618 (i.e. 18 June) is China’s largest mid-year shopping festival. Originally launched by JD.com 18 years ago to commemorate the company’s launch, it has since been adopted by all major e-commerce platforms and retailers. Similar to Taobao’s Singles’ Day, platforms offer considerable discounts and promotions to consumers.
The festival usually runs between 1 and 20 June, but pre-sales for 618 began on 24 May this year. The hashtag ‘#618 pre-sales’ (#618预售) was trending on Weibo yesterday with 530 million views. Many netizens were surprised to see that the shopping festival started earlier and lasted longer than in previous years.
Among the conversation, many were talking about Li Jiaqi’s livestream. Also known as the ‘king of lipstick’, the top livestreamer was watched 1.13 billion times as he kicked off pre-sales live on Taobao yesterday. He introduced 226 products that were mainly of interest to female consumers.
So how are e-commerce platforms preparing for the shopping festival?
This year, 20 million JD.com employees across the entire supply chain are involved in the shopping festival. The e-commerce platform aims to help 230 brands achieve over 100 million RMB ($15.6 million) in sales and 12,000 mid-and-small-sized merchants double their transactions.
Over 250,000 brands are selling 13 million products during 618 on Tmall. Among them, 6800 brands and 1.4 million products are debuting on the platform.
Douyin (Chinese TikTok)
This is the first time that Douyin has been officially involved in 618. The ‘Douyin 618 good products festival’ (抖音618好物节) will take place from 1 June to 18 June; pre-sales kicked off today and last six days. During the period, Douyin will offer discounts on platform service fees for merchants, brands, and livestreamers.
Read more about shopping festivals in China: