Gradually the 12th of December is basically gaining the status of a holiday in China. This year the company Alibaba offered discounts for using a smartphone payment service called Alipay. The service is widely used in China and you can use it to pay at almost every shop, especially here in Hangzhou. If you want to know more about this application, you should take a look on the “How to Hangzhou” page, we will cover this topic soon.
On the 12th of December Alipay’s conducted a large scale publicity campaign giving large amounts of money to selected shops who then gave discounts of up to 50% to customers paying through Alipay. Shops benefited through the huge stimulus in sales due to the subsidies whilst at the same time Alipay attracted many new users.
On this day, Yong and I also decided to go to the seafood restaurant Panggelia in Gaosha. The whole restaurant was full but by now we have gotten used to the fact that Chinese people are often happy just sit around and wait in order to eat in certain restaurants. The wait was around one hour before we were finally seated!
One thing I loved about this restaurant is that it was using these nicely illustrated menus. We decided to go for a soup with crabs and shrimps and would recommend the experience of eating crab whilst you are here in China! The Chinese seem to love it, but breaking the shell of the crab is not exactly easy.
After a long lunch we went to Wumei, a big supermarket in Xiasha. We wanted to meet Ellis there so we could go shopping but upon arriving we were given a taste of Chinese shopping fever. The supermarket had restricted entrance into the store because so many people were inside racing around to fill their baskets. This madness was all for up to a 100 yuan discount which is around 13 euros.
By the way, there is also a similar ‘holiday’, on singles day 11.11, which is another annual marketing event introduced by Alibaba! This day also grants big discounts on Alibaba’s online store Taobao, as well as many other shops and stores.