Guangdong consumers powering ahead online

The “Double 11” shopping festival in November is not the only time of the year that Chinese consumers go crazy on their smartphones. They can’t wait that long, and so the “6.18 Shopping Festival”, a mid-year sale extravaganza of online shopping platforms like Tmall, Taobao, JD.com, and Vipshop, was created for them. 

The festival took place this year on – surprise, surprise – June 18th. (Actually, yesterday was when it finished. It began on June 1.) What was most notable this time around was the relative strength of Guangdong participants, who did their province proud. Not only did Guangdong end up boasting the largest number of brands selling more than RMB100 million over the festival, but Guangdong consumers also overtook their peers from other provinces atop the buying boards.

“Technology-empowered quality consumption prevailed as the overall trend of this year’s festival,” a senior official was quoted by local media as saying, pointing out that both online and offline sales saw a significant increase. No exact figures were given, because this is a private party, and so the national statistics bureau doesn’t know. JD.com said it saw good business, booking RMB179.5 billion in sales, up 12.5%. The much-smaller Suning said sales jumped 171% – both online and offline. Alibaba was being coy, saying Tmall saw more than 100 brands’ sales surpass their numbers for the Singles Day shopping festival, with some seeing 40 times growth.

The market for tech gadgets saw the most rapid growth. This was where Guangdong’s “smart-manufacturing” companies excelled, standing out on the list of companies that reached RMB100 million sales over the festival. The top-selling stars included Midea, Huawei, Honor, Gree, Vivo, OPPO, and TCL. It only took three minutes for Midea and Gree to reach RMB100 million sales on JD.com. 

Guangdong brands also led the sales of digital appliances on Vipshop, with an increase of 70% compared with last year. 

Communications devices – primarily smartphones – continued to power ahead, reflecting the strength that the province has been showing in its official statistics so far this year. Guangdong Statistics Bureau data showed this segment up 15.1% in the first five months of this year. 

The integration of online shopping and offline service has also become more noteworthy. Online fresh food sales are becoming increasingly popular in Guangdong with the development of spin offs from online shopping giants like Alibaba and JD.com, as well as supermarkets like Yonghui Superstores. 

Guangdong residents continue to show the rest of the country how it’s done. By June 18th, Guangdong-based sales were No.1 on both JD and Vipshop. The GBA cities were star performers, but more interestingly, growth came fastest in the rural areas. 

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