JD.com sales during China shopping festival better than expected

(Source: Reuters/Tingshu Wang)

Sales on JD.com e-commerce site during China’s mid-year shopping festival – the first major shopping event since country’s reopening – grew more than expected, brokerages said.

JD.com saw sales rise 6-8 per cent over the 618 festival period that ran from late May through to Sunday evening, according to a client note from Citi analysts. That beat Citi’s expectations of 2-5 per cent growth.

That estimate was, however, still less than 10.3 per cent growth for JD.com’s gross merchandising value (GMV) logged last year and 27.7 per cent growth in 2021.

The festival, named after the founding date of JD.com but embraced by all e-commerce platforms, is a key barometer of Chinese consumer spending.

JD.com has said it will not release its GMV figures for the festival period this year, only noting that sales hit a record – a milestone which was expected. Alibaba has also stopped releasing GMV figures for the so-called Singles Day shopping festival period in November in the face of slowing sales.

The festival period this year was marked by fierce competition, with platforms offering billions of yuan in coupons and subsidies to entice Chinese consumers to spend.

Subdued sentiment among shoppers, worried about the job and property markets, bodes ill for China’s post-pandemic recovery, which is already losing steam.

Retail sales climbed 12.7 per cent in May, missing a consensus estimate of 13.6 per cent growth and slowing from 18.4 per cent growth in April.

Goldman Sachs analysts said in a client note said JD.com sales during 618 “slightly” exceeded expectations, while Jefferies analysts said the event “surpassed expectations and set new records.” Neither provided numerical estimates.

  • Reporting by Casey Hall in Shanghai and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Editing by Edwina Gibbs, of Reuters.

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