CHINESE NEW YEAR 2022 BY THE NUMBERS
The Year of the Tiger is here. Right now, over 1.5 billion people across the globe are celebrating the Lunar New Year with feasts, festivals, and family gatherings. China, the largest country to observe the lunar new year, celebrates the holiday for 15 days. This year’s celebration began on January 31 and will continue through February 15th. In China, the Lunar New Year, which is simply referred to as the Spring Festival or the Chinese New Year, is one of the most important holidays on the calendar. Below are four key charts that examine how the pandemic has shaped the Chinese New Year in recent years and how Chinese consumers are adapting.
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON CHINESE NEW YEAR TRAVEL
In a typical year, roughly 3 billion travel for the Chinese New Year, but Chinese officials are limiting domestic travel due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these restrictions, over 1 billion people are still expected to travel for the festival in 2022. Many people travel back to their hometowns to celebrate the festival with family. The festival effectively closes factories for several weeks, and all business in China “essentially grinds to halt from late-January through mid February.”
2021 TOP CHINESE NEW YEAR CONSUMER CATEGORIES
The top consumer categories are reflective of the rich traditions that surround the Chinese New Year. During the celebration, families often gather for meals that include long noodles, which signify long life, and dumplings that symbolize ancient Chinese money, which represents wishes for prosperity in the coming year. Nuts and snacks are another important part of the festivities. Nuts, especially peanuts, represent longevity and are typically included in Chinese New Year celebrations. Other snacks, like candies, are used to symbolize wishes of “sweetness and happiness.” Alcohol is another significant aspect of the traditions. Wine is “seen as a metaphor for good fortune” although bai jiu (a kind of distilled white spirit) and beer are also common sights during the holiday. The celebration is also a massive retail holiday with many consumers purchasing clothing and accessories.
TOTAL RETAIL REVENUE FROM CHINESE NEW YEAR 2019 TO 2021
Chinese New Year is a major shopping season for many Chinese consumers. According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, China's retail and dining industry grew by 29 percent year over year from 98.45 billion in 2020 to 127 billion USD in 2021. Many experts took this as a sign of China’s strong economic recovery from the pandemic. Although omicron and delta have dampened hopes of a complete return to normal by early 2022, Chinese New Year is still expected to be another massive shopping season. Due to travel restrictions, Chinese consumers “ may spend less on presents and have more money for personal purchases.
TOP DIGITAL RED ENVELOPE PLATFORMS
During the Chinese New Year, family and friends traditionally exchange red envelopes, which typically contain money inside. In Chinese culture, red symbolizes luck and good fortune. These gifts represent wishes of good luck and prosperity in the coming year. In recent years, red envelopes have been increasingly exchanged digitally through China’s vast ecosystem of digital social and payment platforms. In 2019, 823 million people exchanged hongbao (red envelopes) through WeChat, one of China’s largest social media and mobile payment platforms.
Chinese New Year has a significant impact on the Chinese economy and the larger international supply chain. If your business needs support navigating the complexities and the logistics of doing business internationally, we would love to talk with you. Click here to schedule your free consultation today.