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Six things about Valentine’s Day in China

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Shoppers 17.02.2017 / 18:55

V Day 2 col

What is Chinese people’s budget for Valentine’s Day? What’s the most popular gift? What are the most unpopular ones?

Though a typical western holiday, Valentine’s Day is increasingly important for young Chinese people and many of them, especially men, will begin to worry about what they should do to impress their loved ones. CTR launched an online survey between February 10 and 13 to collect Internet users’ opinions. Below are six interesting findings:

1. Most people’s budget below 500 yuan

When answering “what is your budget for this year’s Valentine’s Day?”, 66% of respondents said below 500 yuan. In fact, women’s budget is lower: 73% said below 500 yuan. However, among those “big spenders”, women accounted for 4.1%, more than doubling that of men (1.6%).



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2. The most romantic gift? A WeChat red packet!

In China, it seems rose has lost its charm as a special gift of love because only 4.87% said they were expecting a rose. Though it might be seen as a lazy option, WeChat red packet is the most preferred gift (20.94%) for February 14. Chocolate turned out to be surprisingly popular among Chinese as well, ranking second at 18.45%.  

In fact, the smart option should be “something my loved one has hand-made for me” – 10.83% would like to receive this. Its popularity is much higher than stuffed toys (1.44%), cake (2.17%), perfume (3.61%), diamond rings for lovers (4.51%), and even roses. Apparently it requires much less investment, isn’t it?



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3. But WeChat red packet is not entirely safe

However, devil is in the detail. Though WeChat red packet is the most popular gift, they have to make sure its value is higher than 200 yuan, because 26.64% said they believe a WeChat red packet smaller than that will be “ditched” by women.

(The funny thing is that in fact the top value of WeChat red packet is 200 yuan. But WeChat users registered with their ID can transfer no more than 200,000 yuan in a day to another user. The limit for no-ID users is 1,000 yuan a day.)

But the real “land mine” for Valentine’s Day gift is “stuffed toys”. Among the respondents, 33.64% women said they don’t like stuffed toys as Valentine’s Day gift, but only 13.50% men have this idea.  



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4. No hard feelings

Couples’ sharing of romantic date and wonderful Valentine’s Day gifts on WeChat Moments used to be the major source of “hurt” for single ones. But it’s no longer the case: more than half (53.25%) respondents said they were “immune” to other people’s Moments sharing of their Valentine’s Day happiness because they agreed that “showing happiness is a normal act, no special feelings.” Only 19.64% said they “truly feel happy for the poster”.



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5. Does it really matter?

Is Valentine’s Day a real festival for celebrating love? Or is it another myth that businesses have created to lure people to spend more money? We can hear the argument every year. The data showed that at least the older they are, the less they care about this day.

Less than one fourth of respondents (24.67%) agree that this is a special day that you should be together with your loved one. But the proportion declines as the respondents’ age gets older. Across all age groups, there are about one third people believe it’s just another so-called special day created by commercial interests. The proportion of people agreeing this is not a special day increases as people gets older.  



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6. High income group prefers premium gifts

When asked about what element of the Valentine’s Day they care most about, nearly half people (49.50%) said they value most about the idea behind their gifts, only 2.32% said they think price of the gifts is the most important element. However, if income is a consideration, the higher the income, the higher proportion of people will care about if the gifts are premium enough so that they can show off to others.  



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Bonus track: Shall we cancel Valentine’s Day?

We also asked: “If possible, shall we cancel Valentine’s Day as a festival?”

Most respondents don’t have an opinion on this issue. But for the 211 who did give an answer, the majority said “cancel it!” Among men, 68.92% agreed to cancel, while it was 64.58% among women.

The naysayers are especially prevailing among groups whose monthly income is either higher than 20,000 yuan (75%) or lower than 5,000 yuan (87.50%).



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Source: CTR

Editor's notes

* To reach the author, or to know more information, data and analysis of China's consumers, please contact us.

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