But the bouquet was no romantic surprise from a boyfriend, it
was "self-love", Wu said.
The 27-year-old thinks women should spend money to please
themselves instead of other people.
"I buy flowers for myself because it not only makes me feel
cherished, but I can also become more patient by taking care of
them," she said.
Wu, who subscribes to a weekly delivery service provided by
Flowerplus, an e-commerce startup, said buying blooms has also
become a habit for many of her colleagues in the fund company she
works for, especially young women.
Now, once again, Chinese are showing their floral
Internet consulting company iResearch estimates the country's
cut-flower e-commerce market expanded from 1.2 billion yuan in 2013
to 12.4 billion yuan in 2017 and is likely to reach nearly 50
billion yuan by 2021.
Tmall's data show that women's consumption of flowers, books,
tourism, wire-free bras, flat shoes and other so-called
treat-yourself products is continuing to grow significantly.
Mao Haipeng, from the Yunnan Dounan Flower Industry Group, said,
"This is part of a natural shift as China's economy has developed
and families have started to have more disposable income for items
that may have been seen as wasteful in the past."
While some households still grow blooms at home, more are
switching to buying cut flowers for their freshness and variety,
"Flowers are becoming a necessity for Chinese families," he
Mao's group runs the international flower trading market in
Dounan county, Yunnan province. In just three decades, the town has
expanded from a rural backwater to become Asia's biggest flower
market, supplying more than 75 percent of China's cut blooms and
exporting flowers throughout the region.
"Demand has been so great that there are now about 300,000
farmers cultivating 1.5 million hectares of flowers in the
province, up from just a few dozen growers and less than 10,000
hectares back in the 1990s," Mao said.