Your guide to Chinese New Year 2018 gift giving

Chinese New Year gift-giving

Chinese New Year is now celebrated around the world, not just by local Chinese communities but also by the growing number of consumers who opt to spend the holidays overseas.

In fact, overseas travel reached new records in 2017 as 6.15 million Chinese consumers spent CNY abroad and Overseas Unionpay card spending increased 40% compared to 2016.

Shopping and gift-giving are two quintessential traditions of Chinese New Year, along with dining out with friends and family and enjoying lavish meals at home. In 2017, wholesale and food & beverage revenue during Chinese New Year alone reached a staggering 840,000,000,000 RMB (95,837,000,000 GBP). An 11.4% increase on 2016.

Chinese consumers travelling abroad will often take the opportunity to buy local gifts and premium products, both for themselves and for family back home.

What do Chinese consumers buy during CNY?

Traditionally Chinese purchases for CNY can be separated into buying for self and gift-giving purchases.

Top personal purchases in 2017 include:

  • Chinese traditional snacks and alcoholic beverages
  • Chinese new year decorations
  • Healthy foods/ Organic products
  • New Clothes
  • Gold/ Silver Jewellery
  • Smart Home Appliances
  • Digital Accessories (smart phones, wearables and VR/AR equipment are increasingly more popular CNY purchases. Purchases of VR equipment on Tmall were up 2875% compared to 2016)

Traditional/ Popular Gifts During Chinese New Year also include:

  • Premium Alcoholic Beverages
  • Premium Tea and Tea related products
  • Clothing and Accessories
  • Jewellery
  • Luxury Confectionary
  • Premium fragrance/ skincare/ beauty products

Chinese New Year gift-giving

Traditionally Chinese people will wear jewellery specific to the coming horoscope. For example, rooster related gold and silver products were very popular both on and offline last year. CaiBai Jewellery chain sold over 400 pieces of ‘Year of the Rooster’ jewellery a day in Beijing alone. An 8% increase on New Year themed items sold the same time last year. It is also considered auspicious to buy new clothes before Chinese New Year and the colour red, considered good luck, features heavily.

However foreign brands looking to connect with Chinese consumers and celebrate Chinese New Year with specially themed products should tread carefully. In recent years an increasing number of international luxury brands have been slanted or mocked by Chinese media for producing ill-advised products and even caused outrage among Chinese consumers for ‘abandoning their brand values in hopes of attracting Chinese easy money’.

To find out what Chinese inbound consumers want and the best way to reach inbound audiences this Chinese New Year, contact us today!



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