Shanghai shoppers embrace mid-year promotions

Ding Yining
Local buyers have been particularly active in recent online sales and promotions launched by, Tmall and others.
Ding Yining
Shanghai shoppers embrace mid-year promotions

Shanghai was again among the top ranking cities during the June 18 mid-year sales campaign as local shoppers embraced the latest gadgets and took advantage of discounts offered by e-tailers.’s combined sales during the June 1-18 period picked up 34 percent from a year ago to 259.2 billion yuan (US$36.5 billion), with food and beverages, infant, personal-care and beauty categories attracting the most buyers. 

Fresh food, medical and nutritional supplements, and kitchen ware were among the fastest growing sectors. 

The top cities in terms of spending size were Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. 

JD’s recent tie-up with short-video and livestreaming site Kuaishou reaped 1.42 billion yuan in transactions as fashion idols and top influencers joined to promote discount items.

Online retailers are using the mid-year sales event to unleash consumption potential and make up for loss of sales earlier in the year. 

The occasion, which was originally designed to celebrate the anniversary of JD's founding in Beijing on June 18, 1998, has extended its promotional campaign to cover June 1 to 20 in recent years, and many major online retailers also followed suit.

Alibaba’s Tmall reported 698.2 billion yuan in sales after the digital shopping giant, merchants and even local governments offered some 14 billion yuan worth of coupons and subsidies for shoppers to help revive the economy. 

Shanghai was in top place according to Alibaba’s Tmall ranking, followed by Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. LCD TV sets, kitchen hygiene machines and sandwich makers were the top selling items for Shanghai consumers. 

Alibaba’s import site Tmall Global said sales over the period surged 43 percent. Sales on June 1 surpassed 100 million yuan in just three minutes. 

More than 25,000 overseas brands are participating in the mid-year event on Tmall Global and products from France, Italy, Spain and Japan recorded an annual increase of more than 30 percent. 

Shanghai-headquartered Pinduoduo said it has offered subsidies toward 130 million merchandise, and its promotional activities which kicked off on May 25 recorded a 119 percent increase of orders. 

Online shopping rebate site Fanli said that those aged between 20 and 40 are the most active shoppers amid the promotions, and Shanghai consumers spent the most. Apparel, home decoration items, food and sportswear are their favorites, the site said. 

Total rebates were estimated at 170 million yuan, and travel-related spending and auto services have been the fastest growing areas.

Carrefour China, an affiliate of Suning, also reported a 185 percent increase of sales. 

Huatai Securities expects online sales to maintain strong momentum; with skincare, beauty and snacks set to benefit the most. 

Local private consultancy China E-commerce Research Center noted that consumers have been eager to stock daily necessities as record levels of discounts were offered by digital retailers, which has helped release pent-up demand. 

Major domestic e-tailers reported strong income growth in the first quarter, despite an overall dip of 0.8 percent in online physical goods sales due to lack of delivery capacity during coronavirus lockdown periods. 

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, e-commerce sales of physical goods increased 16 percent in April from the year-ago period, picking up from an 11 percent gain in March. 

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