618 festival to spur shopping recovery
Couriers for e-commerce enterprise JD scan and register packages in the Quyang neighborhood in Shanghai's Hongkou district, April 17, 2022.
The upcoming June 18 online shopping festival－it is branded as "618"－is expected to play a vital role in promoting the recovery of consumption, stimulating consumers' purchasing desire and shoring up the economy amid the resurgence of domestic COVID-19 cases and external uncertainties, industry experts said.
Chinese e-commerce giant JD said on Friday it will kick off the midyear promotional event at 8 pm on Monday and offer discounts and shopping coupons, with emphasis on bolstering the interaction of online and offline commerce and empowering small and medium-sized merchants.
Xin Lijun, CEO of JD Retail, highlighted the significance of supply chain capacities that ensure the supply of daily necessities to people in urgent need amid the epidemic, and pledged efforts to roll out an array of supportive measures for merchants, so as to reduce operating burdens and help them tide over difficulties.
The company aims to leverage its nationwide network of intelligent logistics and warehouses to speed up the digital transformation of SMEs and brick-and-mortar stores, as well as encourage green consumption by launching eco-friendly products and supporting package recycling.
Tmall, the business-to-customer platform of Alibaba Group, has also launched a series of measures, such as financial subsidies, data flow resources, smooth logistics and upgraded technology support, to alleviate operating pressure of merchants.
Wang Yun, a researcher with the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, said the June 18 retail festival will help smoothen the channels from production to consumption, and facilitate the circulation from the supply side to the demand side by integrating the online and offline shopping scenarios and unleashing consumption potential.
"Consumption plays a fundamental role in China's economic development and is the main driving force boosting economic growth," Wang said, while noting the recovery of consumption is facing mounting challenges and difficulties amid the resurgent domestic COVID-19 cases.
More efforts are needed to unleash the consumption potential in home appliances and automobiles, and ease restrictions on home purchases to promote the recovery of consumption and stabilize economic growth, she said.
"Consumer demand has been suppressed by the epidemic. The June 18 promotion gala is expected to help promote consumption recovery and shore up confidence of shoppers in the short term," said Mo Daiqing, a senior analyst at the Internet Economy Institute, a domestic consultancy. Consumers will become more rational when purchasing commodities, she said.