China 618 Shopping festival

Everything About 618 Shopping Festival in China [Trends & Strategies]

Last Updated on June 21, 2024

Over the years, it has become clear that official holidays and online shopping festivals stimulate demand from Chinese consumers. This heightened consumer behavior is mainly driven by incentives and discounts from major e-commerce platforms.

Among many promotional events that may drive sales to foreign brands is China’s 618 Shopping Day. It’s the country’s second-largest annual e-commerce festival, highly anticipated by local consumers and participating merchants.

In this post, we’ll explore how international brands can prepare for the upcoming 618 Shopping Day in China, the various platforms they can utilize, and the perks of participating in such events.


What is the 618 festival in China?

The 618 Shopping Festival was originally created by, specifically dedicated to celebrating its foundation anniversary in 1988. After the event generated promising sales figures, more key players from the Chinese e-commerce market started putting June 18th in their annual marketing calendars.

Today, most Chinese consumers share a fondness for this mid-year shopping festival. A key indicator of its continued popularity is its sales volume of 798.7 billion yuan in 2023. As you can see, it’s a significant increase from the event’s previous revenue of 695.9 billion yuan in 2022.


Advertisements for’s 618 Shopping Festival Campaign

Advertisements for’s 618 Shopping Festival Campaign (Source: China Daily)


Compared to the past several years, the online shopping trend in China seems stronger and more influential than ever. In fact, despite the low consumer confidence during the pandemic, major Chinese e-commerce platforms like and Alibaba Group still recorded increased revenue and sales volume in 2020.

In addition to deals from online shopping platforms, many brands view this 618 shopping event as a golden opportunity to launch promotional activities and limited-edition products that will trigger spending habits.


Popular Categories for the 618 Shopping Day in China

●     Nutrition and Health

The global pandemic has left quite a mark on the Chinese market, with most consumers eager to buy high-quality products related to health and wellness. In fact, the vitamins and supplement industry has seen heightened demand and an actual sales increase in the previous years.

In 2023, the nutrition and healthcare segment generated more than 8.8 billion RMB in total sales during the 618 Shopping Festival period.

Gen Z and Millennial consumers seem eager to pursue healthy lifestyles, which has renewed their interest in dietary and fitness products. Medical equipment, sporting devices, and outdoor-related goods also experienced increased sales during this event.


Protein powders on JD.COM,Tmall Global and Taobao China

Protein Powder Products on Local E-Commerce Platforms


●     High-tech Beauty Brands

Beyond typical makeup and skincare brands, last year’s 618 beauty sales were dominated by high-tech devices. One of the most talked about items on Taobao during the shopping event was Seayeo’s LED facial beauty light.

The particular item with limited quantities surprisingly sold out within 20 seconds, driving an impressive record number of $13.9 million in sales.


Li Jiaqi featuring beauty lights in his live broadcast

Top KOL (Li Jiaqi) doing a product demo for LED beauty lights (Source: Jing Daily)


The demand for beauty devices is a local cosmetic trend that is predicted to grow in the next few years due to its excellent performance during last year’s 618 shopping festival.

These products have very few domestic manufacturers and developers, so this thriving market segment is ripe with opportunities for international brands.

Other platforms also reported repeat purchases and a high transaction volume for specific skincare items targeting wrinkle reduction and skin nourishment, like essential oils.


●     Electronics and Home Appliances

Electronics and appliances are high-ticket items. So, it’s natural for Chinese customers to buy them during the festival period in hopes of scoring deep discounts and promo deals.

Even globally renowned electronic merchants like Apple are enlisting the help of popular Chinese e-commerce platforms to meet the expectations of local customers. During last year’s 618 shopping festival, the brand hopped on China’s live-streaming trend.


Apple’s first livestream session on Tmall for 618 online shopping festival

Apple’s first livestream session on Tmall (Source: Jing Daily)


Their first real-time content on Tmall showcased their popular offerings, from the iPhone 14 Pro to the Apple Watch Series 8. Beyond highlighting product quality, the brand also featured rare discounts on electronic devices specifically released for the 618 shopping festival.

Apple apparently succeeded in driving traffic and potential sales conversions to their Tmall flagship store as the live-streaming session reached 1.3 million views in the first hour.

In addition to electronics, home appliance manufacturers, like Midea and Haier, performed well during’s 618 campaign. Their sales skyrocketed to $13.97 million just minutes after the shopping festival started.


●     Luxury Brands

The fashion industry is another category that flourishes well during major e-commerce events like the 618 shopping festival. Even global luxury brands like Coach and Jimmy Choo are implementing hefty 50% to 75% discounts on handbags and shoes to drive sales during this event.

Meanwhile, luxury giants such as Bulgari and Tiffany & Co. reported a threefold transaction volume increase during’s 618 Grand Promotion in 2023. Bottega Veneta and Tesla also joined the online shopping promotions, boosting the event’s overall consumer confidence.


JD and Bottega Veneta Collaboration for the 618 Shopping Festival

JD and Bottega Veneta Collaboration for the 618 Shopping Festival (Source:


Top Performing Platforms during 618 Shopping Day

1.   Tmall/Taobao

As an e-commerce platform operated by Alibaba Group, Tmall is not one to miss launching shopping festivals as big as the 618 Mid-Year Sale. According to their announcement, this year’s event will run from May 20th until June 18th.

Alibaba’s report on the shopping event showed that 2.56 million SMEs generated higher GMV compared to the 618 event in 2022. Among the promotional content types released on the platform, short videos seem to attract the highest views.


Taobao/Tmall social commerce platform China


2.   Pinduoduo

Pinduoduo is known for its low-price range and group buying functions. With the 618 shopping day known for its discounts and deals, this platform aligns well with the kind of audience the event attracts every year.

Merchants and brands can launch promotional campaigns encouraging their target consumers to invite their friends and family to avail of platform discounts. It will not only drive traffic to your virtual storefront but also help you reap the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing.


Pinduoduo social commerce platform China


3.   Douyin

As a content-based social commerce channel, Douyin had a more solid influence on younger online shoppers. During the platform’s 618 event in 2023, its live commerce sessions reached 42.02 million hours.

Video content integrated with shopping carts and product links gained a high impression rate of 130.9 billion views. Thanks to the engagements generated from these posts, Douyin’s 618 campaign exceeded 66% of the previous year’s sales volume.


Douyin social commerce platform China



The originator of the 618 Shopping Festival cannot be removed from this list, mainly because its presale event spans over 300 cities in China. It also pioneered a program to ensure a safe and efficient product delivery process for brands and consumers.

Thanks to the platform’s continued effort to meet expectations and demands, their sales during the event’s 2023 installment grew by 30%. With keen on improving the consumer experience, chances are this growth will continue during the upcoming mid-year festival.


618 Grand Promotion 2023

618 Grand Promotion 2023 (Source:


Best Marketing Practices During the 618 Shopping Event

●     Launch Live Broadcasts During the Festival

Almost every social commerce platform in China now features live-streaming functions. Most of them are designed to optimize the consumer journey, from content and product discovery to purchasing decisions.

Video-sharing applications like Douyin and Kuiashou clearly show higher engagement rates during these events.


L'Oréal live streaming on Douyin


Even China’s biggest super app, WeChat, knew the importance of this media type during e-commerce festivals. Amidst last year’s mid-year festival celebration, the platform announced a reduced technical service fee for merchants hosting live streams and posting short-form video content on Channels.


●     Seek Collaborations with KOLs and KOCs

Remember, Chinese customers are curious and cautious online shoppers. So, if you’re a new brand trying to enter the Chinese market during the 618 shopping festival, it helps to enlist the help of familiar and trusted faces to promote your brand.

These influencers already have a community that trusts and supports their recommendations. While it may seem tempting to work with top KOLs with the highest follower counts, merchants should determine if their existing audiences are aligned with the brand’s marketing goals.

For example, some brands choose to work with Key Opinion Consumers primarily because they have more access to niche audiences. KOCs are also seen as more credible, as most of them are regular customers who give genuine reviews about the products and services they’ve paid for.


Live streaming on WeChat channels


●     Localize Your Digital Marketing Strategies

It’s no secret that domestic companies have an edge when it comes to online sales events. To successfully stay ahead of your competitors during 618, foreign brands must be aware of current local trends and cultural nuances.

It includes understanding popular product categories, preferred shopping habits, and the promotions that appeal most to Chinese consumers.

You must also remember that competitive pricing is crucial during the 618 Shopping Festival. Offer substantial discounts, exclusive bundles, and flash sales to attract bargain hunters. Highlight the limited availability of these deals to create a sense of urgency.



Who are the consumers of the 618 Shopping Festival in China?

Young, tech-savvy consumers in urban areas form a significant portion of the 618 Shopping Festival’s audience. These individuals are attracted to the convenience and variety offered by e-commerce platforms, as well as the extensive promotions and discounts available during the festival.

On the other hand, the increased purchasing power of middle-class groups in China is also highly notable during these shopping events. These consumers seek deals on various products, including household items, electronics, and fashion.

E-commerce platforms are also increasingly focusing on consumers from lower-tier cities and rural areas. These regions represent a vast, relatively untapped market where shoppers are eager to take advantage of the discounts and special offers available during the festival.

Customers seeking high-ticket items like luxury brands and electronic gadgets will likely continue at the next 618 festival, especially if you consider last year’s top-earning market segments.


618 Shopping festival consumer profile


Quick Q&A

Why should you participate in the 618 Mid-year Shopping Festival?

The 618 festival’s timing, around mid-June, taps into consumer readiness to spend, often resulting in impressive revenue spikes for businesses. Leveraging the event’s immense traffic can help companies achieve sales volumes that might be otherwise difficult to attain within a short period.

With major players actively involved, sitting out could mean losing market share to competitors who capitalize on the festival’s consumer excitement and spending.

What makes the 618 shopping day special compared to other e-commerce festivals?

The 618 shopping festival is usually a 2-week or a month-long event. E-commerce platforms like Taobao and would often launch flash sales from the last week of May to June 18th. This extensive duration gives new brands more chances to reach their target audience and generate sales conversions.


Ready To Dominate the 618 Shopping Festival in China?

E-commerce festivals are an integral part of China’s consumer market. The 618 shopping day, held in the middle of the year, attracts a diverse consumer base, including first-time buyers and loyal customers.


You may also want to read:

China's top festivals for Marketing 2023


At Sekkei Digital Group, we can guide you through every twist and turn, unlocking your brand’s full potential during the 618 shopping festival. Our team is ready to take a data-driven approach to help you stay ahead of the ever-evolving Chinese market.


Sekkei Digital Group Services


Whether it’s launching an advertising campaign, localizing your brand, or working with KOLs for the mid-year festival, we have all the digital solutions you need. Contact us today, and let’s start working on your first campaign.


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