Profile: 91-yr-old Chinese scientist relishes online shopping spree
XI'AN, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Ye Jundao, 91, made a long shopping list and put the preferred items, including an electric wheelchair and a box of milk powder for his wife, on the online shopping cart.
The preparation is for the "Double Eleven," an annual shopping spree deemed the Chinese version of Black Friday, which falls on Thursday this year.
Ye, from Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, is a scientist in the field of defense technology. After retiring from work in 1991, he has continued to lead an active life -- reading the newspaper, delivering lectures at colleges, and giving speeches. "I don't feel tired. Working cheers me up," Ye said.
He added that he never gets bored with exploring fancy things. He uses smartphones skillfully to read news, buy stocks, listen to the local Qinqiang opera, and even place orders for take-out meals.
His online shopping experience started two years ago, with his first order being a remote-controlled light for his wife.
"Moving around was hard for my wife as she suffers from cerebral infarction. The light enabled her to control the light without getting off the bed," he said.
The shopping experience, with an order worth 360 yuan (about 56 U.S. dollars), was however not that pleasant. He found that the light wasn't working at the beginning.
"The customer service promised me a replacement, but how could I return it since I had already unpacked it," Ye recalled. "At that time, I thought I would no longer shop online."
Thanks to the assistance from the customer service, he could later make the light work.
Since then Ye has become somewhat a "shopaholic" and bought many quality items such as a computer chair and kitchenware.
The annual "Double Eleven" festival was first started by Alibaba's e-commerce platform on Nov. 11, 2009, and quickly grew into a major shopping event.
The shopping spree sees the participation of record 290,000 brands this year with discounts on more than 14 million items on Alibaba's Tmall platform.
A wrinkled face and grey hairs can barely dampen Ye's spirits. He said that he feels very young and is open to young people's attitudes toward consumption and online shopping.
"We are used to living a frugal life, while the living conditions are getting better with the development of society," he said. "I support youths to have their own lifestyle, and to consume in line with their earnings."
Ye's shopping list has two special gifts: a collection of stamps and a book for his great-grandchild.
The commemorative stamps feature images of pioneers in China's nuclear industry, while the book tells stories of the elderly scientists in atomic bomb and hydrogen bomb research.
"My great-grandson often asks me to tell him stories, and this is the best storybook for him," Ye said.
"I would like to set an example for children by keeping abreast with the times and staying open to new ideas," he added. "I can catch up with what they are doing, like online shopping, and I believe they will excel at what we have done." Enditem