During this year’s 618 festival, China's mid-year shopping event, JD.com experienced stronger-than-anticipated sales growth. During the festival, which was the first major shopping event since the country’s reopening after the pandemic, JD.com witnessed a 6-8% increase in sales in the period from 31 May until 18 June. However, this growth fell short of the 10.3% growth recorded in JD.com's gross merchandising value (GMV) last year and the 27.7% growth in 2021.
Named after JD.com’s founding date, the festival was launched by the Chinese eCommerce giant in 2010. Despite its initial conception as a solitary company promotion similar to Singles' Day, the increasing fame across the entire nation has enticed various retailers like Alibaba, kaola.com, vip.com, and ymatou.com.
While JD.com did not disclose its GMV figures for this year's festival, it confirmed that sales reached a record high, as expected. Similarly, Alibaba has also halted the release of GMV figures for the Singles’ Day, the biggest online shopping festival in China, due to sluggish sales.
During this festival period, intense competition ensued as platforms offered substantial coupons and subsidies to incentivize Chinese consumers. However, subdued sentiment among shoppers, concerned about the job and property markets, raises concerns for China's post-pandemic recovery, which is already losing momentum. Retail sales in May rose by 12.7%, falling short of the consensus estimate of 13.6% growth and decelerating from the 18.4% growth in April.