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Can the “Stay-at-Home” Economy flourish in China post-pandemic?


Some rejoicing is in order as China lifted lockdowns for second and third-tier cities with zero COVID cases. People immediately went back to their favourite restaurants and stores in celebration of being able to, once again, move freely outdoors.


When it comes to shopping for something more substantial, the mood isn’t all that great. This is due to the long lockdowns, the prevailing uncertainty, fluctuating economy, and firing streaks of some tech giants, among other reasons.

The population confined to their homes coped in their own way, exercising and purchasing fitness products and smart home gadgets.

On the other hand, the pandemic has also sparked the growth of a brand-new market: the “Stay-at-Home” Economy.


The population confined to their homes coped in their own way, exercising and purchasing fitness products and smart home gadgets; working from home with new office furniture and doing so while the industrial sector struggles with supply chain management and rising raw material costs.

So what is the “Stay-at-Home” Economy like in China? And will it continue to exist now that China is easing pandemic restrictions?


China’s “Stay-at-Home” Economy – Rising markets

While other industries such as hospitality and F&B dwindled, the pandemic gave rise to a new kind of economy—-the “Stay-at-Home” Economy which originated due to the rising number of COVID cases in previous years. Chinese people have had to shift their behaviour when it comes to consumption and new kinds of consumer behaviour started to pop up. Here are a number of “Stay-at-Home” Economy markets that have started to gain popularity:


The “Work from Home” market

Working from home did not only become the new norm in China but all over the world as well. In fact, during the beginning of the pandemic, Western companies looked to China for guidance on how to implement the hybrid or work-from-home models. Not to mention, China’s big advantage in this area was its strong mobile internet infrastructure which enabled lots of companies to move to online work. A country with a weaker infrastructure couldn’t have done this.


Many Chinese office workers were looking for products that could help them turn sections of their homes into mini personal offices.

After cities like Beijing and Shanghai started implementing home office measures, the search for “home office” on Xiaohongshu gathered more than 760,000 related notes. Many Chinese office workers were looking for products that could help them turn sections of their homes into mini personal offices.


These products include better computers, office chairs, video conferencing equipment, etc. China’s video conference equipment market even reached 14.82 billion RMB ($2.2 billion) in 2021.


The online grocery market

Online food sales significantly increased as a result of the “Stay-at-Home Economy.” Grocery shopping can be made online using a number of platforms, including e-commerce marketplaces, social media platforms, restaurant ordering and delivery apps, and exclusive O2O shopping apps.

Almost all of these channels rely on funding and technology from massive e-commerce and IT companies like Alibaba, JD.com, Meituan, and Tencent. For a number of reasons, China’s e-commerce and internet behemoths are making investments in the retail grocery market.


Read More at https://daoinsights.com/opinions/can-the-stay-at-home-economy-flourish-in-china-post-pandemic/

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