Back to school in China means big spending for parents

China 24

For students in China, it’s the first full week back at school. It’s also a busy time for parents.

Preparing for a new semester means shelling out big money for school supplies… like electronics.

CGTN’s Hu Chao has more from Shanxi Province.

Thirty-three-year-old Chen Jia is selecting a tablet computer for her daughter’s studies. Such a device will cost around 2,500 yuan- nearly $400. Chen said she’ll spend thousands of yuan on her daughter before the start of the semester.

“I guess I will spend 3 to 5,000 yuan this time for my daughter. This tablet computer is a bit expensive, but I think it’ll be helpful for her studies. So I think it’s worth it,” said Chen Jia.

Many stores that sell electronic devices say their sales have doubled ahead of the new semester. Sales include tablet computers, electronic watches and even some robot teachers.

Chen Jia said as a parent, she would buy anything that she can afford to help with her daughter’s studies.

“As the new generation of parents, I think we keep up with trends better than our parents. We’re willing to try new commodities that we believe are helpful for our kids.”

Sales of books, stationery and other items for students have also gone up.

“As school will soon begin, the sale of self-help books, literature classics and reference books have doubled,” said Zhang Yaqin, head of the educational department at Shanxi Xinhua Book Store.

Many parents say they usually spend around 1,000 yuan for a single kid before school begins. Those two-child parents have to spend even more.

“I often have to spend thousands of yuan for my two kids, mostly on stationery and books,” said Yang Lijuan, a parent. “I even have to pay more for their after-school classes. That will cost tens of thousands of yuan.”

As the back to school economy continues to boom, many social experts are calling on parents to raise awareness of rational consumption and also help their kids build a right attitude towards spending.

Fanghua Jiang discusses the increase in spending on school supplies for Chinese students

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Fanghua Jiang, founder of the Children’s Cooperation Center, about the increases in spending on school supplies in China.