Spring Festival is no longer a time solely for family reunions in China as more and more Chinese are traveling abroad during the holiday. Shopping has one of their most important missions during the weeklong vacation.
From Japanese electronic toilet seats to Swiss luxury watches, Chinese tourists have been globe-trotting in pursuit of purchases in department stores and luxury shops.Here are a few items that are most popular among Chinese shoppers. Some of the items might be widely accepted in other countries, but there are also a few items that are might be a little weird.
A large number of Chinese tourists rushed to Japan to buy toilet seats during this past Spring Festival holiday. The item is popular among Chinese consumers because they are equipped with a variety of auxiliary functions such as heating and sanitizing. A report by Chongqing Evening News on Thursday said some of the toilet seats were possibly made in China.
Many Chinese travelers also flocked to Japan to buy Japanese rice cookers in the Spring Festival holiday. Some manufactures said their rice cookers were made out of special materials to make it more solid and cook better rice.
Electronics, especially iPhones, iPads and digital cameras are very popular among Chinese tourists due to the relatively lower prices abroad compared to China. Apple is the most popular brand among rich Chinese women, according to the Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2015 released by the Hurun Report.
Many Chinese mothers like to buy quantities of baby formula from abroad after Chinese milk powder manufacturers suffered a major blow in 2008 following a food safety scandal.
Over the past few years, demand for finer products has rapidly increased in China despite a plunging luxury market in many developed nations as a result of the global financial crisis.
Perfumes and cosmetics
The number of Chinese traveling abroad is expected to have exceeded 5 million during this Spring Festival holiday, driven by a stronger yuan, favourable visa policies, increased wealth and a demand for quality leisure time.
Plunging foreign currencies has also contributed the demand of luxury products. Chinese tourists visiting Russia in December 2014 increased by 50 per cent compared with the previous year due to the plunging Russian ruble, reported the Beijing Times. Many of these tourists came to Russia to buy luxury goods.
Designer handbags and clothes
Designer handbags and clothes were always popular among Chinese shoppers at overseas duty-free shops. Increasing living standards has contributed to the increasing demand for better products. Research by KPMG in 2013 also showed 72 per cent of Chinese who travelled overseas said they purchased luxury items.