Chinese women opt for not-so-brief encounters

Updated: 2016-06-29 02:23

By ZHU WENQIAN(China Daily)

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Young Chinese women are snapping up millions of bikinis every year, but conservative tastes dictate that they cover more of the body than in other countries., the country's largest online shopping platform, said it sells more than 21 million swimsuits annually, with one in three a bikini.

According to the site, 70 percent of the buyers are younger than 30 and only 2 percent are older than 50.

The biggest sales have been reported in Shanghai, one of the most open and fashionable cities in China, the site said.

But most bikinis available in China provide more body coverage, with designs featuring short skirts and other fancy decorations such as flouncing. Most have wide straps.

Allison Zhang, a 27-year-old Chinese Canadian living in Beijing, said it is hard for her to find Western bikini styles that come without skirts and other embellishments.

"I still shop online through overseas websites, and have them mailed to me. I hope that simpler styles will become available in China," she said.

Thanks to the rapid growth of coastal tourism, hot springs and the spa industry, and people's increasing desire to keep fit, Chinese women now buy one to two swimsuits every year, in comparison with their Western peers who buy three to five, according to China Clothing Alliance News.

Hosa, Heatwave and Zoke lead domestic brands, with prices ranging from 400 to 500 yuan ($60 to $75).

According to market research company Euromonitor International, the sportswear market in China last year, including products ranging from swimsuits to soccer shorts, grew to 165 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 11 percent.