Chinese snap up heating goods as cold spell hits swaths of nation
Published: Jan 07, 2021 07:08 PM

A woman (left) helps her friend adjust a scarf as strong winds battered Beijing on Wednesday. The cold wave sent temperatures plunging to as low as -19.6 C in the city, the lowest for this date since the turn of the century. Photo: cnsphoto

As a shivering cold spell from Siberia sweeps large swaths of China causing temperatures to fall by up to 10 degrees Celsius, online sales of winter products — including hand warmers, heaters and scarves — have surged, data obtained by the Global Times reveals.

After the New Year holiday, the strongest cold wave in decades swept China. In Beijing, for example, some southern parts of the city recorded a reading of -19.6 C on Wednesday, the lowest since 1966, China Meteorological Administration said.

The rare chill boosted demand for heating products, and online sales of some items including heaters and thermal underwear increased six times, according to data from e-commerce platforms sent to the Global Times.

According to a statement from, sales of heaters since the New Year's Day increased more than 316 percent year-on-year while sales of thermal underwear witnessed a 698-percent surge.

The proverbial "thermal underwear line," which is located around the Yangtze River — where people living north of the line wear thermal underwear during the winter — moved more than 1,000 kilometers south to South China's Guangdong Province, according to the statement.

A manager from a retail store in Beijing told the Global Times that electric blankets and heaters are becoming popular, with sales of heaters in the store up 148 percent month-on-month.

According to Dada Group — the owner of online-to-offline retail platform JDDJ, which provides one-hour delivery in many cities in China — sales of hand warmers increased 42 percent on Tuesday and Wednesday, while scarves and cotton and woolen hats increased 406 percent.

Compared with people living in northern China who put on more clothes during cold weather, people in the southern part of China drink hot tea. Sales of ginger tea are up 35 percent in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

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