JD.com sales during China shopping festival beat expectations -analysts

By Casey Hall and Sophie Yu

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Sales on JD.com’s e-commerce site during China’s mid-year shopping festival – the first major shopping event since the country’s reopening – grew more than expected, according to brokerages’ estimates based on data they have received.

The Chinese e-commerce giant saw sales rise 6-8% 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% growth.

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

Data from consultancy Syntun showed the combined GMV on major e-commerce platforms including Alibaba Group-owned Tmall, JD.com and PDD Holdings’ Pinduoduo platform, totalled 614.3 billion yuan ($85.79 billion), up 5.4% from last year’s sales period.

The consultancy firm said live streaming e-commerce on ByteDance’s Douyin, Kuaishou and Diantao, which is also backed by Alibaba, contributed 184.4 billion yuan.

JD.com has said it will not release its GMV 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.

Alibaba and Pinduoduo do not traditionally publish 618 results for their own platforms.

The festival period this year was marked by particularly 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% in May, missing a consensus estimate of 13.6% growth and slowing from 18.4% growth in April.

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

($1 = 7.1609 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Casey Hall in Shanghai and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Susan Fenton)