Aim2D: real time, 24/7 #ChinaBusinessMarketing, Tech and Social Media News Portal of The Bicaverse based in sunny Shunyi, North east Beijing. Tuesdays we look at business, marketing, tech or social news in and around China. Friday is image gallery where we examine a place, topic or subject giving you greater insight, background to life in China, and of course, your Chinese consumer. If hard, practical, realistic China consumer marketing support is what you need, do drop into our sister site: Unegager. Finally, in a sign of the times, we can assure you that our content is 100% loving created and hand crafted by a fellow human. No AI chatter bots here.
Hello, Sunday February 5th was the official end to Spring Festival in China AKA Lantern Day. Usually very popular, Aim2D took to the streets to see if the crowds would return.
As we have mentioned in previous articles, despite the official working holiday for Chinese New Year being only 7 days, Spring Festival as such, lasts a little longer. This year, 2023, Spring Festival finally ended last Sunday, February 5th with the Lantern Day festival.
Up until 2020, various locations around the country were popular for their stunning displays of Lantern Day lights. One such place in Beijing is Solana, a small-ish Mediterranean style, outdoor / indoor shopping centre build on the edge of Chaoyang park.
Famed year round for their decorative lighting, they pull out all stops when it comes to Lantern Day drawing huge crowds. Our head image shows Solana year 3 PC (Pre Covid- 2018) Happier days, not a mask in sight. Crowds would throng each Lantern Day.
Covid zero restrictions and limitations pulled the plug so to speak. However, with Covid zero effectively consigned to history, Aim2D took a trip out to see if the crowds would return. We began with a trip to the National Museum, moved on to the evening in Wangfujing AKA “The Golden Street” finishing the night, at Solana.
And return they did. In force.
Please excuse the grainy, night time shots.
All 3 places we visited were packed to the gunnels.
The National Museum is by pre booking only. Even so, the crowds were so dense that it took a good 20+ minutes of slow shuffle until we entered the Museum proper.
Wangfujing was a little less crowed, but then, it does cover a much larger area than either the Museum or Solana. Even so, it was busy. Especially as night fell. Unsurprisingly, any store that sold food was doing brisk business.
The subway exit for Solana is probably a 10 or 12 minute casual stroll away. However, a good indication of what we were to face was obvious the moment we exited the subway. China has very wide pavements (footpaths to non English speakers) yet it was packed tighter than a sardine can. A sea of heads as far as one could see infront and behind.
The side street, or cycle road, was also heaving with humanity.
Much to the irritation of the on-line food delivery guys and gals who weaved their way thought the crown, hand permanently on the hooter. Cars that tried to exit the nearby parking lot or petrol station had no hope of any break. The boot was well and truly on the other foot~
As a PR / marketing tactic for Solana it would certainly have been a success. From the time we arrived till leaving around 4 hours later, it was packed. Standing room only is an exaggeration. In fact with so many people in motion, standing still was near impossible.
However, businesses seemed to be doing only moderate trade. People were there for the lights. Unless you were a restaurant of course. People have to eat.
We ignored the usual peak period and tried for a table just after 7.
Two hour wait was the average of the places we tried.
Undaunted, and a little hungry by then, we left the shopping centre to try our luck at those eateries on the street a short walk away. Similar result. Shortest wait being 40 mins at a Japanese restaurant.
So this, along with our fireworks, Temple Fair and transport experiences formed the very unscientific, tongue in cheek assessment that China’s economy will show an uptick by the second quarter.
A sentiment echoed by some international economic observers who are predicted a 5% figure year on year.
However, not everyone is so positive with others urging caution, pointing to summers and swallow, as reported by Caixin Global premium – requires a subscription to read entire story.
Analysis: China had some strong holiday spending numbers, but don’t break out the champagne
Despite the strong consumer spending numbers for tourism, restaurants and cinemas over the Lunar New Year holiday this year, some analysts are cautioning against reading too much into the data.
It remains to be seen whether a handful of strong data points from the holiday herald a sustained rebound in household spending that can buoy the overall economy, they said, as many people remain unwilling to open their wallets too wide given lingering concerns over the job market and economic growth.
For the last words, today, we join China Daily as they take to the street and ask:
As COVID wanes, what do people expect from new year?
Talk to Fanfan today about your China Social Media Marketing Plan.
A GenY or Millennial generation Ms Wang brings a fresh, modern, personally realistic viewpoint on how to reach this much coveted China consumer group.
Prior to helping start the Bicaverse, Fan studied Fashion Marketing at Manchester university. She has also travelled extensively across Europe.
A strong supporter of Chinese fashion designers Fan has a close network with many like minded China marketing professionals being instrumental in many of our client’s success.
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