China to host online shopping festival to promote intangible cultural heritage

China will launch an online shopping festival to promote intangible cultural heritage (ICH) products on the upcoming Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, which falls on June 13 this year.

Multiple e-commerce giants and retail platforms, such as Alibaba, JD.com, Suning, Pinduoduo and Meituan, will participate in the festival, selling a variety of quality goods and handicrafts from ICH units, enterprises and workshops.

The initiative, supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Commerce, and State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, is combining online platforms with offline channels, aiming to help the time-honored brands and traditional crafts reach more customers.

The festival will also see diverse ICH-related activities and sale promotions held in local historic street blocks and ICH shops in various places across the country, allowing consumers to enjoy unique shopping experience and the fruits of ICH protection, according the organizers.

To blunt COVID-19 impacts, advance resumption

Photo Schnobrich
Photo: Schnobrich

The initiative also marks the latest step to blunt the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, following the nearly two-week-long online shopping festival starting in April with online sales exceeding 30 billion yuan in its first 24 hours, according to a report from the Ministry of Commerce.

Deeply rooted in traditional Chinese culture and covering a wide variety of categories, the ICH-related products, especially traditional handicrafts, are full of unique charms and in line with the current trend of diversified, personalized and customized consumption, said an official with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Noting the significant role that ICH plays in boosting employment and fighting poverty, the official added that the event will support ICH inheritors, enterprises and workshops impacted by the health crisis and advance the nationwide resumption process of work and production.

The ministry started facilitating the construction of ICH workshops across the country, especially in the remote areas, to help with the battle against poverty, creating upwards of 2,200 projects that have generated nearly half a million jobs.

ICH protection heightened with laws and investment

The event is among China’s continuous efforts to enhance ICH protection and raise the public awareness of safeguarding ICH.

The Chinese government has invested more than seven billion yuan (nearly one billion U.S. dollars) in ICH protection since the country adopted a law designed to preserve traditions in 2011.

Additionally, a nationwide ICH protection network has been set up as of the end of 2018, comprising 2,467 institutions and 17,308 personnel.

With 1,372 representative intangible cultural heritage programs under state protection, China now observes 40 items of its intangible cultural heritage included in the UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage so far, ranking first in the world.

Author: Hong Yaobin, CGTN