Chinese site JD.com posts slowest growth ever in ‘618’ trade event

BEIJING, June 19 (Reuters) – Total sales at Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com (9618.HK) rose 10.3% in the 18 days to Sunday in the first major shopping festival since the recent coronavirus outbreak. COVID-19, the company announced. , down sharply from the 27.7% growth of the 2021 event.

This year’s figure was the slowest for the retailer, showing how consumer appetite in the world’s second-largest economy has been hit by lockdowns to stop the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and slowing economic conditions.

Chinese buyers purchased 379.3 billion yuan ($56.48 billion) worth of goods on JD’s platform during the “618” period, it said on its official WeChat account.

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“We are further improving delivery services in urban and rural areas,” he added in a statement, referring to efforts at the event which relied on its supply chain infrastructure and its digital intelligence technology.

The 618 event is China’s second largest shopping festival after Singles Day in November and was launched in 2004 to mark the founding anniversary of JD.com.

JD.com’s rivals, led by Alibaba Group (9988.HK) and Pinduoduo (PDD.O) tend not to publish 618 digits.

But consultancy Syntun estimated that online e-commerce platforms including Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace, JD.com and Pinduoduo together made 582.6 billion yuan ($86.75 billion). ) out of 618 sales this year, almost flat from last year’s 578.5 billion yuan.

Despite efforts by e-commerce companies this year, including to simplify promotion rules and offer deeper discounts, “market reaction has been lukewarm,” Syntun said in a report on Sunday.

Shopping festivals are traditionally popular in China, with many shoppers delaying purchases to take advantage of the massive discounts they offer to entice shoppers.

But there were already signs of falling consumer demand at such events last year, when rival Alibaba recorded sales growth of just 8.5% during its Singles Day frenzy, also the most slow all the time.

Over the past three months, China’s battle to contain COVID-19 has resulted in lockdowns of varying intensity in dozens of cities, in turn affecting spending, livelihoods and supply chains. supply.

To boost demand this year, major e-commerce platforms have been pushing brands to offer deeper discounts for the 618 event, but some companies and agents told Reuters they plan to reduce that attendance. Read more

Besides e-commerce businesses, more Internet platforms and offline stores have joined this year’s event, including short video platforms Douyin and Kuaishou (1024.HK).

($1 = 6.7160 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Sophie Yu, Brenda Goh; edited by David Evans

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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