Chinese consumers spend 16bln yuan on 'lazy man economy' in 2018

Photo: China News Service

The e-commerce or online shopping, which was dubbed as "lazy man economy" in China due to its convenience, has been mushrooming over the past two decades with the technical backing of online to offline (O2O) platforms.

According to the most recent data released by the country's largest shopping website Taobao, Chinese people spent 16 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion) on consumption needs generated by "laziness" this year, an increase of 70 percent over last year.

The report also noted that those born after the year 1995 led the growth, at 82 percent.

People in China's coastal areas spent most money on their 'laziness', with the southern province of Guangdong topping the list, according to Taobao, while consumers in Northeast and Northwest China spent less than the national average.

Behind the boom is the fast expansion of the O2O business model in China, which was expected to exceed 600 billion yuan in 2018 according to Beijing-based consulting agency iReaserch and Analysis International.

By connecting businesses to consumers, e-commerce has made striking business successes since emergence, virtually becoming the fastest growing economic sector in the country.

After clicking on platforms like Taobao and, China's second largest shopping site, and making online payments via Alipay or WeChat, "lazy people" can receive goods and services within hours or at most a few days without having to leave the comfort of their homes. also searched for "lazy products" as a keyword on the apps, finding that there were many commodities like lazy drink caps, lazy brushing devices, and lazy mops. Some of them have high sales, even up to tens of thousands after appearing on the market.

Food is another main industry that benefits from "lazy man economy".

Online and on-demand delivery platforms such as Meituan-Dianping and have made it possible for people to enjoy food from nearby restaurants, and food would be delivered to the online customers' doorsteps within minutes.

Some 355 million people used instant delivery services in China in 2018, according to a report released by Guangdong-based consulting agency iiMedia Research.

The People's Daily, mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, reported that the consumers are probably diligent "lazy people" who have professional skills and satisfactory salaries, and prefer to focus their energy on work and make full use of their spare time.

And yet, it could not be ruled out that some consumers just prefer to enjoy the convenience of online shopping and instant delivery.

Yin yin, 29, is a worker who often purchases "lazy services" due to her heavy workload. On hot summer days, she ordered ice cream and popsicles online.

"An ice cream costs me about 6 yuan. If I pay an extra 6 yuan delivery fee, the businesses would send the goods to my home. I think 12 yuan is worth it because I can free myself from the torturous temperature outside," said Yin.

The newspaper also said that "lazy man economy" helped create various new services and jobs, including tidying wardrobes, cooking food for family feasts, and providing physical therapy at home.

But problems exist amid the booming "lazy man economy", such as privacy concerns, data leakage, and a lack of security, reported state-run Global Times.

"Privacy leakage is the biggest concern for users who regularly use instant delivery services, with over 45 percent of those surveyed saying they are worried about what these companies will do with their data," said the tabloid.

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