China's major e-commerce platforms including JD and Alibaba's Tmall kicked off this year 618 mid-year shopping festival on Tuesday with record sales, reflecting the massive buying power of Chinese consumers in a virus free environment while underscoring the strong resilience of the economy.
Unlike previous years, this year's 618 e-commerce extravaganza began pre-sales from May 24, and will last 20 days till June 20.
On the first day, JD saw its sales from JD Super - its online supermarket - surge more than 7 times year-on-year, with numbers of brands reporting better-than-expected sales, according to JD data.
The platform reported that the transaction volume of iPhones exceeded 100 million yuan ($15.7 million) in just 5 seconds, compared with 5 minutes for Xiaomi smartphones. In addition, local infant milk formula brand Feihe, Danish toy giant LEGO and UK consumer goods brand Unilever saw their sales on JD jump 10 times year-on-year, 15 times and 20 times, respectively.
It's worth noting that Chinese local brands stood out during this year's 618 event. The transaction of indigenous sports brands rose four times year-on-year on JD, and that of domestic cosmetic brands skyrocketed 64 times. By contrast, over 900 core international brands posted growth over 100 percent year-on-year on the platform.
Tmall data showed that the spending of its premium "88VIP" members jumped 221 percent year-on-year, sparking a strong start for the shopping festival.
Laptop brand Lenovo said that the sales volume of its PC products on all e-commerce platforms exceeded 100 million yuan in total in 2 minutes. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun posted on Chinese social media Sina Weibo that 500,000 sets of its Xiaomi Note 10 series were sold in an hour.
During this year's 618 event, major e-commerce platforms stepped up efforts to offer shopping coupons and discounts as well as the use of livestreaming product promotions to boost consumers' enthusiasm.
Tmall said that a total of 250,000 brands on the marketplace will participate in the event, which is 2.5 times larger than that of last year. Platforms are expected to offer subsidies worth 10 billion yuan across the 20-day event.
According to Suning, individual consumers can save at least 1,100 yuan by buying an iPhone 12 with 128G memory on the platform, accounting for use of a discount and shopping coupons.