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China's e-commerce platforms unleash spending power of third-tier cities

(People's Daily Online)    17:02, January 16, 2020

As the Spring Festival approaches, China's e-commerce platforms have rolled out various promotional activities for the Spring Festival shopping season, which will help unleash the spending power of consumers from third-tier cities in particular.

A salesman prepares food for visitors at an expo in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region before the Spring Festival. (Photo/Xinhua)

There are various promotional activities on China's e-commerce platforms: some have introduced special columns for local delicacies and some provided group purchase for tens of thousands of consumers, while others launched discount sales during a limited time period or offer special subsidies for purchases.

The Spring Festival shopping season on e-commerce platforms has also facilitated sales of agricultural products. On the first day of the 2020 New Year shopping season on Tmall, Alibaba's B2C e-commerce platform, 1,000 tons of red Fuji apples from Yuncheng city of Shanxi province in north China were sold, becoming the most popular New Year fruit that day. Meanwhile, 200 tons of special sweet potato from Shandong province in east China were sold, becoming the most popular vegetable of the day.

Both local agricultural and overseas products have benefited.

The consumption of imported fruits on JD.com, the leading retailer in China, increased 2.2 times in early January compared with the same period in December last year, with bananas, Chilean cherries and longan being the top-selling imported fruits, according to JD's big data.

Thanks to the development of e-commerce in China, China's consumer market has been further activated, especially in third-tier and lower cities, where people can purchase goods with just a click.

The purchasing power of third-tier and lower cities and towns continues to increase, and the consumption enthusiasm for imported goods is high.

During the festival, consumption in third-tier and lower cities increased by 5.6 times year on year, with consumption of imported goods up 9.8 times year on year, according to JD's big data.

The big data shows that consumers in third-tier cities and below prefer gift boxes, accounting for more than one third of the platform's gift box sales, with orange, apple and cherry gift boxes being the most popular.

Buyers are also looking to enjoy a warm Spring Festival, as sales of air conditioners during the season have increased by more than 200 percent and sales of air heaters increased by 85 percent.

The quality of Spring Festival purchases has obviously been upgraded. For instance, Dalian sea cucumber, Qingdao small-sized shrimp, Xilingol lamb, Arctic sweet shrimp, and seafood gift packages are among the most popular meat products.

"The consumption of New Year's eve dinner has also been upgraded," said Peng Mei, the person in charge of the Spring Festival shopping holiday in Alibaba, best known for its retail e-commerce business.

Peng added that in addition to traditional home-cooked dishes, prawns, Boston lobsters and Inner Mongolia mutton chops have become increasingly common on Chinese dining tables. 

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

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