The threat of the pandemic is gradually waning in China
and the majority of folks are out and about, working in the office, dining with friends, and drinking at bars. However, much like throwing a stone into water, the ramifications of COVID-19 will continue to ripple outwards, long after the incident has subsided. Over the past few weeks, many cities have issued shopping coupons to boost consumption and their economies. Now, it’s Beijing’s turn, with the government making it rain hongbao from today, Jun 6.
What are these vouchers?
The vouchers issued by the Beijing government and Jingdong e-commerce platform are valued at more than RMB 10 billion and can be used for two distinct industries: dining and smart devices, according to Chinese lifestyle magazine, Vista. The dining vouchers come as a three-voucher package, each of which requires that the bill exceeds a certain amount to be eligible. For instance, a bill of RMB 50 will get an RMB 10 discount, a tab of RMB 100 will grant an RMB 20 discount, and RMB 200 begets RMB 30 off. What’s more, the business will match the government’s voucher discount, and therefore result in twice the savings. The range of participating vendors spans everything from fast food and coffee chains to malls and supermarkets.
The other coupons will be applicable to smartphone and electronic device sales. This deal offers 10 percent off any purchase that’s RMB 2,000 or higher, with a cap at RMB 400. It’s worth noting that the coupons for electronics fall into two purchase categories – online and offline – and you can only apply for one at a time. So it’s definitely worth thinking through your big-ticket items beforehand.
How do I get them?
The vouchers will be distributed in four batches throughout June, and two of them will be exclusive to dining coupons. The first starts at 10am on Jun 6 and will end when all 200 vouchers are gone. To win one of these coveted coupons, you need to download the Jingdong shopping app and grant it geotagging permission, so they can verify that you’re in Beijing. Then, simply pass the identity verification by providing your nationality, ID, and name. Fortunately, passports are valid for this verification process meaning expats should be able to take full advantage of the savings as well. To apply for the vouchers, click on the event logo in the app or scan the posters displayed in participating storefronts. And for the fun part, scan the QR code on your bill when you make your payment to automatically trigger the deal when you are ready to pay.The acceptance of passports allows foreigners in on the action too
If you’re not a fan of Jingdong or simply unimpressed with the hongbaos mentioned above, there is another way you can try your luck. Apparently, Chaoyang District loves its citizens more than others because they have decided to collaborate with Alibaba Group to issue even more coupons to Alipay users. Their vouchers also apply to online and offline purchases, and will be released at the same time as the government’s vouchers. One is dubbed the “Chaoyang Shopping Coupon,” which can be used for any expenses paid for using Alipay, and it contains three coupons offering an RMB 10 discount on RMB 40 purchases. The other voucher can only be used on the Suning e-commerce platform and its affiliated stores like Carrefour. According to one customer service rep, these vouchers have to be used in Chaoyang District. Accessing them is similar to the process mentioned above. Just download the Alipay app instead of Jingdong and pass its identity verification, then check which vouchers are available. If you can’t find the link to apply for the vouchers on the home page, then try searching “北京苏宁” (Suning e-commerce platform) and “朝阳” (Chaoyang District) for respective vouchers.
The fine print
Both the electronic and dining vouchers are valid for 14 days after you acquire them. Given that you can only get your hands on one electronic purchase voucher at a time, it logically follows that you would only be able to use one voucher per visit. Given that the dining voucher comes in sets of three, though, you can only use one voucher at a time, and the one with the highest value (remember, they’re worth RMB 10, 20, and 30 depending on how much you spend) and closest expiration date will be automatically chosen when you make the payment.
Good luck! And may the hongbao gods be kind to you.