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Shopping festival set to aid Bay Area integration

By ZHANG YI in Beijing and WANG YUKE in Hong Kong | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-09-03 07:38
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The first Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Shopping Festival opens on Thursday. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

A three-week online shopping event that promotes the sale of products from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area kicked off on Thursday.

The Greater Bay Area Shopping Festival, which will run until Sept 22, involves about 298,000 brands from the region, offering more than 13 million items on Chinese online shopping platforms such as Taobao.Bay

The event is conducive to promoting the integration of the Greater Bay Area and driving consumption upgrading, according to the Ministry of Commerce, which is putting on the event with the Guangdong provincial government and the liaison offices of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

Customers can buy a variety of products online, such as mooncakes made in Hong Kong and home appliances manufactured in Guangdong.

The e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, an organizer of the event, offers digital coupons worth 25 million yuan ($3.87 million) to consumers through Taobao. More than 90 e-commerce livestreamers, including Wei Ya and Li Jiaqi, will provide streaming to promote products from the region on Taobao.

The opening date of Sept 2 symbolizes the close relationship between the "9+2" urban cluster in the Greater Bay Area, which includes nine cities in Guangdong as well as Hong Kong and Macao, according to the organizers.

The area, which boasts many homegrown brands, ranks among the most open and economically vibrant regions in China.

The event comes ahead of the next two national holidays-Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept 21 and National Day on Oct 1-which focus on family reunions and are expected to stimulate consumption.

Hong Kong's e-commerce and logistics industry said the online shopping festival will help revive Hong Kong's pandemic-hit economy.

Lam Chi-wing, director of the Hong Kong eCommerce Research Centre, said that as more shoppers switch to online shopping during the pandemic, the shopping event will help the retail industry in Hong Kong and Macao expand its marketing networks.

It will also serve mainland consumers' demand for high-quality Hong Kong and Macao products, Lam said.

Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance Securities, said the festival, which offers preferential policies, including free and direct delivery, helps to overcome the long-lasting logistics obstacles due to border checkpoint closures.

"It allows people on the mainland, who would have traveled to Hong Kong for a shopping spree, to do it online. Hong Kong residents can also lay their hands on bargains from mainland merchants without worrying about hassles in delivery," he said.

Along with the shopping event, a Mid-Autumn Festival concert will be held in Shenzhen, Guangdong, on Sept 21. The concert, together with the shopping festival, will highlight the Greater Bay Area and the theme of reunion, said Duan Rong, director of the concert, at the shopping festival's online launch ceremony.

The concert will invite filmmakers and musicians from the Chinese mainland, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao as well as the Taiwan region. More than 100 stars will perform classic songs that are popular in the Greater Bay Area, according to Duan.

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