Massive sales during Qixi festival: What Foreign Businesses Need to Know

The legend of the love story between Niulang and Zhinu has been recounted for generations in Chinese households, leading to the celebration of the Qixi festival all across the country. However, with the expansion of the country’s economy and of new technology, ancient traditions – if not disappeared – faded away in favor of consumption and gift giving.

What Is Qixi Festival About and What Are the Trends?

The Chinese Valentine’s day falls every year on the seventh day of the seventh month on lunar Chinese calendar (which is the reason why it is called the double seventh). This year has been a money-spinner for many companies. Ctrip (China’s biggest online travel agency) for instance, published a report with data showing that more than 200.000 customers booked trips during Qixi festival, to destinations like Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia. In a noteworthy trend, the number of solo travelers increased during this period. Surprisingly, singles’ consumption is high during this period!
On the other hand, cosmetics’ and jewelry’s sales increased by 186.7 percent and 122 percent respectively. During this festival, Chinese men tend to offer a lot of gifts, and chocolate to their significant other. A recent report released by Suning showed that the demand of flower bouquets over this period substantially exceeded the demand during the Western Valentine’s Day!
Another sector recorded a significant increase in sales: Cinemas! Yes! To celebrate Qixi, Chinese couples prefer to go to the cinema in order to watch a romantic movie. It is also a great occasion to escape the heatwave and enjoy an intimate moment with your lover!

What Are the Best Practices for Companies During this Period?

While thinking of expanding to China, companies must take into consideration including special promotions or designing special packaging for the occasion Qixi festival. It is indeed not a national holiday. Yet many modern Chinese, particularly youngsters, look forward to it, spending money on expensive and luxurious items to treat themselves as well as their partners.


With ASI Solutions, penetrating the Chinese market becomes easier.With our range of solutions from handling compliance, import, custom, labelling, logistics and financial flux, we will give you the necessary assets to perform on the Chinese market!

ASI Group performed at the Shanghai Butterfly Football Cup!

On April 14th, a team of ASI Group Shanghai Office played football at the SHANGHAI BUTTERFLY FOOTBALL CUP, a charity event organized by the Rotary Club of Shanghai Elysee, for the benefit of the DEBRA association.

What Is DEBRA Association?

DEBRA association tries to ensure visibility and medical support to the children affected by the epidermolysis bullosa infection, a painful genetic skin blistering condition which, in the worst cases, can be fatal. The blisters present on the children’s skin at the origin of their name of "Butterfly kids". The DEBRA International is now present in more than 50 countries around the world.

All the support received is used to improve research efforts, in order to find effective treatments that can cure this disease. DEBRA association collaborates with international institutions and coordinates research projects, while also raising awareness toward people who are directly or indirectly affected by this disease, to strengthen children’s self-confidence and improve their daily life.

ASI Group's soccer team performance

ASI Group was very proud to participate in this charity event, which was a success! We were happy to play with our colleagues and with the other teams, to share playful time with colleagues who came to cheer us.

This inter-companies tournament gathered 32 mixed men and women teams of 7 players each. Our Soccer team had been training hard for several weeks , and met many other great teams coming from different companies well-established in Shanghai.

Our team, initially in Group G, won the three group games 4-1, 1-0, 1-0, and managed to finish at the first position of the group. Our ranking enabled us to participate in the Elite cup tournament. Then, we won again 1-0, but sadly were defeated in quarter finals by Decathlon-Kipsta team 0-2. Nevertheless, all of us spent a good day and enjoyed playing on the field for this charity event.

Contact us if you want to hit the ball another time!

How Will CNY Impact Your Business?

If you are doing business in or with China, you might already be familiar with Chinese New Year (CNY) whose celebrations’ date, depending on the Lunar calendar, vary from year to year. What does not change however, is the massive migration of individuals crossing the country to celebrate this special moment with their relatives (actually being the world’s biggest yearly migration).

Having more than 1.3 billion people going in vacation at the same time does not only have an effect on the country’s transportation system, yet also on consumption, logistics and supply chain, making this time a very unique one in the year.

What is the impact of CNY on your business? How to cope with its side effects and take advantage of the opportunities it offers? These are questions successful companies dealing with or in China are familiar with. ASI Solutions, as your key import/export partner, thus offers you some insight on this year’s edition must-know and best practices.

What Is CNY?

Before entering the core of the matter, one should be familiar with what these holidays are about, as well as their scope.

As stated before, their main aim is to offer workers the occasion to go back home to see their family for the New Year’s celebrations. Most of them go back to the countryside where they come from. It is not uncommon to see train stations and airports crowded with people transporting huge amounts of gifts for family members and relatives. They are usually given by elders to younger people, or between friends and relatives. They include food & sweets (fruits, cakes, biscuits, chocolates, candies, etc.).

The evening before CNY’s day is the occasion for Chinese family to gather for the annual reunion dinner. The celebrations are also the occasion for decorating it with red paper-cuts & couplets, as well as offering the traditional Hongbaos (or red paper envelope). The latter are passed out from married couples or the elderly to unmarried juniors or children, and usually contain money.

Key dates :

  • Little Year (Jan. 28th – Feb. 4th): preparations for the New Year.
  • Spring Festival (Feb. 5th – Feb. 15th): CNY officially begins on Feb. 5th.
  • Lantern Festival (Feb. 16th – Feb. 19th): preparations for the Lantern Festival which is held on the 19th.

What Is CNY’s Impact on Consumption?

CNY’s spendings corroborate China’s shift toward a consumption-led economy. This is good news for companies eager to enter Chinese market. It has been noted that high-tech consumer goods are among the favorite products bought during the period (floor-sweeping robots for instance). Sales at restaurants and shopping malls have jumped 10.2% to about RMB 926 billion (USD 146 billion) during 2018 CNY holiday compared to 2017 (Ministry of Commerce). Food being a traditional gift during CNY, brands should put the emphasis on this F&B products.

To take advantage of this increase, it is important for brands to manage their stock in advance because of the logistics disruptions happening during the period. Note that consumers usually start shopping for CNY 2-3 weeks before the celebrations (Criteo).

Services linked to traveling and leisure are also among the preferred expenses. Tourism both domestic and international is obviously booming during this period.

In terms of marketing and communications, one should take advantage of the hongbao (red packet) fever during CNY celebrations. The tradition we covered in the previous section, has evolved with the rise of technology and cyber-Hongbao is now very common.

One can get inspired by the collaboration Tencent QQ has established with certain brands, offering them the opportunity to create branded electronic red packets on their platform. The latter - labelled with luxury brands’ names such as Kenzo, Burberyy or Ferrari – could be shared by users to friends and relatives. Such initiatives increase brand awareness while showing that your brand is familiar with Chinese customs and sensitive to the latter.

Taking the example of Tencent QQ is significant given the fact that most of the purchase are made on mobile devices – rather than on laptops – during the period.

What Is CNY’s Impact on Logistics and Supply Chain?

If you have already been running operations in China, you might be familiar with the huge disruptions the holiday creates in the logistics and supply chain sectors.

Whether you are manufacturing goods in China to import them, or exporting your own products to China’s market, your operations will be impacted.

As workers all leave to visit their family, factories stop for 2 weeks up to 1 month, administrations, customs, and transportation are greatly slowed down, while there is an increase in production and flows of goods prior to the country’s « shutdown ».

As such, one should carefully plan production and logistics beforehand, informing manufacturers and logistic partner well in advance as for the operations to be the least impacted possible.

Read a full article about how to handle your logistics and supply chain effectively during CNY.

CNY being the particular period it is, for companies eager to run operations smoothly in and with China, knowing more about it is essential. Furthermore, as China is gaining more and more power in the world’s economy, the impact is to become global.

As your chosen import – export partner from and to China, ASI Solutions is here to provide you with advice and support regarding CNY and all over the year!


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