Chinese spend $13.8bn abroad during Spring Festival

During the Chinese Spring Festival, 6 million Chinese travelled overseas and spent a total of 90 billion ($13.8 billion) yuan on shopping.

The products they purchased abroad included expensive luxury items, smart bidets, and electric rice cookers, but surprisingly, most Chinese tourists bought items used in everyday life such as cough syrup, sanitary napkins, condoms, stockings, electric toothbrushes, and nail clippers.

Chinese media also reported on the phenomenon of their people buying commonplace items during their travels abroad. Various media outlets reported that Chinese tourists bought condoms, sanitary napkins, nail clippers, tumblers, and cough syrup from Japan, and hair dye, shampoo, sanitary napkins with oriental medicinal herbs, ramen, and honey butter almonds from Korea.

Cosmetics, health supplements and clothing were popular items from the US, as well as fountain pens, knives, key chains and electric toothbrushes from Europe.

A clerk at a duty-free store in Osaka commented that sales were 2.6 times higher than in 2015, thanks to the spirited purchasing of low-priced, everyday items by Chinese tourists.

A tour guide in Seoul commented that along with cosmetics, skincare products, and shampoo, snacks and stationary were popular Korean items among Chinese tourists.

Some Chinese media outlets suggested that because overseas products are of better quality, can be purchased at more reasonable prices, and are safer than Chinese products, Chinese tourists stock up on foreign products when they have a chance.


A Chinese consumer commented that she comes to Korea every year to buy facial packs and BB creams.

“Of course, there are quality packs in China too, but so many are fake, and sometimes side effects occur even if the products are purchased at official stores.”

Officials at Chinese consumer associations point out that China still lags behind neighboring countries in the manufacturing, design, and development of products, and should overcome the fact that the quality of their products is low in comparison to prices.

* By Lina Jang of Korea Bizwire.

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