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What is 拼客 (pīn kè) in China?

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You're probably familiar with Groupon. But did you know that China also has more than 800 group buying websites, of which Groupon is just one? 

或许你对团购网站Groupon(高朋团购)已经比较熟悉了。但你或许不知道,中国目前已经有超过800家团购网站了,而Groupon只是其中一家。

In fact, in China group buying is said to be more than just a way to get a cheap meal or movie ticket. The group buyers—拼客 (pīn kè)—are almost like a social movement unto themselves.

事实上,在中国,团购已经不仅仅只是用来订购便宜饭菜或电影票的方式了。这些团购者,即所谓的拼客,几乎像是经历一场自身的社会运动。

拼客 (pīnkè) is Chinese slang term for group buyers who get together to save money by increasing their negotiating leverage or by using resources more efficiently. While it often takes place impersonally through group buying sites, it can also be a very social activity among strangers as well. 拼客 are involved in a variety of activities such as:

中文俚语拼客(pīnkè),指的是那些聚集在一起,通过增加谈判筹码或是更有效地使用资源来达到省钱目的的人。这种活动通常在团购网站上进行,不过有时也会成为陌生人之间的社交活动。拼客们参与各种各样的活动,比如:

Renting homes together to save money

拼房 pīn fáng 

Eating together to save money

拼餐 pīn cān

Hanging out together to save money

拼玩 pīn wán

Renting cars together to save money

拼车 pīn chē

Traveling together to save money

拼游 pīn yóu

Here's a breakdown of the characters in "拼客":

"拼客"一词可拆解为:

拼 (pīn): to link or connect 

eg. 拼凑 pīn còu

客 (kè): customer or person 

eg. 顾客 gù kè

It's worth noting that 拼客 have come to represent more than just an activity or hobby. They've come to represent a new kind of thriftier lifestyle and mentality that's becoming increasingly popular in China (alongside the standard conspicuous consumption).

值得一提的是,拼客不仅仅代表了一种活动或爱好。他们也代表着一种节约的新生活方式和心态。这种新趋势与挥霍消费抗衡,逐渐在国内流行起来。

Here are some examples of how the word 拼客 is used:

1) To reduce living costs, we bought food, rented cars, and got cards with other people—we basically came to lead a life of group buyers

为降低生活成本,我们与他人拼饭、拼车、拼卡,就过上了拼客的生活。

wèi jiàng dīshēng huó chéng běn, wǒ men yǔ tā rén pīn fàn, pīn chē, pīn kǎ, jiù guò shàng le pīn kè de shēng huó

2) Many private car owners frequently go to websites and post to find fellows, and provide a free card ride. 

很多私家车主经常到网站上发帖寻找同路线的拼客,提供免费拼车。

Hěn duō sī jiā chē zhǔ jīng cháng dào wǎng zhàn shàng fā tiě xún zhǎo tóng lù xiàn de pīn kè, tí gōng miǎn fèi pīn chē

Please note that here this is an unusual usage of 拼客 that actually refers to the thriftier mindset rather than group buying per se.

注意,这里所说的拼客,实际上是指节约理念,而非团购本身。

3) A reporter found that, city residents had different views towards group buyers.

记者采访发现,对于拼客一族,很多市民都持有不同的态度

jì zhě cǎi fǎng fā xiàn, duì yú pīn  kè yì zú, hěn duō shì mín dōu chí yǒu bù tóng de tài dù.

Have you ever tried joining the 拼客 in China? What'd you think?

你是否也曾想加入中国的拼客一族呢?又是怎么看待的呢?

The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source (info.chinlingo.com) for any use, reproduction or transfer. 

本文由Chinlingo编译后发布,如需转载,请标明来源:info.chinlingo.com.

2016-06-21

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