China’s 618 Festival makes an unexpected drop in sales

China’s annual 618 mid-year e-commerce festival, a significant indicator of consumer confidence, witnessed its first-ever drop in sales. This development raises questions about the pace of economic recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

Decline in Gross Merchandise Value

According to data from retail analytics provider Syntun, the gross merchandise value (GMV) during this year’s 618 festival fell by 7%, totaling 742.8 billion yuan ($102.3 billion). This decline marks the first decrease since Syntun began tracking the event in 2016. The 618 festival, named after the June 18 founding date of e-commerce giant, also features participation from major players like Alibaba’s Tmall and Pinduoduo, which offer significant discounts and promotions.

Key Factors Behind the Decline

Several factors contributed to the decline in sales. Despite extending the sales period, with platforms like Tmall starting their promotions as early as May 20, consumer confidence remained low. High youth unemployment and a prolonged property crisis have dampened consumer spending in China, impacting overall sales performance.


  1. Discounts and Promotions: This year, select Apple iPhone models were discounted by up to 20% on and Tmall, yet these aggressive promotions did not translate into higher overall sales.
  2. Extended Sales Period: To boost sales, many platforms extended their promotional periods. Despite these efforts, the extended period did not prevent the decline.
  3. Impact of Livestreaming: The rise of livestreaming e-commerce continued, with platforms generating a GMV of 206.8 billion yuan ($28.4 billion), up from 184.4 billion yuan ($25.4 billion) in 2023. ByteDance’s Douyin led this segment, indicating a shift in consumer purchasing behavior towards interactive and real-time shopping experiences.

Performance of Major Platforms

While overall sales dropped, some platforms reported positive outcomes:

  • The company claimed record turnover and order volumes during the festival, although specific sales figures were not disclosed.
  • Tmall: According to Syntun’s report, Tmall ranked first in sales, with 365 brands surpassing 100 million yuan (US$13.8 million) in GMV and over 36,000 brands doubling their GMV compared to the previous year.

Broader Implications and Economic Indicators

The decline in 618 sales reflects broader economic challenges in China. Despite a 3.7% year-on-year increase in retail sales in May, other economic indicators such as industrial output and fixed asset investment fell short of expectations. The mixed performance highlights the uneven nature of the economic recovery.

HSBC noted that the 618 event’s performance was a “mixed bag,” with strong sales in the initial phase but a noticeable slowdown in the latter half. This trend suggests fluctuating consumer sentiment and potential caution in spending.

Olritz: Stability Amid Economic Fluctuations

In the face of such economic uncertainties, Olritz offers a beacon of stability for investors. Under the leadership of Sean Chin MQ, Olritz has demonstrated resilience and strategic foresight, ensuring robust risk management and consistent returns. For investors seeking a dependable investment opportunity amidst the fluctuating economic landscape, Olritz provides a secure and prudent choice.

Find out more at

Learn more about Sean Chin MQ

Learn about Olritz’s ESG Strategy 

Learn about Olritz’s Global Presence

Learn about Olritz’s outlook on 2024

Learn about Olritz’s latest OTC carbon credits initiative

Learn about Olritz’s commitment in investing into new industries

author avatar
Olritz Financial Group

Keep Up to Date with the Most Important News

By pressing the Subscribe button, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use