Online shopping

Post-lockdown Shanghai among top spending cities in China’s 618 online shopping extravaganza

Residents of Shanghai, who recently emerged from a two-month citywide lockdown, were among the most active shoppers during this year’s June 18 shopping festival, although lower spending consumption across the country continues to weigh on the outlook for the industry.

Shanghai has ranked second in purchasing power among all mainland Chinese cities in JD.com’s 618 festival so far this year, the e-commerce giant said Saturday.

The online shopping extravaganza, launched by JD in 2004 to mark the company’s sixth anniversary, has since become China’s biggest e-commerce event after Singles’ Day in November. This year’s JD event runs from May 23 to June 20.

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In terms of average spending, Shanghai ranked third, behind Beijing and Tibet, Liu Hui, who heads JD’s Consumer Research and Industry Development Institute, said in an online broadcast. live on Saturday.

Shoppers on a pedestrian street in Shanghai, China, on Saturday. Photo: Bloomberg alt=Shoppers on a pedestrian street in Shanghai, China on Saturday. Photo: Bloomberg>

Economic activities are slowly resuming in Shanghai and neighboring areas, after the financial hub began allowing residents to leave their homes on June 1.

More than two months of disruptions to manufacturing, logistics and other activities have caused “a greater economic blow than most previous lockdowns in China,” said Louis Kuijs, chief Asia-Pacific economist at China. S&P Global Ratings, in a note last month. .

“With the easing of pandemic restrictions in Shanghai, our experts are optimistic about the year-over-year growth of the gross merchandise volume (GMV) trend for beauty e-commerce during the upcoming shopping festival. 618 in China, especially for big brands,” Jamie Chen, an analyst at consultancy Third Bridge, said earlier this week.

Pinduoduo, another major Chinese e-commerce platform, launched its 618 promotions on May 23. Data released by the company on Saturday showed that the GMV of makeup products and home appliances more than doubled.

“However, our experts are cautious about the full-year growth rate as revenge-spending behavior is expected to decline this year as consumers seek to spend more rationally,” Chen said.

Xin Lijun, managing director of JD Retail, told Bloomberg News this week that “the impact in Covid-stricken cities is obviously greater” and that the company is concerned “that there is no quick recovery”.

JD rival Alibaba Group Holding, owner of the South China Morning Postis also running its own June 18 promotion on its online marketplace Tmall, offering discounts and vouchers to customers between May 26 and June 20.

Data from Tmall showed that some of the platform’s most popular merchandise this year includes fishing gear and camping gear as outdoor activities gained traction under strict Covid-19 measures. 19, which included restrictions on restaurants and shopping.

The GMV of fishing gear increased by nearly half between May 31 and June 3 from a year earlier, while the GMV of camping gear more than doubled, according to Tmall.

Other products that flew off the shelves include pet products, which saw their GMV more than double, Tmall said. The GMV of smart pet devices, including self-cleaning cat litter boxes, jumped nearly 150%.

This year’s event also saw a major new contender: WeChat, the ubiquitous super app operated by Tencent Holdings, launched its own 618 festival on its short video service channels.

Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for information on its sales figures.

Overall, this year’s 618 Festival seems more low-key than in previous years, as platforms such as Alibaba and JD have shifted their focus from bragging about sales to promoting the level of service they can provide traders.

“Overall consumer spending power remains low in 2022, and the consumer population has shifted to the post-2000 generation,” analyst Chen said. “These consumers have strong national brand recognition and have more choices, but their purchasing power is not strong.”

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice journal on China and Asia for over a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2022 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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