Women's Day in China

Women’s Day in China: How Does It Impact Chinese Consumers?

Like the rest of the world, China celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8th every year. It’s an official holiday that started with some domestic companies granting female employees a shorter working day.

In the local consumer market, it’s one of the few major marketing opportunities brands can utilize in the first quarter of the year beyond the Chinese New Year.

Chinese women hold a strong purchasing power in an average local household. So, it’s also the perfect time to launch online sales promotions for women’s products to capture the influx of demand generated by the event.

If you want to know how to leverage these perks, here’s everything you need to know about Women’s Day in China.


Do they celebrate Women’s Day in China?

Yes, International Women’s Day (国际妇女节 Guójì Fùnǚjié) is widely celebrated in Chinese society. Historically, many locals referred to this official holiday as Queen’s Day or Goddess Day.

At first, Asian socialist countries dedicated March 8 solely to working women. It didn’t take long for the United Nations to adopt this event as an official public holiday, diversifying the general perception of the celebration.

Today, International Women’s Day goes beyond the working population. It represents the continued fight for their best interests in modern society, whether they’re female employees, unmarried, or young women trying to find their place in the world.


Chinese women purchasing products in Shanghai

Chinese women purchasing products in Shanghai (Source: China Daily)


Traditionally, it stands as a variation of Valentine’s Day in China. Chinese men would buy flowers and small presents for the women in their lives. However, in recent years, this particular day has evolved into a celebration of gender equality and women’s rights.

As women became vital contributors to Modern Chinese society, businesses took notice of their growing purchasing power. Because of this, major online marketplaces like Tmall and JD.com took the opportunity to commercialize this event.

Like many Chinese holidays, e-commerce platforms run yearly promotional deals to commemorate International Women’s Day. They offer special discounts on products under typical feminine categories like cosmetics, self-care, fashion, etc.

Beyond that, popular social media platforms like WeChat Moments are also filled with posts about International Women’s Day. From regular users saying their greetings to brands and influencers voicing their support for women’s rights and gender equality, it’s apparent that this event still holds a significant influence on modern China.


Brands posting about International Women’s Day on local social media channels

Brands posting about International Women’s Day on local social media channels


With Women’s Day in China traditionally celebrating elderly and married women, the prevalence of the event led to the birth of Girls’ Day. This unofficial occasion comes before the actual half-day holiday on the 7th of March.

This occasion is specifically dedicated to unmarried and single women. It also started the tradition of universities hosting special events to honor female students on their campuses.


2024 Consumer Overview of International Women’s Day in China

According to Douyin’s latest sales report, the gross merchandise volume of female-centric products increased by 54% during the social media giant’s International Women’s Day campaign that started in March.

The surprising part is these massive sales are not solely generated by Chinese women. Products like skincare and cosmetics are now highly sought after by local men. Some buy them for gifts, but most for personal use.

Beyond the usual, the e-commerce Goddess Day campaign also saw a spike in demand for beauty tools and nail accessories. Many women also bought flowers and plants during this season, with orders surging 200%.


2024 Consumer Overview of International Women’s Day in China


How Can Brands Celebrate International Women’s Day in China?

1.   E-commerce and Shopping Festivals

If you’ve been marketing in China long enough, you’d know that shopping festivals are the peak of consumer spending in the local online market.

Unlike many countries, China has a tradition of giving gifts on International Women’s Day. Due to this, businesses naturally followed this trend in hopes of achieving potential sales conversions.

Major e-commerce platforms like Taobao, Tmall, JD.com, and Pinduoduo offer special promotions, discounts, and flash sales targeted at women. These deals often start days before March 8th and include various products, from cosmetics and fashion to electronics and home appliances.


Tmall Homepage for International Women’s Day

Tmall Homepage for International Women’s Day (Source: China Admissions)


During these e-commerce festivals, brands are known to launch limited-edition products or special packaging to commemorate Women’s Day. In 2022, the London-based brand Net-A-Porter collaborated with Chinese designers to boost market visibility during this event.

Beyond social media, the foreign brand didn’t miss the chance to promote its products on Tmall flagship stores and WeChat virtual storefronts. Thanks to this wise business move, they managed to attract China’s younger consumer base.


2.   Social Media and Video Marketing

In the local social media scene, Chinese people view International Women’s Day as a chance to share personal stories. Rather than posting overly commercialized content, some Chinese companies chose to join the trend by amplifying the message of female empowerment.

Florasis is one of the many businesses that did this marketing strategy. In 2022, this cosmetic brand launched a video featuring five women and their struggles with different skin issues. By the end of the short film, they unveiled their new product line, Balance Liquid Foundation.


Florasis campaign for International Women’s Day

Source: Jing Daily


By releasing this content on International Women’s Day, its new product experienced a significant boost. The amplified messaging of catering to women’s specific needs also made the brand even more attractive to its target market.

Using personal narratives in promotional content and releasing them on popular platforms like Douyin and Kuaishou is an excellent strategy to follow if you want to generate buzz during the event.


3.   KOL Collaborations & Live Streaming Sessions

Many brands in China have long been utilizing KOL collaborations and live-streaming tools to enhance their promotions. So, it’s not surprising that it’s also a widely used strategy during Women’s Day in China.

Neiwai, a well-known lingerie brand in China, is a prime example of using KOL collaborations and thematic campaigns to resonate with consumers during Women’s Day.

In 2020, the brand launched the “No Body is Nobody” campaign, highlighting women of diverse body shapes and stories and promoting body positivity and self-acceptance. The campaign received significant attention and praise on social media platforms like Weibo, which garnered 659,000 views.

The success of this campaign demonstrates the impact of relatable and empowering content on brand engagement and consumer response.


Neiwai’s No Body is Nobody campaign

Neiwai’s No Body is Nobody campaign (Source: CBBC)


Meanwhile, live-streaming sessions are one of the tools brands can consider when planning KOL collaborations. You can use this medium to engage with consumers in innovative and interactive ways.

A noteworthy success story is the collaboration between Lancôme and Viya, a top livestreamer, during International Women’s Day. This campaign sold RMB 10 million worth of products during a single session.

With this enormous success, no one can deny the effective combination of live streaming and e-commerce festivals for driving sales and engaging with consumers​.


Notable Trends During the International Women’s Day in China

●     Varying Product Demands and Trends

The product interests of female consumers in China show significant generational differences. Most younger consumers lean towards cosmetics and skincare products, reflecting their engagement with social media platforms like Douyin and Little Red Book, where hashtags related to beauty amass billions of views.

Meanwhile, older generations might prioritize food, beverages, and household items. Some new mothers and newlywed women may also be more interested in shopping for products related to babies and pregnancy.

This generational divide shows the importance of brands tailoring their strategies to cater to the needs and preferences of different age groups, especially in high consumer peak holidays like Women’s Day.


Chinese women shopping at a department store in Shanghai

Chinese women shopping at a department store in Shanghai (Source: China Daily)


●     High Demand for Sports Products

In 2024, many women in China are striving to live healthy lifestyles. According to China Daily, the local female population’s consumption of sports-related products increased by 93% in terms of quantity.

This segment includes sportswear fashion, exercise machines, yoga-related materials, workout shoes, and even fishing tools. It’s important to note these product categories, as they can potentially be in demand during International Women’s Day and other female-centric festivities.


Yoga studio China

Yoga Studio in China (Source: China Daily)


●     The Surging Power of the She Economy

According to Chinese culture, women hold half the sky. This philosophy is especially true as the “She Economy” gains momentum in China.

With female consumers holding power over 70% of household purchasing decisions, it’s inevitable that this demographic can also shape the course of International Women’s Day celebrations.

Remember, female shoppers account for over 58% of China’s overall consumer market and are 47% more likely to spend than men. These statistics are direct evidence of Taobao’s $406 million International Women’s Day sales in 2023.


Key figures of female consumers in China



●     The Resistance Against Stereotypical Marketing

With Chinese women rejecting traditional gender roles, it should come as no surprise that they’re resisting the stereotypical advertisements launched during this official national holiday.

Rather than highlighting beauty standards, Chinese women today would instead buy from brands that promote equal opportunities for all genders. Perfect Diary’s International Women’s Day Campaign is the best example of this strategy.


Short promotional film of Perfect Diary’s 901 Ambition Red-Brown Matte Lipstick


The brand sought collaboration with Xinhua Net to produce an inspiring short film featuring women excelling in different industries. Through the video campaign, the brand conveyed that women are unstoppable and can achieve anything.

Rather than adapting the typical “Goddess or Queen’s Day” messaging, Perfect Diary chose to celebrate International Women’s Day by resonating with the holiday’s core essence.

While the video showcased PD’s products at the end, the film’s production was not commercialized at all. The quick glimpse of lip shades is creatively incorporated into the content’s storytelling, aligning its execution with the emerging digital marketing trend of quiet selling.


Quick Q&A

How does China celebrate Women’s Day?

In China, International Women’s Day on March 8 is an occasion for men to show affection towards women. It’s like a blend of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, with men presenting gifts to women in their lives. Additionally, it’s common for female employees to receive a half-day off work, and the day is marked by various discounts on women’s products, turning it into a significant commercial event as well.

What is different about International Women’s Day in China?

A distinctive aspect of International Women’s Day in China is the “Girls’ Day” celebrated on March 7th in many universities. Female college students initiated this day as a response to the traditional Women’s Day, which is more representative of married women.

Girls’ Day includes activities such as make-up and dancing competitions, along with wishing trees where female students can express their desires. It’s a campus equivalent of Valentine’s Day and offers male students a chance to confess their feelings to their female peers.​


Ready To Dominate the Female Consumer Market in China? Get In Touch With Us Today!

International Women’s Day is an important day to add to your Chinese marketing calendar, especially if your brand intends to target local female audiences.

Like other segments in the country, this demographic has distinct preferences and consumer behaviors stemming from China’s rich culture and complex digital ecosystem. At Sekkei Digital Group, we can help unlock your brand’s potential and secure a formidable position as a leading entity in the industry.


Sekkei Digital Group Services


Whether it’s crafting compelling female-centric social media campaigns or collaborating with top KOLs, we have all the digital solutions you need. Contact us today, and let us help you resonate with China’s female consumer market.


contact us SDG



International Women’s Day China 2024 What’s It All About?
Men’s Cosmetics and Flowers Lead Douyin’s Women’s Day Sales Boom
Empowering Beyond Labels: Pioneering 2024’s International Women’s Day Campaigns
Marketing to Women Empowerment: A Chinese Perspective on International Women’s Day
How brands are marking Women’s Day differently in China

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get our latest news

Scroll to Top