Items of good luck, fortune selling like hotcakes

January 31, 2024
Updated 2024/01/31 at 11:37 AM
3 Min Read
This photo taken on Jan 10, 2024 shows dragon-themed fridge magnets in a specialty store in Beijing, capital of China. Major brands have launched dragon-featured cultural and creative products as the Year of the Dragon approaches. (Xinhuanet/Liu He)

As Chinese New Year draws near, young Chinese consumers have been purchasing auspicious products that satisfy an emotional need for good luck and fortune, with the trend fueling business growth for manufacturers of small items.

Popular items deemed to bring good fortune include refrigerator stickers in the shape of the god of wealth, and mobile phone cases printed with lucky Chinese characters. For Spring Festival, they also include cost-effective products that have an emotional value.

In January, the sales volume of small products on the theme of the god of wealth jumped six-fold year-on-year on Tao Factory, an e-commerce platform of Taobao that provides products with direct access to source factories.

For mobile phone cases, young people prefer styles printed with words or patterns that represent their unique emotions or aspirations.

Items such as red envelopes designed for the upcoming Chinese Year of the Dragon have also been popular, and their sales have exceeded those of red envelopes in the Year of the Rabbit last year, Tao Factory found.

Young Chinese are increasingly taking to themes including the god of wealth, luck and good fortune, and this has spurred spending on products that please themselves.

Jessica Liu, a 30-year-old office worker in Beijing, said she recently spent about 2,000 yuan ($279) on a god of wealth-themed product made of jade.

She believes the item has given her psychological comfort and helped her make more money.

“Emotional economy makes up an important part of economic growth in the digital age. The concept originated from technological progress and people’s psychological needs, which provide more business opportunities for enterprises,” said Hong Yong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation’s e-commerce research institute.

“Some prominent features of the emotional economy include personalized customization, unbounded expansion, and data prominence. It is expected to have a profound impact on people’s daily lives and the economy,” Hong said.

Wenzhou Jiufu Industrial Co Ltd, a factory based in Wenzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province, said a tourism boom in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, and some other places since the beginning of this year has driven a wave of wholesale and customized demand for related cultural and creative refrigerator stickers.

With Lunar New Year approaching, the factory recently received more orders for refrigerator stickers with themes related to good luck or fortune, it said.

Anshi Daily Necessities Co Ltd, another factory based in Jinhua, Zhejiang, said sales of refrigerator stickers having a god of wealth theme have accounted for 35 percent of the factory’s total sales lately, and it is expecting the number of orders to grow.

Other small items such as couplets, socks and underwear that include dragon elements have also become hot-selling products online, industry players have found.

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