In times of economic uncertainty, Chinese lottery sales boom


What Occurred: China's lottery industry is experiencing success during the summer season. The most recent statistics provided by China's Ministry of Finance show that lottery sales across the nation reached a grand total of $6.73 billion (48.9 billion RMB) this July, which is a substantial increase of 55.9 percent compared to the same timeframe in the previous year. Overall, lottery sales for this year have amounted to $44.4 billion (322.8 billion RMB), showcasing a noteworthy growth of 51.2 percent compared to the previous year.

Lottery - Figure 1

Social networking sites have noticed this remarkable increase in lottery purchases in the largest country on Earth. Currently, the term "lottery" has acquired an astonishing 230 million views on the Xiaohongshu platform.

As a result, lottery ticket kiosks and small shops have sprouted across prominent urban centers such as Shanghai and Beijing in 2021.

In the meantime, statistics from Douyin indicate that the search interest for the word "lottery" has increased significantly, with a staggering growth of 1,233.57 percent in July compared to the previous year. It is worth mentioning that the allure of winning has captivated the younger generation, as the number of searches coming from individuals aged 18 to 30 has risen from approximately one-third to 48 percent.

The Jing Take: "Buying lottery tickets isn't really about becoming instantly wealthy, but rather about getting a thrill for myself," explained Chilin Yao, a 24-year-old lottery enthusiast in Shanghai, to Jing Daily. This feeling is shared by many young people. According to the 2022 Sports Lottery Customer Research Report, 72 percent of lottery customers buy tickets not only with hopes of winning, but also for fun and stress relief.

In contrast to investing in ventures that have the potential for both high risks and high rewards, young people in China tend to gravitate towards lotteries, which are seen as a safer investment with smaller potential gains. By spending just $1.4 (10 RMB), individuals can experience an immediate sense of joy and excitement, with the added possibility of achieving significant returns, sometimes even a thousand times their initial investment, if luck is on their side.

Lottery kiosks and entry slips Image: Little Red Book

Huang Zhenxing, a lecturer at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, expressed in a conversation with Caijing Magazine that this trend indicates a dearth of faith in the current economic situation.

China's economic bounce back has not met the predicted outcomes. In the initial half of this year, China's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 5.5 percent. Although this number exceeds the average yearly growth rate of 4.5 percent seen throughout the three COVID-19 years, it remains below what was anticipated.

In July, there was a slight increase of 2.5 percent in the total sales of consumer goods compared to the same time last year. However, this is a decrease of 0.6 percentage points from June. This means that the growth rate of total consumer retail sales has been declining for the third month in a row, despite increased spending during the summer. The collapse of Evergrande, a major Chinese real estate company, has worsened the country's economic problems, leading to the downfall of smaller businesses as well. These events have negatively impacted consumer confidence, causing more people to seek solace in buying lottery tickets and turning to the spiritual economy to cope with the uncertainty of the times.

The Jing Take covers a significant news story and offers our editorial team's interpretation of its important effects on the luxury sector. In this regular feature, we examine various aspects such as new product releases, corporate mergers, and trending discussions emerging on Chinese social media platforms.

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