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Online sales of Yunnan succulents form new trend of consumption

Updated:2021-02-23 10:40:32   Yunan Daily

“My dear friends, the succulents on my hands look like beautiful cups, and the chrysanthemum species are snow white.” Xie Xin was having a live stream on her potted succulents at the Gumupai Breeding Base in central Yunnan’s Chenggong District. 

Xie, a native of northeast Yunnan’s Zhaotong, runs the succulent growing base. She has been in love of flowers since childhood.

Xie’s love to succulent plants dates back to 2015, when she had a drive tour to east China’s Hangzhou city. “With cute looks, succulents are a magic plant. Gazing at them, my gloomy moods will be gone soon.” 

In 2018, Xie Xin quitted her stable job in Shanghai, returning to Kunming, Yunnan province. By setting up the base, she started a brand new business of breeding succulents. Out of true love, her husband Jin Ximing also moved to Yunnan from his home province of Anhui. 

In growing succulents over the years, Xie has learned more on professional knowledge, and the daily talks with her husband focus on succulent breeding.  

Now, her 0.66-hectare garden is occupied by arrays of stands for succulents in varied colors and categories. What a sight the succulents form! 

Along with Xie’s progress, succulent breeding has grown fast to be a popular business from a little-known trade. 

“When first getting to know about succulents in 2015, I could hardly search  their information on Taobao,” said Xie. “Now, there are thousands of succulent stores on the e-market place, and many of them are registered as Kunming enterprises.”   

As e-commerce made a hit in China in 2018, Xie Xin “married” succulent breeding and internet business, selling the cute plants online.   

Now, the online selling team has live streams as long as 12 to 15 hours daily, with the sales ranging from 50, 000 to 200,000 yuan. In exploring the “Internet plus succulent” business model, Xie rolled out the succulent-caring services.  

Three year ago, Mr. Ding from east Yunnan’s Qujing had been starting planting succulents, but he’s been busy with work and had the cute plants frostbitten. 

“It’s one of my routines to take the recovered succulents from the breeding base, while sending the newly frostbitten ones to Xie,” said Ding. Thanks to the succulent-caring services by the Gumupai base, his flowers are now as lovely as ever. 

Such services are also recognized by clients outside Yunnan, who see Xie’s staff members as “succulent beauticians”.  

From succulent breed to succulent sale and care, Xie’s team has made succulent a business with increasing beauty and profit. Over the past two years, they set up new succulent-breeding bases in Kunming, Yuxi and Wenshan. 

“In Kunming’s Xundian, we taught local farmers in growing succulent in their corn fields. As a result, their income was increased by over 10 times,” said Xie, adding they are exploring new business modes, such as succulent design for landscapes and farmland inns.  

As winter gives way to spring, Xie’s team is busy again. She hopes that more people could love succulents and join in the beautiful business.   

Reporting by Han Chengyuan, Duan Jianxin, Li Wenjun and Ma Yifei; Trans-editing by Zhu Dongran and Wang Shixue

Keywords:   Yunnan succulents