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China's "would-be college students" become main consumer force

(People's Daily Online)    10:56, August 18, 2020

"Would-be college students" have emerged as the main consumer force during this year's summer vacation period.


From July to the end of August, students, especially those who have completed their college entrance examinations, accounted for a large proportion of electronic products buyers, with products such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets and digital cameras proving highly popular among young people nowadays.

According to Pinduoduo, an e-commerce player in China, sales of digital products on the platform rose more than 210 percent on the first day of the college entrance examinations on July 9, compared with the day before.

Mobile phones, computers, smart bracelets/watches, game consoles and headphones made up the top five, accounting for about 67 percent of the platform's total digital sales. Unlike in previous years around the college entrance examination period, orders of domestic brands led by Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo and OPPO surpassed those of foreign brands such as Apple, Samsung and Dell.

Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers have been paying greater attention to living healthy lifestyles. Products such as smart bracelets and watches that record body indices and behavioral habits were in great demand and have become essential fashion items for young people nowadays.

From July 9 to 11, searches for Pinduoduo's beauty and care products increased by nearly 300 percent compared with the day before, with sales almost doubling. Among them, sales of facial cleansers, beauty equipment, hair dyes and other products increased the most. During their inquiries, young consumers were often particularly keen to know about products such as acne treatment. When it comes to choice of brands, time-honored Chinese brands are becoming more and more popular among young consumers.

The post-00s generation also enjoy celebrating special occasions by throwing parties, going to KTV and visiting amusement parks. According to big data from Meituan, a Chinese shopping platform, party consumption increased by 68.3 percent month-on-month after the college entrance examinations. KTV consumption reported a 53.8 percent month-on-month rise, while spending in amusement parks grew by 45.8 percent month-on-month.

The end of the college entrance examinations also brought a wave of summer travel. Big data from Meituan shows that the popularity of outbound travel has grown rapidly recently, with the proportion of tickets purchased by senior high school students in the country increasing by 59 percent since the college entrance examinations ended.

Many scenic spots have introduced preferential policies to "would-be college students", allowing them to use their admission letters as "discount cards", which has resulted in a large number of "would-be college students" travelling in groups.

"After the college entrance examinations, many graduates chose to relax through travelling. Now, we have cross-provincial routes specifically for these graduates," said the head of a travel service in Changsha, central China's Hunan province.

Leisure and fitness have become essential activities for many students who sat this year's college entrance examinations. "I signed up for a weight loss course immediately after the college entrance examinations, as I’m hoping to lose weight before going to college," said Yu Tian, one of these students.

In addition, many "would-be college students" also chose to "recharge" themselves after examinations ended. For instance, music lessons, programming and other tutoring classes saw a small consumption boom, while gyms and driving schools also introduced a number of preferential measures to attract such candidates. 

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

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