3 min. reading

First Slump For One of China’s Biggest E-commerce Stocks

Every year, from 1 to 18 June, Chinese e-commerce stores go overboard with promotions, discounts and novelties to attract customers during the 618 event. But now, for the first time, it has seen a drop in sales.

First Slump For One of China’s Biggest E-commerce Stocks
Source: Depositphotos

618 is the second largest shopping event in China after Singles’ Day, which takes place on 11 November. Both events are seen as indicators of trends, consumer spending and economic health. However, the last Singles’ Day did not excel in terms of sales.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is behind the shopping event, which celebrates its founding date of 18 June. Over time, it has grown into a major shopping event, with several platforms such as Tmall (Alibaba) and Pinduoduo (PDD Holdings) participating and offering extensive discounts and promotions.

The extension didn’t work either

Syntun, a retail data provider in the local market, says the recovery in the world’s second-largest economy has been slow. Gross merchandise value (GMV) during the event fell 7% year-on-year to 742.8 billion yuan (€95.6 billion), the first decline since Syntun started tracking the event in 2016

Some companies, such as Tmall, have extended their sales period to stimulate demand and started trading as early as 20 May. But weak consumer confidence amidst high youth unemployment and an ongoing property crisis seems to be taking a toll.

Source: Cnbc.com

Boosting live broadcasting

Live shopping is a success, however. The concept came along with the pandemic and is growing despite the current general downturn. In China, it is a popular concept that can bring a company decent sales and customer interest. Zara, for example, launches five-hour streams on China’s Douyin, where models show clothes and accessories. It can attract an average of around 800,000 unique viewers per broadcast.

“Social media platforms with live broadcasts helped generate a gross merchandise value (GMV) of 206.8 billion yuan (26.5 billion euros) in this 618, up from 184.4 billion yuan (23.7 billion euros) in 2023, with ByteDance Douyin generating the highest GMV through this segment, according to Syntun,” reports CNBC.

Impact on European e-commerce

We do not expect a direct impact on local sales, as the situation reflects the economic challenges faced by the younger generation in China in particular. In addition, the live shopping format is not yet as established and popular in Europe.

However, we can focus on consumer behaviour, which is changing with inflation.  And we will find out if our wallets are emptier during local Black Friday and Christmas sales.

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