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China’s “Night Economy” Insight Report

In the “Opinions on Accelerating the Development of Circulation and Promoting Commercial Consumption” issued by the General Office of the State Council of China in 2019, identified the development of the night-time economy and the creation of night consumption scenes as the key tasks. With the development of consumption habits and the emergence of new generations of consumer groups, the scale of the “night economy” continues to increase. The “night economy” refers to all economic activities that take place between 18:00 on the same day to 6:00 the next day, and this kind of economic activity began to take shape in China’s coastal cities as early as the 1980s.

We’ve compiled the following excerpts based on QuestMobile’s “2022 Night Economy Insight Report”.

According to QuestMobile’s report, as of September 2022, the number of night-time active mobile users in China (from 18:00 to 6:00 the next day) has reached 860 million. Among them, the number of ‘late night party’ users from 0:00 to 2:00 the next day has exceeded 200 million, becoming a new driving force for consumption and a new outlet for economic growth.

With the promotion of the “night economy” and the continuous improvement of consumption levels in many places, the night economy has become an important part of life and continues to unleash consumption potential. Young users born in the 90s and 00s are active late at night, which also creates new demand for night consumption. More than 45.7% of users are under the age of 35, and as high as 60% are from second-, third- and fourth-tier cities.

Mobile internet industry data shows that Chinese users are mainly active in these five activities:

  • Mobile social: 95.9%

  • Mobile video: 93.7%

  • Mobile gaming: 86.8%

  • Digital reading: 81.01%

  • Mobile shopping: 78.8%

According to September 2022 data, local life and map services are at the heart of China's night economy.

  • The majority of night-time active users in the local life APP are users under the age of 30 (accounting for 47.5%)

  • The average number of daily night-time deduplicated active users of Meituan APP reached 74.5 million, an increase of 23.2% over the same period in 2021

  • The number of night-time active users of AutoNavi Maps reached 74.34 million, an increase of 10.1% over the same period in 2021

  • The number of night-time users of McDonald's also reached 441,000, and the number of users of WanSF Tongcheng Rider APP, which cooperates with McDonald's, also reached 243,000

The night-time consumption behaviour of Chinese users can be broadly divided into the following three areas:

1. Night entertainment – online entertainment includes short & long videos, novels, music, games and other apps, and the proportion of Chinese users active at midnight is more than 5%. The common evening entertainment activities such as KTV and bars attract many post-90s users. With the gradual rise of the “tipsy” economy, pubs have become an emerging scene for night entertainment and social interaction among young people.

2. Night shopping – more than 60% of users of China’s most popular e-commerce platforms are active at night, proving that night shopping has become the norm. During the Double Eleven e-commerce promotion period, Chinese e-commerce platforms actively used the “8 pm” when users were very active at night and adjusted the timing of prepayment deposits from “zero” to “8 pm”, resulting in a further increase in the proportion of active users.

3. Eating at night – From 6 pm, restaurants are at their peak hours, and the traffic on the WeChat mini-program side is getting better to meet users’ needs for multi-scenario dining. During late night hours, the food delivery platform has changed to meet the demand for “supper parties”. The number of active users of and Meituan APP has increased in the late night hours. A whopping 62.4% of users are under the age of 35.

With the support of China’s urban policies and facilities, the economy in many regions is developing. From creating the characteristics of the local night economy to stimulate the residents’ consumption, through the expansion of internet platform services, the major platforms have also actively deployed night service functions to provide night cultural and tourism services, giving the city night economic capacity. Also due to the development of the night economy, “night owls” have gradually become the user group that beauty brands pay attention to. They have launched a series of repair products to target the “staying up late party”, and emphasized night culture in marketing planning, choosing advertising channels such as videos and social platforms that users often use at night to resonate with users.

If you would like to learn more about "Night Economy", please contact us.

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