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LinkAsia | Apr 10
China is worried about a real estate bubble. Housing prices have been rising by double digits in almost every Chinese city, and in Beijing alone ha...
Speaking of happiness, it turns out that Christmas makes the Chinese very happy, or at least, makes Chinese retailers happy. Even though China is officially an atheist country and has no tradition of celebrating the holiday, sales of Santa hats and tinsel are booming. Here’s our
contributor Charlie Custer with more.
You might think that the economic downturn in the U.S. and Europe, traditionally the biggest buyer of tinsel and Santa hats, has put Chinese manufacturers of Christmas products in a tough spot, but you’d be wrong.
That’s because Chinese vendors have been selling more Christmas products at home. Here in Beijing, a whole market springs up around Christmastime, and you could find almost any kind of decoration you could imagine here.
While many foreigners shop here, there are plenty of Chinese folks browsing too. Younger Chinese especially have taken to the holiday because they can spend it with friends and have guilt-free fun, unlike traditional holidays where they’re expected to return home and have to deal with hassles like crowded public transportation and irritable relatives. For many, it’s not a
religious thing so much as it’s a spot of fun that kicks off the winter and marks the beginning of the final stretch before Chinese New Year, which is China’s biggest traditional holiday.
I like celebrating Christmas the most, because I get presents and the Christmas trees are very pretty.
And it’s not just kids getting into the spirit-- businesses around Beijing and other cities are often decked-out with Christmas cheer, and many areas of the city turn red and green. Maybe people aren’t sure exactly what it all means; but it’s colorful, friendly, and fun. Why not celebrate? All
this is helping out Chinese business owners who specialize in Christmas gear.
Yes, we get more Chinese customers coming into our shop to buy Christmas decorations than we did a few years ago. Maybe it’s because the western holiday spirit is attractive to Chinese customers.
Despite the economic troubles in the west, in Beijing it’s shaping up to be a festive season. I’m Charlie Custer for LinkAsia.
Here’s a great example of how the Chinese celebrate the holidays. All this month if you check in at a Starbucks store in Shanghai or two other provinces, you get a virtual badge, and it takes you to this site. Once 30,000 people have received the badge, this Christmas tree lights up and
everybody receives a gift - a free upgrade of your drink.
Happy holidays everyone. That’s our show for this week. For LinkAsia, I’m Sydnie Kohara.