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  • Earlier this year when China was under lockdown because of the coronavirus, this phrase started trending on the Chinese Internet.

  • So what does revenge spending mean?

  • And why did it start trending?

  • In Chinese, using "revenge" before a verb is quite common.

  • For example, revenge dating means going on a Tinder spree after you've been dumped.

  • Revenge eating is what happens after you come off a diet and you end up binge eating everything in front of you.

  • So you might be able to guess what revenge spending is.

  • In this context, the revenge is not literal.

  • You're not necessarily getting back at someone or something per se.

  • Rather, it's irrational overcompensation for something.

  • So back to revenge spending.

  • The phrase actually dates back to the 1980s, when there was a surge in spending after China's economy opened up.

  • It was a reaction to years of abject poverty and economic paralysis.

  • Finally, people had money to spend and demand for luxury goods spiked.

  • This year, revenge spending is resurfacing in another context:

  • The coronavirus.

  • It's specifically referring to post-quarantine shopping sprees.

  • After a lockdown, China started reopening its economy in March.

  • The belief was that shoppers would come out of quarantine and overcompensate for months of boredom by making more purchases than normal, with or without rationality.

  • Like these guys.

  • "Revenge spending" already started trending in February, when China was in the middle of its coronavirus battle, and peaked on March 5th, when the economy started reopening.

  • When lockdown restrictions in China were eased in early April, long lines could be seen at popular tourist destinations.

  • Government started giving away vouchers to encourage spending, and this Hermes shop in Guangzhou made 2.7 million in sales when it reopened on April 11th.

  • Tatler reported this to be the highest revenue made in a single day for a boutique in China.

  • So are most people revenge spending?

  • We went to the streets of Shanghai to find out.

  • So while revenge spending might be trending online, in real life, the response is mixed.

  • According to one survey conducted by a Chinese consulting company, most people would rather make and save money than spend.

  • Most people simply can't afford to spend.

  • These households said that their income would shrink in 2020.

  • So while "revenge spending" is a buzzword on the Chinese Internet, it seems like it's just a trend for the people who can afford it.

Earlier this year when China was under lockdown because of the coronavirus, this phrase started trending on the Chinese Internet.

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Why People Went on Shopping Sprees After Quarantine - The Internet Explained (E4)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/09/18
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