More Lhasa residents shopping online for New Year


E-commerce staff at the Yonghui Super Market in Lhasa, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, prepare for the delivery of online orders on Feb 8, 2021. [Photo by Palden Nyima/]

In the days leading up to China's Lunar New Year, the start of Spring Festival, and Losar, the Tibetan New Year, which both fall on Friday, many residents of Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, have chosen to shop online to avoid the risk of coronavirus infection.

A citywide online shopping festival, which started on Sunday, has added impetus to that.

The Lhasa Bureau of Commerce, organizer of the shopping festival, said the city's seven major shopping malls are offering a variety of discounts on their apps and social media accounts.

"Online orders have been soaring," said Phuntsok Sangpo, who is responsible for e-commerce business at Yonghui Supermarket in Lhasa, one of the seven malls.

"We have different discounts almost every day. We also send out coupons to online and offline customers," he said.

"Vegetables and fruit are the most popular items," he said, adding that the average number of daily orders has risen from 60 to 70 two weeks ago to more than 100 in the recent days, and each order averages around 20 items.

Tsering Chophel, a resident of Lhasa, who bought some dried fruit and snacks for the holidays, said, "I can get delivery to my door if I don't want to go out", adding that he also could choose to pick up items himself after making an online purchase.

"Shopping online is easy and convenient. It is also a bit cheaper as stores offer different discounts and coupons all the time," said the 21-year-old, who has been getting daily necessities and snacks mostly online.


E-commerce staff at the Yonghui Super Market in Lhasa, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, prepare for the delivery of online orders on Feb 8, 2021. [Photo by Palden Nyima/]

During the event, shopping malls offer free delivery depending on the amount purchased.

Champa Chodrak, a delivery man for a supermarket, said: "Usually, I have to make 10 to 15 deliveries a day. These days the number has more than doubled."

The region has seen rapid growth in its e-commerce and logistics industries in recent years.

Since 2016, when a series of preferential policies on e-commerce were launched by all levels of government in the region, 19 large e-commerce and logistics companies have opened branches in Tibet, according to the region's latest government work report.

The report also reveals that during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period, e-commerce services achieved coverage throughout the region and online retail sales reached more than 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion), up by 20 times compared with the end of 2015.

More residents of the region are opting for online shopping. Even villagers near Qomolangma, known as Mount Everest in the West, can make online purchases and receive deliveries.

Yeshi Chodron, a resident of Lhasa, said she has been shopping online for years thanks to the booming e-commerce sector and efficient logistics services in the region.

"I prefer to buy flowers, books and children's clothes online," she said, but admitted that the shipping costs can sometimes be as much as the cost of the item themselves.

"I hope it will go down some day," she added.

Apart from shopping online, residents of Lhasa can also choose offline stores around the city where most of the traditional products for the holidays are available, such as fried pastries, Tibetan robes, painted ears of barley or wheat, barley seedlings in vases and five-colored prayer flags.