Face masks become luxury gift on Valentine's Day in China amid coronavirus crisis
Global Times

A heart-shaped cake is pictured on the occasion of Valentine's Day in Damascus, Syria, on Feb. 12, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

Face masks have become one of the most popular gifts in China ahead of Valentine's Day,  which falls on Friday this year due to the novel coronavirus crisis, lifting it to the level of a luxury item.

This week, some Chinese netizens made a list ranking the best gifts for Valentine's Day on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. The hashtag for the list has earned more than 210 million views on Sina Weibo as of Thursday.

Gifts for Valentine's Day were divided into five ranks with face masks coming in at No.1, helping buy items from the online shopping carts of girlfriends ranked second and transferring money to a girlfriend ranked third.

Some female netizens posted photos of "bouquets" of a dozen face masks on Sina Weibo to show off the gifts sent by their boyfriends. Many comments expressed jealousy or were from male netizens asking for help to purchase masks themselves.

"A girl who receives masks as a gift this year can consider marrying the boy, because it is so hard to buy masks now. He must have spent a lot of time and energy finding a way to buy them," one netizen commented on Sina Weibo.

Besides face masks, other medical items including disinfectant, medicinal alcohol and disposable glove also topped the ranks of most popular gifts, followed by more traditionally popular gifts such as lipstick, bags and jewelry.

Two customer service sellers from two online shops selling masks and disinfectant on e-commerce platform Taobao told the Global Times on Thursday that their orders have not seen an obvious rising trend the week before Valentine's Day because sales have remained very high since the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

However, three employees from different online flower  shopes on Taobao told the Global Times on Thursday that the deadly virus has severely affected sales of flowers before Valentine's Day.

Although many Chinese lovers are not able to celebrate this romantic festival like they usually do such as going out shopping, dining at a decent restaurant, staying in nice hotels and watching movies at the cinema, many have made the best of things by setting up online dates or recording some interesting and creative short videos for each other.

The hashtag for a dating makeup tutorial video has earned 150 million views, and many vloggers have taken the opportunity to upload their own makeup videos on Sina Weibo.

"I have not used makeup since the outbreak of the epidemic. I decided to get fancy with my makeup and make a video for my boyfriend on Valentine 's Day," one Chinese netizen wrote on Sina Weibo.