China’s 11/11 Single’s Day, the world’s biggest online shopping event of the year, has once again exceeded the sale figures of previous years.
The 8th edition of China’s Online Single’s Day Shopping Festival, that was initiated by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009, broke all previous sales records with a 24-hour sales volume of $17.6 billion (120.7 billion RMB) on Alibaba’s Tmall (天猫) on November 11. Online shopping mall JD.com also had 60% more sales than the previous year.
With so much success, many e-commerce platforms have extended the shopping festival until November 18. Time to see which Chinese online consumer trends are especially apparent during this year’s Single Day’s sales.
Smartphone & Tablets: Made-in-China Wins
Together with fashion and health and beauty products, electronics are among the top-selling products of China’s biggest annual online sale. This year’s Single’s Day has shown that the iPhone7 is still very popular among Chinese consumers, despite the subdued reactions in China to its release in September.
The Gome e-commerce chain (国美在线) revealed that the iPhone7, which was priced at 4888 RMB (±719 US$), was the store’s number one best-seller of November 11. Gome sold 22000 devices within 24 hours.
Despite the surge in iPhone sales, made-in-China smartphones were the undeniable winner of the Single’s Day smartphone sales. Overall, netizens bought more Chinese smartphone brands than international ones. According to the Single’s Day sales numbers of JD.com, no less than 8 of the top 10 best-selling smartphones were domestically produced mobile phones. China’s Huawei and Xiaomi brands did especially well on Alibaba’s Tmall.
The surge in sales of Chinese smartphones is also promising for the international market: Huawei aims to become the world’s second-largest maker of smartphones within two years.
The growth of Chinese brand popularity is not just noticeable on the smartphone market – Chinese brands are also winning over tablet buyers. Apple is no longer the only big player on the Chinese tablet market, with brands such as Lenovo and Huawei seeing considerable growth in tablet sales.
Good for the Baby
Of the non-electronic products, it is especially baby products that did well on China’s Single’s Day. Anything from milk powder to baby wipes or diapers were popular during the 11/11 sales. Vastly different from the electronic market, it is especially foreign brands such as Friso (Friesland Campina, Dutch) and Moony (Japanese) that are most popular among Chinese consumers.
As China’s consumer trust in made-in-China baby brands has been damaged through various safety scandals over previous years, foreign brands are leading the market.
What is remarkable about this year’s sales, as revealed by China’s e-commerce platform Beibei (贝贝网, focused on maternal and infant products) is that the children’s clothing market is more booming than ever. Together with the surge in other baby- and mother-related products, the shift to bigger sales of these non-traditional products shows that China’s ‘Mummy Economy’ (妈妈经济) is becoming more relevant.
According to Beibei, there are over 50 million Chinese mothers registered as e-commerce users on their platform. Their data shows that there are different consumer trends within this group in China.
Mothers from the northeast of China, for example, will buy more baby’s clothes and shoes, as it gets colder in those regions than the more southern parts of China. The mothers in the Yangtze River Delta area (Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang) are known to buy many baby snacks and foodstuff. In the south of China, nearer to Hong Kong, consumers mainly buy baby necessities such as diapers and baby wipes.
Fashion: Individual Style over Traditional Brands
Despite the popularity of electronics and baby products, clothing and lifestyle goods are still the number one best-selling products in China’s online sales. According to sales numbers released by JD.com, 40% of all their 11/11 sales were in the apparel & lifestyle category.
Noteworthy non-Chinese brand names are Lee, TUMI and Guess, which respectively sold 43 times, 20 times, and 70 times more clothes this year than in previous years.
Although traditional international luxury brands such as Burberry and MaxMara remain popular, new sales data shows that Chinese consumers now, for the first time, pursue more non-mainstream brands for their style than the established luxury brands.
A good example is the growing popularity of the Canadian apparel brand Canada Goose, which completely sold out on Chinese fashion e-commerce site Xiu.com (走秀网) on November 11. The brand is known for its warm and stylish outerwear. Another non-mainstream popular brand is the Italian designer clothes & accessories label Mr & Mrs Italy, which was only recently introduced on fashion platform Xiu.com and became hot selling on 11/11.
With Chinese middle-class consumers now gradually attaching more importance to style, originality, and quality of a label than its fame, somewhat more low-key designer brands like Brunello Cucinelli or Loro Piana are starting to replace classic Louis Vuitton or Burberry brands.
According to Xiu.com representatives, these new developments show that China’s middle-class consumer habits are now undergoing dramatic changes. People are no longer pursuing a bag only because it has an LV logo – they want a bag that suits their own style and needs.
China’s New Online Consumers: The Rise of Smaller Towns
Although first- and second-tier cities are still the most important consumer markets for online e-commerce platforms, this year’s sales data point out that consumers in third-tier cities and provincial level towns are becoming an important target group.
E-commerce giant JD.com saw a substantial growth in orders from prefectural cities and smaller towns from provinces such as Guizhou, Jiangxi, Hubei, Henan, and Yunnan.
In 2011, “the rise of China’s 2nd and 3rd tier cities” was a hot topic in the media. Five years later, this trend has shifted to China’s rural areas, where the new consumers are located.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that 77.14 million rural Chinese shopped online in 2015, which was already a 40.6 percent increase from 2014. On average, rural Chinese spend more online than their urban counterparts, and their online spending is growing faster.
According to Economics Daily, drastic increases in sales to consumers from smaller towns and villages shows the improving living standards in these areas. High-end products like refrigerators and air-conditionings are among their top-selling products for this consumer group.
The rise of China’s more third-tier and rural consumers is closely connected to China’s booming and readily available e-commerce, that has made rural consumer demand strong. With China’s online population now exceeding 700 million people, China’s rural netizens are growing steadily – that new tablet or heater is now just a few clicks away.
The Power of the Post-1990s Generation
The sales data from this year’s Single’s Day as provided by the Gome (国美) e-commerce platform have pointed out that the majority of orders (which had a staggering growth of 268% compared to last year) were placed by consumers below the age of 40. Of all online customers on Single’s Day, 85% were below the age of 40.
Within this group, 47% of people are of the 16-29 age category and 34% aged between 30-39. Young women are more active online consumers than the men; 67% of all purchases were done by women.
The Gome data shows the power of the post-1990s consumer. People of the generation born after 1990, often referred to as the ‘Post 90s’ or ‘jiulinghou‘ (九零后) are also called “marketers’ dream consumers” for their impulsiveness in buying goods, and their general pursuit of products that improve their happiness; they are the ultimate consumers, much more willing to spend money than the generations before them.
With a new young generation of eager online consumers, the rise of rural e-shoppers and a thriving ‘mummy economy’, China’s e-commerce companies having something to look forward to for their next year’s Single’s Day. The biggest online shopping event in the world is only about to get bigger.
Part of this article on based on the 14 November article by Zhao Chenting (赵陈婷) originally published on http://www.yicai.com/..
Other sources are linked to within the article.
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Cybersecurity Experts Warn: Flicking the V-Sign in Photos Could Give Away Your Fingerprint Data
V-sign selfie pictures could disclose personal information about your fingerprints, security experts warn.
The 2019 China Cybersecurity Week was held in Shanghai this week, and made it to the top trending topics on Sina Weibo today.
The topic attracting the attention of millions of Chinese web users is not China’s cybersecurity in general, but one that was discussed during the event, namely the potential privacy risks in making a V-sign on photos.
Chinese internet security experts at the conference warned that people are unaware that they could be giving away personal data information about their fingerprints when sharing photos of themselves making a peace sign.
If the side of the fingertips is facing the camera, and if there is not a lot of space in between the camera and the hand, it would potentially be possible to gather fingerprint data using photo enlargement tools and AI techniques.
The deputy director of the Shanghai Information Security Industry Association stated that photos displaying a fingertop-facing V-sign taken within 1,5 meter of the camera could potentially disclose 100% of one’s fingerprint information, China Press reports.
Criminals could reconstruct fingerprint patterns of other people and abuse them in various means – basically wherever fingerprint information is used to confirm people’s identities (e.g. biometric door locks or fingerprint payment scanning).
Besides not disclosing fingerprint information in photos posted online, experts also warn people not to leave fingerprint information at machines without confirming their purpose and legality.
Fingerprint scanning is used for a multitude of purposes in China. Foreigners who arrived in China since 2017 will also be familiar with the policy of collecting foreign passport holders’ fingerprints upon their arrival in the PRC.
On Chinese social media, the topic “Making a V-Sign Could Leak Your Fingerprint Data” is one of the biggest being discussed today. On Weibo, the hashtag has gathered 200 million views at time of writing (#拍照比剪刀手会泄露指纹信息#).
Some commenters advise people on social media to make peace signs with the nail side of the fingers facing the camera. (That gesture, however, is deemed an offensive gesture in some nations.)
The V-sign is often used as a rather non-symbolic or cute gesture across in East Asia.
Although in many Western countries, the symbol is mostly known as the victory sign (“V for Victory”) as used during World War II, it entered mainstream popular culture in Japan since the 1960s and spread to other Asian countries from there.
This Time article explains how the gesture appeared in Japanese manga in the late 1960s, one of them titled V is the Sign (Sain wa ‘V’ / サインはV).
Amid the concerned Weibo users, some are not worried: “It’s ok,” one commenter writes: “Using a Beauty App smoothes out my skin anyway.”
There are also many commenters who are confused about the news, wondering what advanced photo camera quality and AI technique might implicate for future privacy risks concerning face recognition data and iris scanning software (“Should we also close our eyes?”).
Others offer a different solution to the unexpected V-sign issue: “Just flip the middle finger instead.”
The images used in the featured image on this page come from 追星娱乐说.
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“Taobao Life”: This Feature Shows How Much Money You’ve Spent on Taobao
Some users just found out they could’ve bought a house with the money they’ve spent on Taobao.
Over the past few days, a new Taobao feature that allows users to see how much money they have spent on the online shopping platform is flooding Chinese social media.
Taobao Marketplace is China’s biggest online shopping platform. Owned by tech giant Alibaba, Taobao was launched in 2003 to facilitate consumer-to-consumer retail.
For many people, Taobao shopping has become part of their everyday life. Whether it is clothes, pet food, accessories, electronics, furniture – you name it, Taobao has it.
Because buying on Taobao is so easy, fast, and convenient, many online consumers lose track of how much they actually spent on the platform – especially if they have been using it for years already.
Thanks to “Taobao Life,” users can now see the total amount of money spent on their account.
How to do it? First: go to Taobao settings and click the profile account as indicated below.
Then click the top icon that says “Achievement” (成就).
And here you find what you have spent in this account in total. On the left: the money spent, on the right: the amount of purchases.
Since I’ve used started using this Taobao account for the occasional clothes shopping since 2016, I’ve made 122 purchases, spending 7849 yuan ($1140) – a very reasonable amount compared to some other Taobao users, who are now finding out they could have practically bought an apartment with the money they have spent on Taobao.
This user, for example, found out they spent over half a million yuan on Taobao ($75,500).
This user below has spent over 1,1 million yuan on Taobao ($170,000).
Some people discuss all the things they could have bought with the money they have spent on Taobao over the years: “As soon as I saw the number, I wanted to cry,” one Weibo user writes: “What have I done?!”
Another person, finding out they have spent 230,000 yuan on Taobao ($33,400), writes: “This can’t be true! Surely this must be a mistake!?”
“If I wouldn’t have spent all this money on Taobao, I would’ve been rich,” others say.
The topic of Taobao’s total spending amount has become so popular on Chinese social media this week, causing so much consternation, that Taobao posted a message on its Weibo account on July 27, writing: “We heard you guys couldn’t sleep last night..”
Although many people are shocked to find out the money they’ve spent on Taobao, others console themselves with the thought that adding up everything they have spent on Taobao, they were actually ‘rich’ at some point in their lives.
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