11 pm. With light music playing in the background, I light a fragrant candle, drape my face with a moisturizing mask, and rub lotion on my body. This is no daily bedtime ritual but a wakeup call of sorts. For a busy ‘day’ awaits. The night’s young, as they say – it’s time to shop. Online, that is.

Taobao is the first app I hit to check on the day’s hot deals. My shopping record on the app shows I spent roughly 2,000 yuan ($285) in October. About 80 percent of the purchases were made during evenings. My top three favorites are: clothes, skincare products and cosmetics.

Money also flows out into online orders for food. With a few quick taps on my nifty smartphone, I can choose from a variety of delivery apps. Within minutes, my favorite foods arrive in thermal packaging boxes, hot, aromatic, and fresh.

The 'dark' side of consumption



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