Electronics enjoy holiday uptick
Home appliances and consumer electronics products witnessed strong sales during the Spring Festival holiday, as stay-at-home consumers purchased cutting-edge digital products to keep themselves entertained or to send wishes to family members in other cities.
Sales of communication equipment and home appliances rose by 39 percent and 29.9 percent, respectively, during the seven-day holiday that started from last Thursday, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Ma Ke, a white-collar worker in Beijing, did not go back to her hometown in Wuhan, Hubei province during the holiday. Instead she bought a 5G smartphone and a smartwatch for her parents as new year gifts."My father is a fan of electronic products. He always wants to be an early user of the latest phones and smartwatches," Ma said.
Consumers like Ma are answering the call from some provinces and municipalities to stay where they work during the holiday period in a bid to reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19. While staying put, they are buying the latest digital products and adopting cutting-edge digital technologies.
Some of them have bought new fitness device, as the stay-at-home-fitness trend is booming in China. Data from the Ministry of Commerce show that sales of fitness devices surged 49 percent year-on-year on some e-commerce platforms, with jump ropers and dumbbells among the most popular items.
The strong enthusiasm toward consumer electronics and home appliances came after China's effective contagion control measures in the second half of last year helped restore economic momentum in the country and restored people's livelihoods.
Cheng Shi, chief economist at ICBC International Holdings Ltd, said that the accelerated recovery in household consumption will further strengthen the endogenous growth momentum of the Chinese economy. "It will boost the recovery and keep the economy stable for the whole year."
The consumption boom during the holiday is a continuation of the revival seen during the second half of last year. China's smartphone market, for instance, recovered in the fourth quarter, with shipments edging up 0.3 percent year-on-year to 86.4 million units and major vendors in the Chinese market registering favorable growth, according to global market intelligence firm International Data Corp.
Sensing many consumers have not traveled during the holidays, shopping malls have also come up with new ideas to better entertain them. Shopping malls in Shenzhen and Beijing, for instance, have deployed robots powered by artificial intelligence to issue a variety of coupons for dining, movies, sports and other activities to attract consumers.
Jacky Han, vice-president of marketing at tech company Cheetah Mobile, said shopping malls play a central yet complicated role in the retail ecosystem. AI-powered robots can help merchants to convert foot traffic into intelligent data, by functioning as an interactive advertising platform and information desk and transforming the customer experiences, Han said.