from the previous day, data showed.

China has rolled out a raft of measures to promote consumption recovery, including boosting consumption in key fields such as automobiles, green and intelligent home appliances as well as catering and accommodation, among others.

"The country's consumer market will consolidate the recovery trend and continue to play a fundamental role in bolstering the country's economic growth, as pro-consumption measures take effect," said Guan Lixin, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

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