The 618 Shopping Festival is an annual promotional event initiated by JD.com, a leading e-commerce powerhouse in China, as a tribute to its founding day. Alongside the Singles’ Day(Double 11) shopping festival introduced by its prominent competitor, Taobao, the 618 Shopping Festival has evolved into one of the most highly anticipated promotions on Chinese e-commerce platforms, commanding significant attention and participation throughout the year.

Commencing in June, JD.com orchestrates a series of captivating promotions, culminating on June 18th, the pinnacle day offering the most substantial discounts. Over time, this event has garnered immense interest from other platforms, propelling it into a prominent and eagerly awaited festival within China’s vibrant e-commerce industry.

E-commerce holds a significant position within China’s consumer market, profoundly impacting the retail landscape.  The realm of e-commerce platforms is witnessing a gradual shift towards diversification, characterised by the emergence of various innovative models.  Alongside the widely recognised combined e-commerce platforms like Jingdong and Tmall, the consumer market has witnessed the rise of live-streaming e-commerce and retail e-commerce platforms in recent years.

In 2022, the total sales on e-commerce platforms during the 618 Shopping Festival reached 695.9 billion yuan (approximately 79.6 billion pounds). The comprehensive e-commerce platform sales accounted for 582.6 billion yuan(66.7 billion pounds), with Tmall leading the list, followed by Jingdong and Pinduoduo. In addition, the sales of live-streaming e-commerce platforms, such as Douyin and Kuaishou, continued to soar. Their sales totalled 144.5 billion yuan(16.5 billion pounds), a 124% increase from last year.

JD.com officially launched the 2023 618 Shopping Festival through a launch conference on May 22. As the first and most influential e-commerce promotion since the end of quarantine in the Chinese mainland, the consumption data of this year’s 618 Shopping Festival may reflect the consumption traits and trends of Chinese consumers in the post-COVID-19 era.

With its immense influence and popularity, the festival’s consumption data will provide invaluable insights into Chinese consumers’ evolving preferences and habits.

On the other hand, advertising during 618 can be a strategic move for businesses hoping to drive product sales in China.  The increased consumer activity and promotional offers during this period present an opportunity to reach a wider audience and generate revenue.

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