Chinese are shopping the world and bringing home the best foods to set the table during the Lunar New Year holidays. Xu Lin tracks the trend.
The average family reunion dinner this Lunar New Year's Eve may have a menu that sounds as if it came out of a city-fusion restaurant - organic pork from Yunnan, seafood from Dalian, lotus root from Hubei and mango from Hainan.
That's largely because it's not as if they need to go through extraordinary lengths to get all the ingredients. Often, it's just the tap of a finger, thanks to the proliferation of goods available online.
"The convenient online markets save me a lot of energy when shopping for Spring Festival and allow me to try food from different places," says Tan Wanwei, 25, who works in an advertising company in Shanghai.
According to e-commerce website Taobao.com, 53.8 percent of online shoppers that do their Lunar New Year shopping were born after 1980 - that is, since the country adopted the opening-up and reform policy.
They prefer to do the annual shopping binges at home rather than follow their parents' footsteps in tiring themselves out lugging home bundles of goods from wet or dry markets.
"I just bought some imported snacks online, such as dried cranberries and cookies, because they are only available on the Internet," Tan says.
"I want my parents to share these delicious foods during the festival."
She fell in love with these snacks while pursuing her master's degree in the United States.
Tan says the snacks from online shops have a more recent manufacturing date because the sales turnover is fast and the stock gets replenished more frequently than in the neighborhood shops.