Ask Hung Huang | Commercial Christmas in China

    As Christmas decor invades luxury malls and hotels across China, Hung Huang explains what the holiday means for Chinese shoppers.
    Christmas decor mixed with a Star Wars promotion at the iAPM mall in Shanghai, China on December 6, 2015. (Shutterstock)
    Hung HuangAuthor
      Published   in Fashion
    Christmas decor mixed with a Star Wars promotion at the IAPM mall in Shanghai, China on December 6, 2015. (Shutterstock)
    Christmas decor mixed with a Star Wars promotion at the IAPM mall in Shanghai, China on December 6, 2015. (Shutterstock)

    With elaborate Christmas trees on display in malls and hotels across China, it's clear that the holiday has taken hold as a prime marketing opportunity despite its foreign origins. To get some more details on the relationship between retail and Christmas in China, this week's topic for Hung Huang's Q&A column is all about the holiday. Read below to learn more.

    For next week’s topic, we welcome readers to submit their questions about

    accessible luxury#

    . A new report by Morningstar argues that the country's booming middle class will drive growth in this segment as China's upper-middle class population grows from 13 million to 30 million people by 2022. Brands including Tiffany, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and Swatch are named as those likely to benefit.

    Submit your question via Twitter (hashtag #AskHungHuang), Facebook, email (, or Weibo (hashtag #AskHungHuang#) before Monday, December 28.

    Hung Huang. (Courtesy Photo)
    Hung Huang. (Courtesy Photo)

    Why are so many malls and stores in China decorated for Christmas even though it’s not traditionally a Chinese holiday?#


    Please. Christmas is a commercial holiday. That's why malls have Christmas trees. They do the same in Japan and Korea.

    How popular is gift-giving for Christmas in China now and is it growing in popularity?#


    Christmas is not an official holiday and Chinese winter break is around the Lunar New Year. This means school is in session during Christmas, which makes Christmas a party holiday for kids more than anything else. College students do exchange gifts, but it is not a ritual but rather random demonstration of affection between fellow students. Upper-class families whose children are in international schools are more likely to celebrate Christmas in the family, although without religious connotation. There are Christians in China who celebrate Christmas by going to Mass on Christmas Eve. I think the majority of Chinese like the fanfare of Christmas but do not participate in the ritual of gift exchange.

    What types of Christmas promotions and marketing activities are most effective in China?#


    If you ask me, Christmas specials around the world work in China as well.

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