The Spring Festival has ended with the second part of the world's largest annual human migration, as many return from their hometowns for school and work. The week-long holiday witnessed robust domestic and overseas consumption, as well as a national carnival highlighted by unique cultural activities.
For some key figures on this year's holiday, we are joined in the studio by CCTV's Jin Yingqiao.
Q1. Yingqiao, give us the newsworthy figures from the lunar New Year.
Largest annual human migration. The Ministry of Transport said 400 million people were on the move by road, trains and in the air during the holiday. It's also a shopping frenzy.
Ministry of Commerce shows sales volume in the retail and catering industry stood at 745 billion yuan, or $115 billion. That's up by 11.2 percent compared with last year's holiday. It's also about shelling out money overseas.
90 billion yuan, or $13 billion is the estimated sum that Chinese tourists would have spent overseas. That's on average 2,300 US dollars per person. Well, the movie market was equally robust.
China's film authority said the country's box office totalled 3 billion yuan from February 8 to 13, a whopping 47 percent increase on last Spring Festival and a record. One of the great traditions of Spring Festival in China is exchanging red envelopes, called 'Hongbao' in Chinese, with cash inside.
During this year's holiday, Chinese e-commerce giant Tencent reported a record 32.1 billion digital red envelopes being exchanged on popular instant messaging app Wechat. That's 10 times more than last year's numbers.
Q2. Another good way to sift through the numbers is by looking at what people used their bank cards to spend on. Tell us more.
Total volume Union Pay transactions amounted to 312 billion yuan, up 31 percent from last year. More than half of people still use their physical bank cards when shopping, but increasingly, people are turning to mobile phone payment methods.
Growth in this area hit 170 percent. To break down the numbers, feasting is a must during the holiday. Union Pay says that spending in restaurants increased 6 percent this year. The average spending: 585 yuan!
Spring Festival is the most important holiday, and naturally, people would go to fancier hotels and restaurants. Another highlight is that more people went on road trips. Union Pay sales related to traveling by road almost doubled the amount from last year. And some good news. the Ministry of Public Security said traffic accidents and deaths were down over 30 percent this year.