Wed­ding busi­nesses need tweak, re­port says

Search plat­form ad­vises more cus­tom­ized ser­vices for cou­ples, fo­cus on smaller cities

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHOU WENTING in Shanghai zhouwent­ing@chi­

China’s wed­ding in­dus­try should shift to more cus­tom­ized ser­vices, as the num­ber of peo­ple get­ting mar­ried is de­creas­ing, a mar­ket re­port said onWed­nes­day.Aug24.

The in­dus­try en­joyed ex­plo­sive growth in the past, partly be­cause of the large mar­riageage pop­u­la­tion. The num­ber of cou­ples ty­ing the knot will be less than 10 mil­lion in 2020, down from 13.5 mil­lion in 2013, the high point after sev­eral years of growth since 2010, ac­cord­ing to the 2016 Blue Bookof theMar­riageMar­ketby Meituan-Dian­ping, an on­line­toser­vice plat­form.

The de­cline in Bei­jing and Shanghai is most ob­vi­ous, the blue book said.

The num­ber of peo­ple born an­nu­ally after 1990 is lower than pre­vi­ous years. For ex­am­ple, data from the Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs shows roughly 15 mil­lion ba­bies were born in the coun­try in 1996, a drop of 10 mil­lion from a decade pre­vi­ously.

Com­pound­ing the puz­zle, the younger gen­er­a­tion is post­pon­ing mar­riage.

How­ever, while the mar­ry­ing group is get­ting smaller, the price that prospec­tive brides and grooms pay for each el­e­ment of the process— a wed­ding ban­quet, por­traits, rent­ing a wed­ding gown — is on the rise, as is the to­tal turnover of the in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

“Cus­tomers are not at­tracted by in­ex­pen­sive­ness,” said YangFeng, gen­eral man­ager of the wed­ding busi­ness depart­ment of Meituan-Dian­ping, which pro­vides peo­ple with search re­sults of 120,000 ser­vice providers in the mar­riage in­dus­try. “They are will­ing to pay more for high-qual­ity ser­vice and ex­pe­ri­ence — es­pe­cially cus­tom ser­vices.”

New­ly­weds in Bei­jing pay an av­er­age of 260,000 yuan ($39,100) on­mar­riage cel­e­bra­tions, which usu­ally in­clude wed­ding rings, flow­ers, wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy and a ban­quet with dec­o­ra­tions. Some brides even pur­chase or rent three or four wed­ding gowns, the re­port said.

The av­er­age out­lay in Shanghai is 200,000 yuan. The na­tional av­er­age is just un­der 100,000 yuan.

The re­port also said busi­nesses should fur­ther de­velop the mar­ket in small cities, as the ra­tio of peo­ple from those re­gions search­ing on­line for wed­ding ser­vices is ris­ing.

The re­port noted that He­nan, Guizhou and Yun­nan prov­inces, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion, AV­ER­AGE AGE FOR MAR­RIAGE will likely present the best po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ment.

Huang Jian­ing, a Shanghai na­tive, held two wed­ding feasts HOW MUCH DO WED­DINGS COST? in June— one in Shanghai and the other in Chengdu, Sichuan prov­ince, her hus­band’s home. She said it cost more than 11,000 yuan for a ta­ble at a fives­tar ho­tel in Shanghai, but a ta­ble at the same stan­dard in Chengdu cost 2,500 yuan.

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