As this year’s week-long Chinese New Year break drew to a close, domestic business platform Alipay shared some findings gleaned from consumer activities with Dao Insights to jointly examine the country’s emerging new lifestyles as well as spending trends.
Among the observations, the rental business appeared to be trending along with travel. The number of searches for rental goods like cameras, camera lenses and cars saw noticeable increases on the Alipay platform, with a yearly growth of 200%, 100% and 50% respectively. Dealing with flat batteries including mobile phones and cars was a common issue amongst travellers, which led to demands for charging and charging pile (used to charge electric vehicles) soaring by 300% and 150%.
Meanwhile, searches such as ‘help feed pet at my home’ on the Alipay platform jumped by 200% compared to that of last year. As millions of pet owners from larger Tier-1 or Tier-2 cities had to travel back to their hometowns for family gatherings, this marked a shift in pet owner demographics from older generations living in rural areas to city-dwelling youngsters.
Local consumers’ enthusiasm for travel and spending boosted sales in offline shopping districts. Cities like Nanjing, Changsha, Hangzhou, Xiamen and Chongqing experienced a tourism influx along with spending recovery in downtown locations and shopping districts. Some popular tourist destinations favoured by local consumers like Zhangjiakou in China’s northern Hebei Province and Xishuangbanna in China’s southwest Yunnan Province saw a staggering 1000% increase in consumer spending.
Apart from regional travel, outbound tourism also took off. Sales of overseas travel insurance through the platform jumped by 6100%. China’s Hong Kong and Macao topped the list of the most favourable cross-border travel destinations for Mainland Chinese Alipay users.
Alipay has transformed from a payment tool to an open platform with integrated business sectors serving more than one billion consumers, the observations gleaned from the platform provide an insightful snapshot of the country’s normalised consumer behaviours, demonstrating that China’s economy is recovering at a relatively rapid pace surrounded by positive consumer sentiments, exciting travel enthusiasm as well as rebound offline shopping activities.