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Santa dances and jingle bells ring in China's business sector


15:36, December 22, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Lanfang is pleased that her Christmas products have been selling better than they did last year.

Her factory in Yiwu, a southern city famous for its small commodity trade, witnessed a year-on-year sales increase of 10 percent in both domestic and overseas markets.

"We have sold more than two million Santa hats just in China this year," Zhang said.

Her factory is among Yiwu's 600-plus individuals and enterprises that have benefited from the manufacturing of Christmas products.

From January to November this year, Christmas products worth about 120 million U.S. dollars, including Christmas trees, costumes, toys and ornament lights, were exported from Yiwu, up 50.7 percent year-on-year, according to figures from Yiwu's customs office.

Lights from Yiwu have not only brightened up Christmas trees in American and European homes, but they've also ignited the passion of Chinese shoppers.

While Christians celebrate Christmas with prayers and hymns, many Chinese embrace the day with cash and cards. Christmas has become a kind of shopping holiday in China, with throngs of people queuing for fitting rooms and cashier desks.

Many malls offer buyers discounts, coupons and drawings for gifts or overseas trips, and some even plan to stay open all night long.

"Sales at our store have peaked on Christmas Day in recent years," said Kang Wei, a sales manager at a department store in Taiyuan, capital of the northern province of Shanxi.

"For Chinese people, Western festivals such as Valentine's Day and Christmas Day are more for shopping and parties," Kang said.

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