“Blind box” market grows in popularity in China

Would you risk spending money on an unknown product?

More and more Chinese consumers are doing it as they purchase “blind boxes” without knowing what is inside in a marketing ploy similar to a lucky draw. The consumer is not just buying what is inside but also the “luck” and “hope’ of obtaining a limited edition product or one-of-a-kind model.

Since 2019, blind boxes have become an increasingly common phenomenon. Tmall’s “Post-95 consumer list” showed that approximately 200,000 consumers spend 20,000 RMB a year on blind boxes. The sales of blind boxes on Tmall alone increased by 189.7% year-on-year as young people try to get their hands on exclusive products.

Blind boxes can range from books, beauty products or clothing to the more bizarre, such as college admission notices. Many leading brands, including the Forbidden City, McDonald’s and Shanghai Disney, have introduced the blind box concept into their marketing strategy. Food retailer Jinjinshang sold fresh blind boxes containing crayfish, pepper chicken or bullfrogs, while Budweiser also launched one featuring limited edition products.

As of October 23, Pop Mart, a seller of anime and cartoon models, had sold more than 65,000 boxes of their “Double 11 Heart Selection Gift Pack” for the upcoming Singles’ Day.


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