For couples, that meant there were few places to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday. But some came up with creative ways to declare their love.
In a nod to the scarcity of fresh vegetables, people ordered nicely wrapped bouquets of broccoli, cauliflowers and snacks, according to data from the delivery service Meituan. Others sent face masks, goggles and wipes, the data showed.
Online meal orders also reflected the crisis at hand. Last Valentine’s Day, the most popular orders were steak sets for two, hot pot and Cantonese food. This year, the top choices included simpler options — pizza and basic Chinese meals.
Hotels, of course, have seen bookings plummet. Zhang Lu, vice president of Myriad, a chain of 40 “love hotels” across the country, said the vast majority of them were closed on government orders. Some were being used as quarantine sites.
“I really hope this is going to end soon,” Ms. Zhang said.
Many people were stranded far away from their significant others because of travel restrictions. On the social platform Weibo, people shared makeup tips for online video chats and recipes for homemade meals, under the trending topic “it’s a long-distance relationship for everyone this year.”
For florists who count on Valentine’s Day business, the situation was brutal. In Dounan Flower Market in the southwestern province of Yunnan, sellers had to dump millions of roses, according to a report by Jiemian, a Chinese news site. The price of roses had collapsed while the cost of delivery soared.
“Right now many people are worried about whether they can buy enough food,” one seller said. “They are not in the mood for flowers.”