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Over 90 percent of Chinese seniors enjoy shopping with their smartphone

(People's Daily Online)    17:15, October 19, 2018

A volunteer teaches elderly residents to shop online in Fengtai district, Beijing. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

Online shopping has become the new favorite past time of China’s older generation, with 92 percent preferring to shop online with their smartphone. On Oct. 17, Beijing Morning Post reported that Chinese seniors favor intelligent products, cosmetics, clothes, and health products.

The number of elderly consumers on online shopping sites Taobao and Tmall has increased 1.6 times over the last three years, according to a data report on consumption of Chinese consumers over 50 years old, recently released by China’s largest e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba.

Big data from China’s e-commerce giant indicates that the growth of per capita expenditure of Chinese seniors on its online stores is now 20 percent higher than the average annual increase of website consumers.

The number of elderly mobile payment users has doubled in the last year, while the elderly are now 2.5 times more likely to use offline biometric payment methods like fingerprint or facial recognition according to statistics published by Alipay, a third-party mobile and online payment platform in China.

The number of seniors who use their mobile phones to pay living expenses such as water, electricity, and gas has increased by 108 percent, as shown in the data from Alipay.

Besides their ever-growing passion for online shopping and mobile payment, China’s senior consumers have also shown a preference for intelligent devices, cosmetics, and sports-related products.

Compared with 2017, witnessed a 31 percent decline in sales of simplified mobile phones which are specially designed for the elderly, seeing a 12.5 percent rise in smartphone sales in the same age bracket. is not the only company to notice this trend. The sale of Single Lens Reflex cameras has increased by 68.8 percent year-on-year, with a per capita expenditure of 24,204 yuan (about $ 3,488).

Statistics from the report shows that 60 percent of senior consumers on Taobao and Tmall buy cosmetics an average of six times a year.

This year, elderly consumers spent 4.4 times as much money on medical cosmetics compared with last year, with a preference for anti-aging and anti-wrinkle products, as shown in data from AliHealth, a health and medical platform under Alibaba.

Seniors in China also prefer purchasing health products online compared with their younger counterparts. Koubei, Alibaba’s platform for local life services, suggests that the per capita expenditure of Beijing’s elderly on services including pedicure, massage, and sauna is 11 percent higher than the city’s average.

Furthermore, besides old hobbies like swimming, dancing, and badminton, elderly Chinese people have developed a passion for golf and bodybuilding. According to Koubei, senior expenditure on golf and bodybuilding has witnessed a growth of over 70 percent in the last nine months. 

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

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