HAIKOU, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Tao Chaoran, a newlywed shopaholic, has prepared a long wish list as China's Singles' Day shopping carnival draws near, choosing south China's island province of Hainan as the perfect destination to fill up her shopping cart.
"I'm having my honeymoon in Hainan, and duty-free shops here are definitely an important part of my itinerary," said Tao while showing her memo that includes a smartphone, skincare products, jewelry and handbags.
"With cheaper products and high-quality services, Hainan has long enjoyed the reputation of 'shopping paradise' in China and the increased tax-free shopping quota is also very attractive. Special discounts are also underway for Singles' Day," she said.
Since July 1, 2020, Hainan has raised its annual tax-free shopping quota from 30,000 yuan (about 4,691 U.S. dollars) to 100,000 yuan per person. The previous tax-free limit of 8,000 yuan for a single product has been lifted, and the duty-free purchase limit for cosmetics has also been raised from 12 items to 30.
The move came amid China's efforts to build the island province into an international tourism and consumption destination, with duty-free shopping already one of the core competitive features of Hainan's tourism consumption.
"I bought a facial cream for my mom, which is more than 1,800 yuan cheaper than the Singles' Day discount on the e-commerce platform Taobao," said Fu Weijia, a 24-year-old man who came to Hainan for vacation. "I also plan to buy some gifts for my relatives."
Duty-free shops in Hainan have launched a slate of promotional activities for the annual shopping spree. At the CDF Haikou Duty Free Shop in the provincial capital, world-renowned brands are up to 70 percent off and coupons can be superimposed. For perfume and cosmetics, a 150 yuan coupon can be used when the original prices hit more than 500 yuan.
Cosmetics, electronics and portable massagers are among the most popular items, with shops flooded with customers, salespeople constantly replenishing goods and consumers waiting in long queues at the checkout counters.
Anti-epidemic measures have been rolled out to prevent gathering and ensure a safe shopping environment. On Tuesday afternoon, visitors lined up and entered the CDF Haikou Duty Free Shop after having their temperatures taken and showing their health QR code.
The Global Duty-Free (GDF) Plaza started its Singles' Day promotion online and offline on Nov. 5. Customers can get a 70 percent discount for fragrance products and a 35 percent discount for 100 selected products. Xu Shenglan, a staffer of the plaza, said the preferential activities tripled the sales volume on Nov. 6.
The shopping festival, celebrated on Nov. 11, was originally a day for the single and later become a trend started by Alibaba's e-commerce platform in 2009. It is now one of the largest online shopping sprees worldwide that can serve as a barometer for China's consumer confidence.
While the country is fighting against the resurgence of COVID-19, analysts believe that the consumer demand will not be dampened, thanks to the evolving digital technology, supporting policies and rising consumer confidence.
"On Nov. 11, we will launch livestreaming shows with promotion activities on various platforms, through which our customers can go shopping just with fingers swiping on their mobile phone's screens," said Zhang Ke, a staffer of CDF Haikou Duty Free Shop.