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The Ultimate Guide to the B2B Gift Card Market in China

Discover the latest trends, top brands, and insights into the B2B gift card industry in China







Standard Chinese

Official language

Renminbi (CNY)


National holidays

1st January (New Year’s Day) 1st day of 1st Lunisolar month (Spring Festival / Chinese New Year) 5th April (Tomb-Sweeping Day) 1st May (Labour Day) 5th day of 5th Lunisolar month (Dragon Boat Festival) 15th day of 8th Lunisolar month (Mid-Autumn Festival) 1st October (National Day)

China gift card market size

In value terms, the gift card market in China has recorded a CAGR of 9.9% during 2018-2022. The gift card industry in Country will continue to grow over the forecast period and is expected to record a CAGR of 7.3% during 2023-2027. The gift card market in the country will increase from US$ 151.283 billion in 2022 to reach US$ 217.591 billion by 2027.

Multiple factors have been influencing the growth of the Chinese gift card market. Most providers offer payments through Alipay and WeChat pay, the convenience of which enables customers to buy gift cards within seconds from anywhere. Digital payments have long been the norm in China, so this is a trend that aligns with the general shopping landscape, which is also increasingly shifting towards the virtual space, furthering the niche for E-gift cards. For these cards, many providers do not obligate customers to provide their name upon purchase, an anonymity that is appreciated greatly, but that has experienced some limits in past years.

Following years of strict lockdowns, Chinese companies are looking to recover and expand their businesses. Increasingly, they are using gift cards to incentivize and reward employees as part of corporate gifting programmes. With an ever-growing middle class, more customers will be requiring high-quality gifts. Furthermore, the above-mentioned trends in e-commerce show no sign of slowing down, and the digital space will only increase in importance for gift cards.    

Country gift card market size

China gifting traditions

In Chinese culture, gift-giving is a vital part of creating, maintaining, and improving relationships. However, this also means that there are many customs and rules around the way a gift is given as well as received. 

The major gift-giving occasions, in addition to birthdays, are the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival. For the younger population, Christmas has also started to be an observed holiday that is celebrated with gifts.

In corporate settings, gift-giving is far more prevalent than in western economies. Especially as a marking of successful business deals or important meeting, gifts are appreciated and even expected. However, be aware that many Chinese people may first politely decline the gift, in order to not appear as greedy. Only if they continue to decline, do not offer again – various Chinese workplaces have strict anti-bribery rules.


Not only the type of gift given is important, but also the quantity they are given in. It should be avoided to give a gift card of ¥400, while one with the value ¥888 could guarantee double happiness. 

When physically handing over a gift or card, do not expect it to be opened right away. This is a sign of respect and modesty and will ensure that the giver does not feel embarrassed in case the gift does not ignite as positive a reaction as hoped for.  

An important Chinese concept to follow is 礼尚往来 – “Courtesy demands reciprocity”. Upon receiving a gift, make sure to return the same at a later point with an appropriate gift of equal value. 

Gift card regulations in China

Gift card regulation in China is subject to various laws and regulations to protect consumers and ensure transparency in the gifting industry.

Validity Period: Most gift cards in China are only valid for 2 years, as opposed to the global average of 3 years. 

Currency Restrictions: Strict economic policies greatly limit Chinese citizens spending in foreign currency, so most greatly prefer Chinese payment options. 

Pre-paid Regulations: Following a crackdown on bribery of public officials, pre-paid gift cards are required to be clearly traceable to the buyer. 

Staying Accountable: State companies buying gift cards valued above ¥5,000 and individuals buying cards valued above ¥50,000 are required to pay via bank transfer.

It's important to note that regulations may change, so always check the latest guidelines with China's government or appropriate regulatory bodies. Moreover, the specifics and prerequisites might differ based on the gift card type, its provider, and other considerations.

If you're considering buying or utilizing gift cards in China, ensure you read the issuer's terms and conditions and consult with legal experts if necessary.

Popular gift cards in China

Popular gift card brands

In the bustling world of gift cards in China, it's a pleasure to introduce some of the brands that have made a mark in their respective industries.

JD: JD is a popular e-commerce platform in China. Customers appreciating the convenience of online shopping and access to quality goods will appreciate the wide range of electronics, fashion, and groceries offered.

Starbucks: Starbucks’ unique success story in China has established the chain as a strong presence in China’s urban centres. Gift cards for Starbucks offer Chinese customers a taste of international coffee culture and a cozy environment for socializing, making them a popular choice among the rising group of coffee enthusiasts and young adults.


Tencent: Tencent is a technology conglomerate with diverse services like WeChat, QQ, and online gaming. The tech-savvy Chinese population’s digital lifestyle is supported by opportunities to use gift cards for in-app purchases, gaming, and digital entertainment.


Walmart: Providing value and convenience to families and budget-conscious shoppers are qualities that Walmart is well known for, and which make it a popular gift card among urban dwellers all over the country.

Sinopec: Officially known as China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, is one of the largest oil and petrochemical companies in the world.

TMall: China's popular online marketplace, offering a wide selection of products and a flexible shopping experience.

Fresh Hema: Alibaba's innovative retail store in China, offering a diverse range of fresh food and grocery items with a convenient shopping experience.

iTunes: Allows users to purchase music, apps, movies, and other media available on Apple's iTunes Store and App Store.

YongHui: YongHui Superstores are a major Chinese supermarket chain, offering a variety of groceries, fresh produce, and household items. A Chinese online discount retailer, offering varied products including fashion, beauty, and lifestyle items at discounted prices.

Benefits of B2B gifting in China

As mentioned in terms of traditions in China, corporate gifting has been a vital part of doing business for many years. Just like personal relationships, professional ones also need to be constantly tended to. There are few bigger mistakes one can make than cause a Chinese business partner to feel under-appreciated or disrespected.  

Furthermore, rewarding employees and recognizing their efforts can aid in bridging cultural differences. Multinational companies expanding into China have long tried their best to localize or at least “glocalize” – and what better way to do it than appreciating local customs and traditions?  

Lastly, B2B gifting offers many promotional and marketing opportunities to increase brand awareness and likeability.  

The Global Gift Card 

Entering and understanding the Chinese [gifting] market can seem like a scary horse to tame. However, GoGift is here to help. With over 20 years of experience in the corporate gifting market and more than 15.000 satisfied corporate clients, we are experts at creating customized global solutions for any and all gifting needs you might have.  

Physical and digital versions of The Global Gift Card
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