Chinese consumers move towards forefront of economic recovery

Chinese consumers move towards forefront of economic recovery

Households seen to be ready for more sustained rush to spend after months of caution

For Cai Yuanhao, a Beijing-based courier, the world’s busiest shopping event is a slog. This year, despite the pandemic, it was busier than ever.

“There were too many packages to fit in my cart,” he said, pointing to the three-wheeled vehicle he uses to zip between Beijing neighbourhoods. From early November, Mr Cai worked from 6am to 9pm, delivering hundreds of items daily in the build-up to “Singles’ Day” on November 11.

The event, which originated as a way for single Chinese to console themselves through shopping, has become an annual splurge that reflects the country’s rising wealth and its rapid shift to online spending.

This year, as China continues to shake off the impact of coronavirus, it also offered a glimpse into the role consumption has played in the wider economic recovery. Some economists maintain that households will soon be ready for a more sustained rush to spend after months of caution.