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Lucky merchandise in high demand as college entrance exam nears

By Chen Lidan (People's Daily Online)    17:15, June 05, 2017

With China’s national college entrance exam - or the “gaokao” in Chinese - just around the corner, students and their parents are eager to try anything they can think of to improve their scores. This desire for a superior performance has even boosted the sales of lucky talismans.

Among the top sellers is a customized token, which incorporates personal information like name, gender and birthday, and is said to bless the test-taker with a higher score.

Feng shui businesses have also benefited from mounting exam anxiety. The words “gaokao” and “feng shui” reveal hundreds of results on online shopping site Taobao. Consultations are quick but very pricey. For example, one self-identified consultant just quickly glances at photos of clients' apartment interiors and suggests the addition of a lucky bamboo plant. The consultant also tells clients to avoid wearing red and yellow during the gaokao period. Services like this one are generally priced from 500 RMB.

Even though the efficacy of these talismans and feng shui remain unsubstantiated, many are still eager to open their wallets, Beijing Youth Daily reported. The price of a stationary kit doubles or more once emblazoned with the message: “Wishing you success in the national exams.”

“Parents and other relatives of students are showing a strong preference for these lucky things, but to be honest they’re just regular pens and erasers. The only differences are the good-luck messages and higher prices," one stationary vendor told media in Beijing.

Parents are also turning to nutritional supplements, which claim to enhance memory for a short period of time. However, China’s food and drug administration has not yet approved any “brain-boosting” supplements.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Chen Lidan, Bianji)

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