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China’s Romance Economy

get intimate with your Chinese consumer marketing

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.

China’s Romance Economy is a new term that is being bandied about. No hard and fast definitions seems to exist right now, but we take a quick look anyway.

As we mentioned above, Romance Economy is a current trend getting a lot of attention. What is it exactly? Will it last or just a phase? We don’t know! But it does have a lovely sound does it not~
Last Friday we took a look at Valentines day in China and it’s local equivalent  Qixi – below – so if flowers be the language of love, read on (sorry Bill~)

Romance Economy spurs fresh flower sales

For Andrea – flower marketer, Ecuador.

That was the headline on China Daily the other day which captured our attention and curiosity. We were searching for some concrete definition of Romance Economy in China – or anywhere.
Alas, we were disappointed.

However, this, again from China Daily gave rise to a feeling that perhaps we can cheekily surmise, it is a crafty Gvt plot to inject some “heat” into China’s falling reproduction rate? We are especially cynical as, so far, the term has only appeared in Gvt sponsored publications. But, give it time, if it takes off, every brand will be jumping on the shiny new band wagon! Be still my beating heart! (William Mountfort)

A burgeoning “romance economy” in China has shown consumers’ strong demand for romantic and leisurely lifestyles.
As of Monday, searches for keywords related to “dating restaurants” on Meituan app increased 349 percent year-on-year. And the number of restaurant reservations booked in advance for the day also increased significantly compared with the same period of 2022. Shanghai had the highest booking rate in the country, followed by Beijing, according to Meituan.

Given the backdrop of soaring domestic tourism and recovering outbound tourism, the predominance of female customers is obvious in the “romance economy”, according to Ctrip. Women accounted for more than 53 percent of total customers who booked domestic hotels from Feb 11 to 12. Women also spent more money with their booking fees nearly 30 percent higher than those of male customers

Source: China daily

The best we can determine is Chinese are looking for some romance in their lives. (duh)Post Covid self pleasuring, if we can get away with that term. Either way, it is nice to be able to blame Covid for something positive for a change.

The following images and article come courtesy of Xinhua News – we know you won’t press the link, so we have included their entire article.
Kunming, incidentally, is the capital city of Yunnan Province.
South west China. China’s last stop before Southeast Asian countries:  Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar.
For those geographically challenged, this wee map might help:

Press image to learn more about Yunnan

KUNMING — Recovered market confidence and a burgeoning “romance economy” based on the rising incomes of consumers in China have led to robust sales of fresh-cut flowers.

Workers pack flowers at the Kunming Dounan Flower Market in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, Jan 31, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

At a flower shop in Beijing, busy shop assistants could recently be seen packing bouquets ahead of Valentine’s Day. “No one can refuse a bunch of beautiful flowers,” said Chen Lin, a manager at the store. The shop used to sell imported flowers, but now it sells flowers from Southwest China’s Yunnan province, the country’s main flower producer.

The florist’s sales over the past few days were between 50,000 yuan ($7,300) and 100,000 yuan per day, higher than sales before the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

In recent days, the average daily wholesale volume at the Dounan Flower Market in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, climbed to nearly 30 million stems. Dounan Flower Market is Asia’s largest fresh-cut flower trading market.

Behind the hot sales of fresh-cut flowers are income growth and the pursuit of romance. “It was unimaginable in the past,” veteran flower seller Yang Yuyong said. “In the past, there were few flower shops and the prices of fresh-cut flowers were high. Fresh-cut flowers were regarded as luxury gifts.”

Consumers buy flowers for festivals and celebrations, but consumption is changing and more people are now buying flowers on normal days to add romance to their lives.

“In the past, people received flowers or bought flowers as gifts on birthdays. Now many e-commerce platforms sell a great variety of flowers at rather cheap prices,” according to a woman in Beijing surnamed Song. “There are fresh flowers in my home all year round. In the past, flowers were gifts, and now flowers are a routine part of life,” Song said.

With the development of flower production areas like Yunnan, both the quantity and quality of China’s flower supply have been improved, and consumption patterns are also changing, said Li Shenchong, director of the flower research institute at the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

“Household purchases to spice up routine life have now become the trend of flower consumption,” Fei Xuemei, vice president of the China Flower Association retail arm. With the development of the romance economy, consumer demand for high-quality flowers has been growing year by year, Fei said.

China’s booming e-commerce and fast-growing express delivery industry are also buoying sales of fresh-cut flowers.

“A quarter of my flowers are sold online,” said florist Zhang Kuaping from the Kunming Dounan Flower Market. “I match different flowers according to customer preferences and deliver the flowers by air,” said Zhang, who has regular customers in Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou who now order on a monthly basis.

Cai Fukun, a courier working for SF Express in Yunnan, has been working very late recently — taking orders, packaging the flowers and loading the parcels onto his truck.

Flower transport has strict requirements for temperature and speed, so courier giant SF Express has invested in full-cargo aircraft and cold-chain vehicles, said Yang Jinglei, an official from the Yunnan branch of SF Express.

“We have created an ‘aviation plus high-speed railway plus cold chain’ transport mode. Flowers can be delivered from the fields to customers in as little as 24 hours,” Yang said.

Han Tianxing, who has been working in the flower industry in Kunming for nearly 30 years, said that cold chain and aviation logistics guarantee the timely delivery of fresh-cut flowers. “The quality is not affected, and the romance is not discounted,” Han said.

“Post-harvest treatment is also very important for the quality of flowers,” Fei said. The flower industry in Yunnan has established a standardised treatment process: precooling, packaging and refrigeration. Some enterprises have even developed “freshness agents” to extend the lifecycle of flowers.

The recovering market confidence this year has also contributed to the fresh-cut flowers sales surge, said Li Qian, an auctioneer at the Kunming International Flora Auction Trading Center. From Jan 24 to Feb 8, the center’s trading volume was 56.42 million stems, up nearly 40 percent year-on-year.

So there you have it. China’s Romance Economy.
We’d love to get your views.
Is there such a thing in your country?
Should it be encouraged to you think?
Let us know your ideas in the comments section – below.

Talk to Fanfan today about your China Social Media Marketing Plan.

Ms Wang Fan, a founding member of The Bicaverse -China social media creative
Ms Wang Fan, a founding member of The Bicaverse – lead China social media creative


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.

PRESS to call now and Chat

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2 responses to “China’s Romance Economy”

  1. Thanks. It s interesting.


    1. Thanks for dropping by Nkolay.
      Mao said women hold up half the sky, but they seem to be holding up more than half of the hotel industry at this point. Actually, very interesting to have watched the growth in strength of women in China over the past 2 decades.
      Apart from driving the spending, almost all the CEO’s / CMO’s of our multinational clients in China are female.


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