Total sales by China’s e-commerce giant JD.com rose 10.3% over the 18 days to Sunday during the first major shopping festival since a recent COVID-19 outbreak, the firm said, sharply down from the 2021 event’s growth of 27.7%.
This year’s figure was the slowest for the retailer, showing how consumer appetite in the world’s second-largest economy has been shriveled by lockdowns to halt the Omicron variant of coronavirus and slowing economic conditions.
Chinese shoppers purchased 379.3 billion yuan ($56.48 billion) of goods on JD’s platform over the “618” period, it said on its official WeChat account.
The 618 event is China’s second-largest shopping festival after Singles Day in November and was initiated in 2004 to mark JD.com’s founding anniversary.
But Consultancy Syntun estimated that Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace, JD.com, and Pinduoduo together achieved 578.4 billion yuan ($85.89 billion) worth of 618 sales last year, up 26.5% on the year.
Shopping festivals have traditionally been popular in China, with many buyers delaying purchases to benefit from the massive discounts they offer to entice shoppers.