China’s digital commerce: the recovery strategies of hospitality and tourism businesses during the COVID-19 crisis

Yean Shan Beh, Yit Sean Chong, Xinyi Li

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China is one of the first countries in Asia to gradually resume hospitality (e.g., lodging) and tourism activities (e.g., leisure travel, retail shopping) during the COVID-19 crisis. The widespread use of digital commerce in China is one of the key factors behind the swift resumption of the industry. The country is at the forefront of service innovation through its use of digital commerce, which includes both ecommerce and social commercemodels. Against this backdrop, this chapter explains the basis of the recovery strategies adopted by China’s hospitality industry during the COVID-19 crisis from a digital commerce viewpoint. Our discussions include key examples of digital commerce features adopted by hotels and the Chinese travel industry as part of their recovery strategies. The chapter begins with an overview of the digital commerce landscape in Asia, primarily covering the trends and changes within it during the COVID-19 crisis. This is followed by a presentation of the strategies that industry players adopted to navigate through the crisis. The next section offers a discussion focused on dynamic capabilities as a new competitive advantage, digital service innovations, the adoption of social commerce, and strategic directives from the government. The chapter concludes with a summary of the key challenges and learnings from the discussion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOVID-19 and the Evolving Business Environment in Asia
Subtitle of host publicationThe Hidden Impact on the Economy, Business and Society
EditorsAndrei O. J. Kwok, Motoki Watabe, Sharon G.M. Koh
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789811927492
ISBN (Print)9789811927485
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Business recovery
  • Business resumption
  • Hospitality
  • Tourism industry
  • China’s digital commerce
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Resource mobilization

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