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The Chinese Spring Festival and The Olympic Winter Games Have Been the New Growth Points of Chinese Consumption Sector in The First Quarter Of 2022

The Third Spring Festival Since The COVID-19 Outbreak
In 2021, both China’s consumption and overall economic performance have already exceeded the figure for pre-epidemic level. In detail, the total retail sales in 2021 totaled 44.1 trillion yuan, which increased 12.5% compared with that in 2020 and was significantly higher than that in 2019. However, in order to prevent the spreading of epidemic, the government has advocated avoid large gatherings and long-distance travel during the Chinese Spring Festival. Hence, previously popular family activities such as tourism can no longer generate large-scale economic benefits. In this case, the consumption growth of online shopping has become the main driving force of China’s economic growth, and holiday consumption can be regarded as the top priority to a certain extent.

According to business big data monitoring key e-commerce platforms, consumption that upgrades the quality of household appliances has become one of the highlights of this Spring Festival. Since the launch of the Chinese New Year shopping festival, sales of Intelligent Projectors and Intelligent Massagers have increased by 89.5 percent and 34.8 percent year-on-year, respectively. Also, Intelligent Cleaning Appliances are popular, with sales of Dust Mite Remover and Floor Washer increasing by more than one-third year on year. Personalized consumption stimulated the market vitality since house customization became a new trend of home decoration, and the sales volume of goods increased by more than half year on year.

Another feature of the festival is live-streaming e-commerce. Data from Tik Tok, an e-commerce company, showed 158 live broadcast rooms with a single transaction value of more than 10 million yuan. Among them, the live broadcast of diplomats from SCO countries promoting local specialties has been attractive. In order to increase the supply of high-quality imported products in the domestic markets, during the Chinese Spring Festival, the Ministry of Commerce held the live-streaming e-commerce activity for SCO countries, which stimulating the sales of more than 1,500 categories of goods, relying on domestic well-known electric business platforms such as Alibaba, Tik Tok.

The atmosphere of traditional Chinese New Year is shown by gifts and presents, which represent the deepest blessing. Considering the characteristics of the festival, many time-honored brands around the country have introduced customized, intelligent and green products that better satisfy the demand of consumers. With incentives such as consumption vouchers and preferential vouchers, new consumption patterns and concepts have become more popular, thus online and offline markets have become more dynamic.

High Technology Promotes the Online Shopping During Chinese Spring Festival and Facilitates the Live Broadcast of Olympic Winter Games

In the past two years, the epidemic prevention and control have changed the ways people celebrate the festivals. Thanks to technological progress, the application of 5G, AI and other technologies has contributed to the indispensable traditional Chinese New Year activities.

Online shopping can meet consumers’ demand for fashionable and personalized products during the Spring Festival. Although freight expenditure during the Spring Festival is higher than usual, logistics systems still operate normally. Online shopping has become an important part of consumer market. According to JD Research Institute, in the first week of the Chinese New Year Shopping Festival, the volume of orders from other places increased by 30% year-on-year, and the proportion of these orders increased by 50% compared with non-holidays. This means that a large number of people are unable to return to hometowns or reunite with their relatives, so they have to send the gifts directly to hometowns through online shopping.

In the Spring Festival of the Year of the Tiger in 2022, because of the development of Internet and social media, families from all over the world can express best wishes for the New Year by video calls. In addition, all kinds of cultural performances, traditional operas, intangible cultural heritage exhibitions and other resources are presented on the online video platforms.

Notably, the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games will be the first ‘Cloud Olympics’. Based on the technology of cloud, the application of visual intelligence, algorithms, AR and other technologies in the stadiums will enable the audiences to have a better watching experience during the Chinese Spring Festival at home. For example, through the multi-angle intelligent synthesis technology, the multi-array video is combined into a panoramic dynamic picture, thus bringing more dimensional viewing perspectives of short-track speed skating, curling and other competitions.

Olympic Winter Games Helps Promote Ice and Snow Sports Related Economy

In the three provinces in Northeast China, the number of participants of ice and snow sports in 2021 are far ahead of other regions and the users in these provinces rank first in China due to geographical and climatic advantages. The expansion of ice and snow sports lovers boosts relevant consumption, as the consumption amount of these sports in Heilongjiang Province has increased by 70.29% in 2021.

With the successful bid for Beijing Winter Olympic Games, ice and snow sports have been further popularized and developed in China. Since the Olympic Winter Games just around the corner, ice and snow sports has become new recreational activities for common people.

In recent years, consumption related to ice and snow has accounted for a considerable proportion of new business models and forms in Shanghai. At the end of 2019, the skiing training experience brand SNOW 51 found the first Hybrid Concept Store in TX Huaihai, introduced high-end skiing simulator training, integrated with trendy culture retail, Michelin restaurant, sports community, etc., and innovated a new mode of ice and snow consumption, breaking through the limitations of regional and seasonal skiing sports. In accordance with the founder Ye Kai, when people’s life quality gradually improves, the form of popular sports will shift from relatively simple outing, mountaineering and other sports to more challenging cycling, skiing, surfing and other sports. With the arrival of the Olympic Winter Games, the number of people who experience skiing ushered in a wave of growth, in the past three months, the store in TX Huaihai witnessed a 50 percent monthly growth rate.

It is worth mentioning that in China, the multi-level snow and ice economy system is gradually improving, helping the development of snow and ice economy into the fast lane. According to China Ice and Snow Tourism Development Report (2022), spurred by the Olympic Winter Games, the upgrading of tourism consumption and the national layout of snow and ice facilities, the number of snow and ice tourists in China is forecasted to exceed 500 million by 2025, and the domestic revenue of snow and ice tourism will exceed 1.1 trillion yuan.

The popularity of ice and snow sports has also boosted ice-related spending. Since the fourth quarter of 2021, the sales of skiing clothing and equipment have risen significantly. Plenty of domestic and foreign brands are aiming at marketing opportunities to integrate Olympic Winter Games elements with Chinese Spring Festival elements, creating Chinese style goods in the snow and ice consumption market. For example, the limited-edition sportswear combines Olympic Winter Games with traditional Chinese New Year elements such as Himalayan Mosaic colors.

A researcher from the International Market Research Department claimed that the hosting of the Olympic Winter Games in China has undoubtedly stimulated people’s enthusiasm for ice and snow sports and tourism. Considering the characteristics of the season, ice and snow sports have gradually become an indispensable daily choice for people. The ice and snow consumption boom will not fade away at the end of the Olympic Winter Games. Because this niche market combines with sports and fitness and tourism caters to the demand of modern people, ice and snow sports related consumption is expected to become a new growth point in Chinese economy.

By Xin Wang

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