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After lunch, Zheng Lin habitually scours various websites for deals on daily necessities. After 12 years of marriage, she regularly goes online to buy detergents and cleaning supplies. When she tied the knot, she couldn’t have imagined such convenience. Twelve years ago, most Chinese citizens knew nothing about internet shopping, but it was then that Taobao, now the largest cyber retail platform in China, was established.
Development of online shopping in China took quite some time. A decade ago, China’s networking was slow, infrastructure weak and logistics distribution system lacking. Despite the emergence of online shopping in the West, few Chinese were optimistic about its prospects in China.
Today, online shopping greatly facilitates people’s lives by offering a new convenient platform for consumers. The advancement of the internet technology has brought dramatic changes to lifestyles and hastened relevant chains in production, circulation, and financial services.
After years of development, e-commerce has swept across China, creating a massive inclusive marketplace. Nielsen statistics shows that in 2014, China surpassed the global averages for both web surfing and online shopping. China now leads the world in the speed of e-commerce development.
Usage of smartphones and the internet has accelerated at breakneck speed, enabling e-commerce to change consumption habits of Chinese consumers.
In the era of the mobile internet, people can stay home and enjoy delivery of any online purchase after a simple click.
Today, online shopping has become more than just consumption and entertainment for many Chinese netizens. It has become a window to the outside world, a driver of self-recognition, the foundation for starting a business, a way to express love and an album to cherish memories.
These photos taken by Huang Qingjun showcase the fusion of modern Chinese lives and online shopping.
Huang Qingjun was born in 1971 in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China. He photographed online shoppers in many places across the country. His subjects vary in region, profession and purchases.
After shooting the portraits against large backdrops, Huang Qingjun recounts the story of each person he interviewed, along with their “treasures.”
Jia Yuhao and Lu Xuefeng:
30 and 37, respectively, Han ethnic group, Lhasa
First online purchase: 2006 / 2005
Average delivery time: Seven days
In May 2011, Jia and Lu quit well-paid jobs and relocated to Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, to open a hotel. About 80 percent of necessities for the hotel were bought online. Over the last nine years, Jia has spent over 500,000 yuan, while Lu spent 860,000 yuan on online shopping. For them, online shopping helps realize their dreams.