The Spring Festival has become an occasion for Chinese families to indulge in major shopping sprees, as internet giants add e-commerce twists to the Lunar New Year.
Agriculture products from rural China and imported goods are bestsellers as Chinese snap up gifts online for their family and friends in the anticipation for the celebratory feast.
Since December, over 200 types of local specialties have been available via Alibaba's online shopping sites. They have attracted buyers from 365 cities in China, and have extended beyond borders to reach consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, according to statistics from Alibaba and CBNData, a data analytics media group.
Hot items include pine nuts from China's northern border Daxinganling region，pecans from East China's Zhejiang province, as well as rose-puffed pastries from South China's Yunnan province. One week's online promotion for nuts and dried apricots has outstripped six months' worth of sales offline, according to the company.
To help narrow the gap between urban and rural consumers, more than 500 overseas premium brands are also available to China's hinterlands via Rural Taobao, an arm of Alibaba that facilitates online shopping and home delivery through over 10,000 rural service centers in villages across the country.
Imported products are the latest darlings for China's first and second tier city residents like Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. With a few clicks of the mouse, world-class delicacies can be a dish on anyone's dining table, from Alaska black cod, Canadian lobster to French wine and British tea.
Typical consumers for overseas goods feature well-educated young females who earn an annual income of over 100,000 yuan ($14,587). Apart from food, cosmetics and maternity categories topping their shopping list, other popular items include air purifiers, lipstick and smart gadgets such as virtual reality headsets.
According to Alibaba, over 77 percent of all orders were placed by the millennial generation between the ages of 21 and 36, while 83 percent of purchases were made on mobile devices.