JD.com, China’s second largest ecommerce company, made a record-breaking $17.6bn in sales during its annual 6.18 shopping festival.
The sales festival, which takes place during the first 18 days of June each year to celebrate the company’s anniversary on June 18, increased its transaction volumes by more than 50% from the previous year.
The mid-year festival’s leap in total sales puts it just behind rival Alibaba’s annual ecommerce extravaganza 11.11 or Singles Day, which last year broke records to collect $17.8bn in sales.
JD.com’s 6.18 festival has grown in recent years to become a massive mid-year ecommerce event, with rival retailers also getting involved and offering discounts and savings for their customers.
JD said it sold 700 million items, with an increase in categories such as fashion, luxury and maternity products. Sales of fresh food quintupled, according to JD, with orders for 7,664 tonnes of food. Among these were 200 tonnes of beef, 57 million cherries, 10,000 tonnes of baby milk powder, 1 billion nappies and 3.6 tonnes of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
JD.com controls one-quarter (24.7%) of China’s ecommerce market, however it lags behind Alibaba’s Tmall which dominates the sector with 56.6%, according to iResearch China.
Earlier this year, JD launched an initiative to give the ecommerce company and offline presence by partnering with convenience store owners to launch branded stores across China.
It followed moves by Alibaba to establish a foothold in bricks-and-mortar retail through a partnership with supermarket giant Bailian Group. Alibaba has also bought a stake in the Lianhua Supermarket chain.