As the clock strikes past midnight, JD.com saw a record-breaking transaction volume of 127.5 billion yuan ($20 billion) for the 618 Mid-Year Shopping Festival that took place officially on June 18. The entire record was for the period between June 1 at 00:00 a.m. and June 18 at 00:10 a.m.
The 6.18 Shopping Festival originated as the anniversary celebration of JD.com, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in China, as it was founded June 18, 1998. It has now evolved to become a mid-year “Black Friday” where all e-commerce platforms compete with one another for a grab at the Chinese consumers’ wallets.
Last year, the amount of total transactions attributable to the festival was 119.9 billion yuan. For reference, the Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping festival recorded a slightly higher figure of 120.7 billion yuan half a year prior on November 11, 2016.
This year, the record was broken at 2:40 p.m. on June 17 when the sales figures already surpassed 119.9 billion yuan.
Father’s Day, Dragon Boat Festival and the World Cup
The 20th anniversary of China’s second-largest e-commerce platform happens to coincide with Father’s Day, the traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, and the World Cup games this year, giving consumers all the more reasons to fill up their shopping carts.
Possibly reflective of gift selections, sales of smartphones from brands such as OnePlus, Lenovo, and vivo all exceeded an increase of 100 percent from the same time last year. Notably, OnePlus saw an increase of 24 times in their sales figures as compared to last year. Huawei, one of the most popular phone brands along with Apple, Honor, and Xiaomi, also saw the sales of its laptops multiply 16 times.
To celebrate the traditional Chinese holiday better known as Duanwu Festival, more than 90 million zongzi were sold. Zongzi is a traditional Chinese food served as must-have for the Duanwu Festival. Wrapping sticky rice in reed leaves with various stuffings in triangular-based pyramid shapes, zongzi packed in two in supermarkets is priced from 10 yuan on.
Another dish said to be the best game-watching complement is crawfish – 30 million of which were sold through the JD.com 618 shopping festival alone.
Perhaps another compensation for being absent from Russia, the sales of 4k 60-inch or larger televisions have skyrocketed to reach 3.5 times of the figure from same time last year. Sales of 1080p projectors also saw a 170 percent increase from last year.
Behind all the numbers is JD.com’s concept of “borderless retail”. Similar to Alibaba’s “new retail”, this concept put into practice is “the integration of supply chains as to satisfy the consumer demand of shopping anywhere at any time”, as Liu Qiangdong, founder and CEO of JD.com explained.
Having hit its own record as expected, will JD.com be able to beat Taobao at 2017 Singles’ Day sales record of 168.2 billion yuan at the end of the day? Only time will tell.