China kicked off the 2021 National Consumption Promotion Month on Saturday in Shanghai. [Photo provided to Newsvase.com]

China kicked off the 2021 National Consumption Promotion Month on Saturday in Shanghai, aiming to boost consumption as the retail sector continues to rebound from COVID-19-induced spending caution.

The launch ceremony, attended by Shanghai’s Party Secretary Li Qiang, also unveiled the second edition of Shanghai’s 5-5 Shopping Festival, where merchants encourage customer spending through introducing new products, subsidies and activities.

Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said at the launch ceremony that some 1,300 promotional activities will be held around the festival season to “further stimulate market vitality, unleash consumption potential, and better serve to build a new development pattern”.

“During the first spring of the ’14th Five-Year Plan’ period, China’s economy, which is off to a stable and sound start, has exhibited strong resilience and vigorous consumption momentum. The robust consumption market has been the top driving force for driving China’s economic growth for years,” said Shen Haixiong, president and editor-in-chief of China Media Group, a co-organizer of the serial event.

Shen said the broadcasting giant would leverage its mighty communication capability to promote the events to help drive high-quality growth and aid Shanghai’s ambition to become an international consumption hub.

Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng said the city shall strive to become a barometer for consumption trends, featuring new product debuts, renowned brands and duty free or tax refund shopping. The city will also accelerate digital transformation in the consumption realm and attract global shoppers.

From 8 pm to 10 pm on May 1, consumption spending topped 2 billion yuan in Shanghai, according to joint data provided by China UnionPay, Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal is bringing three new brands, three flagship store debuts, two new beauty technologies, and over 100 new products to celebrate the gala, as the company recently upgraded Shanghai as its North Asia zone headquarters.