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China shoppers embrace Black Friday

News, 03 December 2015

BEIJING: Black Friday may be a US tradition but it has also attracted the attention of a growing number of shoppers from China.

According to online payment platform Alipay, this year's event saw a sevenfold increase in Chinese buyers from overseas retailers. Most of these (70%) were women, it added.

Alipay linked up with leading US stores – including Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Saks – especially for the event and saw purchases at Macy's up 28 times on last year; and this even though the volume of traffic from China crashed the RMB paying service on Macy's website.

Yangmatou, an overseas shopping platform, reported ten times the normal traffic via its mobile app.

"More Chinese people have been engaged in this year's Black Friday sale, including many who bought from abroad for the first time," said Zeng Bibo, Yangmatou CEO.

"That means the globalisation of consumption is becoming part of our daily life," he told ECNS.

Yangmatou also noted that demand was no longer limited to items such as infant formula – local brands tend to be distrusted – but had spread to fashion and other categories.

That may in part be a consequence of the younger age profile of China's overseas shoppers: under-25s accounted for 34% of the total, up from 10% last year.

Not only are China's Black Friday shoppers becoming younger, they are living in more remote areas: the biggest per-capita spenders came from Tibet, ahead of cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing.

Alipay attributed this development to a multiple payment and logistics system that cut costs by an estimated 20% for trans-border deals.


Data sourced from ECNS, South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff