Christmas promotions flop in China

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Beijing -- More than 80% of those surveyed in Shanghai, China's largest industrial city, said they would not take part in any commercial Christmas activities although they are aware of the Western holiday. The survey, conducted by the WJ News Survey Network, came as a blow to those shops, restaurants and bars that had planned to make money during the Western holiday.

Of the households surveyed, less than 15% said that they had made any special arrangements for Christmas Eve. The survey also found that although restaurants and bars in bustling commercial areas of the city sported Christmas decorations, there were fewer crowded restaurants and bars than in recent years.

A few years ago, some Chinese people, especially the young, were curious about joining foreigners in Christmas celebrations in China, the survey found. However, the novelty of Christmas commerce has worn off and the majority of the Chinese people still think the traditional Chinese Spring Festival, which falls on Jan. 28, is the most important holiday.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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