posted on 25 February 2015
Written by Yuhua Zhang, GEI Associate
The Chinese spring festival is the most important festival for Chinese families which celebrates the coming of a new year. It is also a "grand banquet" for global merchants to fight for higher profits.
Competition of market share through virtual red packets.
It is tradition for elders to send red packets with real money to younger generations for the Chinese new year. In this year, Chinese leading online payment service companies such as Tencent and Alibaba launch virtual red packets which aims to connect to this tradition. Tencent's WeChat sent about 1 billion red envelopes just on New Year's Eve. To compete with WeChat, Alibaba, the world's third largest internet company, handed out 236.9 million yuan electronic red packets to their users on the same day.
Obviously, Chinese New Year becomes a "battle" for the two internet giants fighting for market share. As a result, electronic red packets have become a fashion to Chinese families, and internet companies have been expanding their online payment service.
Chinese New Year pushes global tourism into peak season.
Chinese spring festival not only stimulates domestic demands but also benefits global markets. One of the typical industries is tourism.
Due to appreciation of RMB and newly relaxed visa policy, more and more Chinese families decide to vacation abroad during spring festival. Based on relevant statistics from national tourism administration, about 5.19 million Chinese tourists traveled overseas during spring festival vacation in 2015, which grew about 10% compared with last year.
Chinese new year motivates luxury consumption as well.
With the growth of Chinese tourists travelling abroad, foreign luxury markets are competing to attract Chinese customers. Burberry, the well-known British luxury brand, launched a new style of wool scarf emblazoned with a red Chinese word before Chinese New Year, and a new series of gifts with Chinese elements which is named "happy lunar new year" on its official website. Fashion designer brand Vivienne Westwood launched a new type of necklace with sheep pendant (this year is sheep year in twelve Chinese zodiac signs). Moreover, many department stores are taking steps to attract Chinese customers. For example, Selfridges replaced the lights around the building with red color, and launched limited edition gift cards with Chinese elements.
In recent several years, consumption by Chinese tourists in Britain presents uptrend during the period of spring festival. According to statistics, each Chinese tourist consumes 739 pound in average.
Chinese New Year also stimulates designers' creative inspiration.
In order to attract more Chinese customers, designers design various of new artworks for their brands around Chinese New Year themes. Thereby, spring festival has now become a period to stimulate creative inspiration.
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