Spring Festival mirrors vitality of Chinese economy, society

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Citizens visit a cinema in Shapingba district, southwest China's Chongqing municipality, Feb. 11, 2024. (Photo by Sun Kaifang/People's Daily Online)
Citizens visit a cinema in Shapingba district, southwest China's Chongqing municipality, Feb. 11, 2024. (Photo by Sun Kaifang/People's Daily Online)

By Ji Beihe

During the Spring Festival, a cross-border livestream commerce event was hosted at the Khorgos Yiwu International Commodity City inside the China-Kazakhstan Khorgos International Border Cooperation Center in Khorgos, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Some 20 hosts were busy selling commodities at the event, including a Kazakhstani host, who skillfully switched between different languages to introduce Chinese products and answer questions from viewers.

With the running China-Europe freight trains and thriving cross-border livestream commerce, Khorgos, which means “a place where camel caravans pass by” in Mongolian, has truly become a place where wealth is accumulated.

The Spring Festival is an important time to observe the operation of the Chinese economy. With more convenient transportation and comfortable experiences, thriving market supply and demand, prospering new forms of consumption, splendid cultural activities, an booming culture and tourism market, as-usual commerce, and a vibrant start of foreign trade, the just-concluded Spring Festival holiday allowed people to deeply feel the festive atmosphere and enjoy happy lives, while witnessing an energetic and vibrant China.

China on the move releases development vitality. The vibrant travel and consumption markets during the Spring Festival holiday were quite impressive. 

According to statistics, China reported nearly 2.3 billion trips in varied modes of transport during the just concluded Spring Festival holiday that ran from Feb. 10 to 17 this year.

In Beijing, popular sites like the Summer Palace and Badaling Great Wall reached full capacity, while temple fair events at the Temple of the Earth, the Longtan Park, and the Badachu Park became “trending spots.” 

In Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi province, the Datang Everbright City, a tourist landmark featuring a grand street with characteristics of Tang Dynasty (618-907), shined brightly. Visitors dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, holding fans and posing for photos, and auspicious loong (the Chinese dragon) motifs could be seen everywhere.

Foreign media outlets covering the Spring Festival travel rush believed that it not only involves a massive movement of people but also reflects the vitality and dynamism of the Chinese economy and society. They said China’s holiday consumption demand was fully unleashed and injected momentum into a strong start for the Chinese economy.

Reservations for Chinese New Year’s Eve dinners were explosive, waiting lines at restaurants were long, exuding an atmosphere of festivities and reflecting strong recovery in consumption. This year’s Spring Festival box office sales exceeded 8 billion yuan ($1.11 billion), breaking the historical record. 

Consumption is an important window into consumer trends. Sales of sugar-free pastries, healthcare gifts, low-fat snacks and so on grew rapidly. Energy-efficient appliances, low-carbon transportation and other green products and services were very popular. Traditional culture-inspired Chinese style products became new favorites in the market.

Pursuing green and healthy choices, favoring technological intelligence, and showcasing cultural characteristics, the Spring Festival consumption is increasingly showing new trends and highlights, as new types of consumption flourishes and the consumption environment continues to improve.

Shaping new advantages and unleashing new growth drivers, innovation-driven development is making steady progress. At the construction site for the Jilin section (TJ-6 tag) of the Shenyang-Changbaishan high-speed railway, machinery roared and workers stayed busy. Inside the underwater tunnel on the east side of the Shenzhen–Zhongshan Bridge, part of a super sea-crossing cluster in south China’s Guangdong province, installation of electromechanical facilities and asphalt paving accelerated. In the hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert, oil workers kept up operations, and China’s first 10,000-meter well for scientific exploration got a new drill bit. Major projects continued progressing over the Spring Festival, with effective investments steadily powering ahead.

From the freight trains running between China and Europe to bustling large ports that operate 24/7, and from foreign trade enterprises working at full capacity to snatch orders and meet production demands, to over 1,800 cross-border e-commerce overseas warehouses spreading across more than 220 countries and regions, a deep integration of China with the global trade could be witnessed during the 2024 Spring Festival. The Chinese economy remains dynamic and resilient, with a more evident momentum for stability and long-term growth.

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