Why June 18th (618) became a Shopping Festival?

What is 618? 

  • 618 is the second largest and most important Shopping Festival in China.
  • Every year from June 1st till June  18th , China’s e-commerce landscape is filled with large-scale promotional activities and discounts on the hottest products of the moment.

 Why June 18th (618) became a Shopping Festival?


June 18th  is the anniversary of JD.com (京东) one of the Top 2 biggest e-commerce company in China. 

The company was founded by Liu Qiangdong on June 18th , 1998, and its retail platform went online in 2004. 

Over the past 10 years, Jing Dong (JD.com) has put a lot of effort into creating and promoting commercial campaigns with unmissable discounts on its best-selling products, in order to create an “emotional attachment ”in the hearts of consumers. So every year during the month of June (until the 18th ), people in China get excited and start planning their purchases. 

Soon enough other Chinese e-commerce giants (Alibaba, Tmall, Secoo) also started their own campaigns during this period, so much so that the 18th of June became one the biggest Shopping Festivals of the year.  

What sells the most during 618?

     According to the data of Jingdong, the top five categories of orders placed by Jingdong on June 18th, 2020, were:  


Smartphones, air conditioners, flat-panel TVs, refrigerators and washing machines

The top five brands in sales were: 

Midea, Apple, Haier, Gree and Xiaomi.

    Why is 618 a golden opportunity for international companies ?


  • 618 Shopping Festival is a prime opportunity for international brands to get a glimpse into the biggest market in the world and prepare to experience the incredible buying power of the Chinese middle class. 
  • International travel to China continues to be restricted for people but not for products.  After one of the most challenging years in recent history, 618 offers a way to bring the essence of your country to the Chinese consumers. For foreign brands, 618 is a great chance to understand what the Chinese market can mean for them in the long term. 

618 Shopping Festival and the Fashion Industry in China

    Companies such as florists, chocolate brands, travel agencies, jewelry, cosmetics & fashion brand have used this online phenomenon and turned it into an efficient marketing strategy to engage with Chinese consumers. At the same time, with the popularity of e-commerce, many people choose to buy their Valentine’s Day gift online to express their feelings and hope for the best.

The fashion industry in China has been thriving for the past 10 years. And with the rapid process of urbanization, the purchasing power of the population is constantly growing, thus making China an ideal market for international fashion brands.

In 2020 China’s domestic retail sales suffered a huge hit. However, in the month of June, thanks to the three-week period shopping festival, known as 618, many brands were able to offset their losses amassed during lockdown. Fashion and luxury brands are no exception

Despite the global health emergency, JD’s 618 performance in the luxury category has not declined compared to previous years. During the first hour of the event, the sales of luxury brands grew by 400 percent, respecting the trend of daily sales growth of 100 percent each year. Last year, Delvaux and Prada stood out among the top performing luxury brands, and the ready-to-wear, footwear and jewelry categories showed the most growth.

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Why June 18th (618) became a Shopping Festival?

520 Chinese Internet Valentine’s Day

Are numbers just numbers? Well, not really. Everyone has their own favorite number, it could be a birthday date, your wedding day, a number that brought you luck in the past, wherever the reason may be, one thing is certain is that they are not just simple numbers for us.

       Chinese people also do the same, but a step above, in the sense that sometimes they communicate not only with words but also with numbers!

    The Chinese language has a very unique grammatical structure, where each word is constructed as an isolated block of meaning and more characters together are just like the pieces of a puzzle. If you think about it, numbers are quite similar in this regard, all of them have a meaning which is the quantity they indicate, but they can be separated and combined to create different numbers.

      What if some numbers sound similar to real words? Bam, then you have a match made in heaven. You can literally write a sentence in Mandarin using just numbers.

 For example, try reading aloud 520 in Mandarin, what does it sound like? Well, 520 is homophonic to “I love you” in Chinese! In fact, the 20th of May (520)  is pronounced (wǔ èr líng)which sound very similar to 我爱你(wǒ ài nǐ)I love you, that is why the 20th (and 21st) have been labeled as the Internet Valentine’s Day(网络情人节).  

    Ok, we get the part about Valentine’s Day, but why “internet”? Unlike International Valentine’s Day (February 14th) and Chinese Valentine’s Day (七夕) which are primarily for “real” lovers who are in a confirmed love relationship or even married, 520 is more about expressing your love to your crush, what in Mandarin is called  表白(confess one’s love).

    And since it may be too difficult for many to say “I love you”  face-to-face, some people decide to use Chinese social media (like WeChat, Weibo, QQ…) to confess their feelings by typing messages with 520 or 521, maybe even attaching a gift ! Here comes the business side of this special day. And as an old Chinese saying goes: “only when there is demand there can be business”.

    Companies such as florists, chocolate brands, travel agencies, jewelry, cosmetics & fashion brand have used this online phenomenon and turned it into an efficient marketing strategy to engage with Chinese consumers. At the same time, with the popularity of e-commerce, many people choose to buy their Valentine’s Day gift online to express their feelings and hope for the best.

  520 is not the only way to communicate in Mandarin, you can also take note of another expression 5201314! 520 means love, whereas 1314 represents 一生一世 yīshēng yīshì (for a lifetime). So, if you say 5201314, you are saying “I love you for a lifetime”.

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520 Chinese Internet Valentine’s Day

Latest News!

Are you searching for #news, #tips, and #trends from #China? Then, check this out!

#Shanghai#Fashion Week’s FW 2021 edition, titled “Bloom the Spring”, kicked off on April 6th. During the 8-day program, 100-plus #physical runway shows took the stage at four different venues across the city. But, they didn’t forget about the ever-growing role played by #livecommerce: through “Shanghai Fashion and Lifestyle Carnival” brands could sell directly to #consumers through daily live stream shows.

Several #international#brands joined the event, but the real spotlight was on #Chinese#brands, local emerging talents, and #sustainability. More than 40% of the featured brands adopted environmentally friendly practices.

A few days ago, #Tmall launched a new 3D shopping solution dedicated to home-furnishing brands called 天猫家装城 (tianmao jiazhuang cheng), one of the latest new #retail innovations rolled out by the platform.

 #Tmallglobal continues its impressive growth worldwide and keeps welcoming celebrity-owned brands like the one launched by Billie Eilish.

✔️ Last week, Douyin launched a new function: the flagship stores. The primary focus of the platform is to get more #fashion#brands on board!

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Latest News!

Tiktok vs. Douyin, which are the main differences?

Maybe you’ve heard that “Douyin is not Tiktok” even if they look almost the same. There’s a fundamental difference for Chinese users of 抖音 (Douyin) there’s plenty of incredible features and great opportunities for brands to shine in the Chinese market!

Douyin growth in China seems unstoppable. Still being the most downloaded app in China, has recently crossed the 828 million monthly active user milestone (eMarketer) and over 600 million daily active users. This is considered one of the most engaging platforms with millions of content uploaded by enthusiast users.

Bytedance’s TikTok is a great engagement tool, but on the other hand, Douyin is much more, for example, you can give rewards to the best creators, this is called “Mission for All”. 

Douyin is becoming one of the biggest social commerce platform with tools for brands including not only advertising but also brand pages, eCommerce inside Douyin and so much more. Not to mention live streaming and sale streaming experiences built-in the platform.

So how can brands take advantage of this huge platform?

Today, we want also to give you some useful tips on Douyin and the right marketing strategies you need to adopt:

Create a lot of creative content: marketing on Douyin is an important step to take! High engaging campaigns can support you in reaching a wide and targeted audience thanks to open splash, brand takeover or top view ad. Those can grant a whopping increase in brand awareness and boost purchase intention.

Collaborate with KOL and medium sized influencers (KOC). This is quintessential in order to reach a wider audience. Some big names like Luo Yonghao garnered over 48 million views and his live streaming session generated over 16 million US$ in revenue. On the other hand, good KOC strategy can result in higher ROI.

Promote hashtag challenge: those can generate a ripple effect, and can make users generate UCG. For example Michel Kors contents view topped 5 million views and the challenge involved over 30k users, who created their own contents.
If you want to know more about Douyin and how it can help your business, don’t forget to check our report beyondCNY.

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Tiktok vs. Douyin, which are the main differences?

There’s more beyond Chinese New Year – Get our Business FREE guide

The Chinese market is an unmissable opportunity for brands aiming to expand: the explosion of the upper-middle-class in China will be the driving force for luxury brands, leading to an almost doubling of luxury spending by 2025, when Chinese consumers are expected to account for 40% of the global luxury market…

#BeyondCNY is a comprehensive report aiming to give you a deeper overview of Chinese Festivals, digital & social trends, and be on the right path of the Chinese consumers digital journey.

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There’s more beyond Chinese New Year – Get our Business FREE guide