Taobao teamed up with retailers for a Walking Festival in Chongqing, tapping into the hugely popular “Citywalk” trend of the summer, which brings together consumption and exploration of one’s local surroundings.
The week-long event, set up in partnership with the tourism and commerce divisions of the Chongqing municipal government, covers 6 popular areas in Chongqing and more than 20 landmark attractions. Participants could choose from seven themed routes through the city, each with a distinct focus – food, drink, night scenery, leisure, art, cute creatures, or street markets.
Along each route are curated “punch-in spots”, where Taobao has added a creative twist to the local scenery to provide walkers with the best photo opportunities. A highlight of the festival widely shared on social media was the croc exhibition in Daijia Lane, riffing on the explosive popularity of crocs this summer among China’s Gen Zers).
Spurred by bloggers on the lifestyle-sharing platform Xiaohongshu, Citywalk emerged as a response to this year’s May Day holiday trend “Special Forces tourism”, where the aim is to hit as many famous spots as possible in the shortest amount of time. Citywalkers instead steer clear of internet-famous hotspots and commercial hubs, seeking out interactions with locals, authentic snacks, and a deeper appreciation for the history and culture of the city.
The Chongqing Walking Festival is part of “Night Taobao”, a new entertainment and lifestyle version of the e-commerce giant that launched earlier this summer. Combining entertainment with e-commerce, the platform promotes local commercial activities through livestreaming and other content. It is also expected to host live broadcasts of new film and TV releases and live house music events.
Jie Tao, who heads the Night Taobao project, said, “Chongqing is the first stop of the Walking Festival series. Soon we are heading to more cities to take people walking and roaming, helping them to discover the beauty of the city’s streets and alleys and experience all the wonderful links between Night Taobao and life.”