BUSINESS Online sales of holiday-related goods surge ahead of Chinese New Year

BUSINESS

Online sales of holiday-related goods surge ahead of Chinese New Year

Global Times

22:37, February 02, 2021

A staff member arranges products at a supermarket in Xiangfang District of Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 30, 2021. Price and supply of daily necessities are stable in Harbin amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local authorities told a press briefing here on Saturday. (Photo: Xinhua)

A government-backed online holiday goods sales promotion has seen skyrocketing numbers in its first 10 days, as consumers stock up on everything from food to refrigerators to fitness equipment ahead of the upcoming Chinese New Year, official data showed on Tuesday.

From January 20-29, online sales of holiday goods reached 344.11 billion yuan ($53.34 billion), according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), one of the organizers of the online sales event, which is separate from other sales events being promoted by China's online platforms.

Food was among the most popular products, with transactions surging 49.6 percent year-on-year. Sales of partly prepared food surged 375.6 percent year-on-year, according to the ministry. Fitness equipment also increased, with sales of jumping ropes increasing 351.1 percent.

The figures were the most recent sign that consumption remains on a steady recovery trajectory, as many Chinese consumers are preparing for what is expected to be a more festive Chinese New Year this year, despite some clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks and tightening travel restrictions.

To ensure steady supplies of holiday goods, e-commerce operators in different parts of China will prepare sufficient stockpiles and efficient logistics to meet the rising demand, while complying with anti-pandemic rules, the MOFCOM said.

As part of those rules, workers across the country are encouraged to stay where they work for the Chinese New Year, leading to increases in online sales in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Also to ensure steady meat supplies, China is set to release 33,000 tons of frozen pork from its central reserves in the coming days, the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center said on Tuesday.

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