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Get your share of over 900 billion yuan

Written by:   Phil Pomford, General Manager APAC, Global eCom,  31 Jan 2019

How your business can take advantage of Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year- also known as the Spring Festival - is among the most prominent events on the Chinese calendar. In 2019 “The Year of the Pig” begins on Tuesday, February 5, inspiring celebrations both in China and throughout the world. Considered China’s most important holiday, the festival’s name is aspirational as it looks forward to the spring season ahead despite taking place in winter.

New Year’s celebrations feature holiday festivities that span sixteen days, starting the day before New Year’s and ending fifteen days later with the Lantern Festival. Spring Festival has truly become a global event with both official and unofficial celebrations throughout Asia and beyond to wherever Chinese migrants have settled. And it also presents huge opportunities for merchants across the globe.

The Spring Festival period sees extensive travel both within China and beyond its borders. Several hundred million Chinese travel during this period when the vast majority of factories and offices are closed. By rail or plane Chinese migrate en-masse from the rapidly growing cities to the homes of their parents and grandparents. But we’re also seeing a growing trend of Chinese travelling internationally during this period. 

The holiday is celebrated in many ways including an annual family reunion dinner, fireworks, red decorations and the exchange of gifts. China’s domestic tourism industry enjoys a significant holiday boost each year. Bloomberg reports that the domestic tourism industry, during the New Year period, rose to 475 billion yuan (US $70 billion) in 2018, a 12% increase from the same period in 2017.

"According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, retail spending during the 2018 holiday period was 926 billion yuan (US $146 billion), a 10% increase over 2017 holiday sales."

Spring Festival is now a significant retail event in China. According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, retail spending during the 2018 holiday period was 926 billion yuan (US $146 billion), a 10% increase over 2017 holiday sales.

Domestic consumption in China is growing to be more diverse. Spring Festival spending has seen a shift in recent years with significant growth in luxury items, consumer electronics, and imported goods. Global Times reports that among goods sold in the booming eCommerce sector upwards of 63% are imported from outside China. From Danish cookies to Icelandic salmon to Chilean wine, contemporary Chinese tastes are increasingly global. So, it’s clear there’s a huge opportunity, even for businesses currently based outside of China.

It’s not just what Chinese consumers are buying, it’s how that’s changing. Whatever China’s consumers are purchasing - from train tickets or luxury goods online to food at their local market- it’s likely they’re paying with a mobile wallet. According to Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payments Report consumers in China lead the way globally in mobile wallet adoption. China’s mobile-first economy saw 65% of all eCommerce and 36% of point of sale spend in 2017 being made with a eWallet such as Alipay and WeChat Pay. This demonstrates how it’s important that you understand local market payment preferences and trends – or work with a payment provider that does.  Worldpay has been operating in China for 5 year and has a team of local experts with many years’ experience available to support our customers succeed in this complex market.

"China’s mobile-first economy saw 65% of all eCommerce and 36% of point of sale spend in 2017, being made with a eWallet such as Alipay and WeChat Pay"

Visit Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payments Report to find out more.

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Though growing in stature, Spring Festival isn’t the largest shopping event in China. That honor goes to “Singles Day” (on November 11, i.e. 11/11). Started by Alibaba’s Tmall, Singles Day is now the biggest single shopping day not just in China but globally.  Other important holidays for those doing business in China - or considering doing so - include China National Day on October 1 and Jingdong’s 618 Festival from June 1-18.

Interested in learning more about doing business in China? Talk to our team of experts today – or visit Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payments Report. Offering an in-depth examination of the rapidly evolving ways consumers throughout the world pay for goods and services in key markets globally, including China, the 2018 Payments Report also features a special essay on “China’s growth, boundless opportunity.”

So, don’t miss out on this huge opportunity!

And Happy Year of the Pig to you.

Written by:   Phil Pomford, General Manager APAC, Global eCom,  31 Jan 2019