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Alibaba and JD.com handle a record $136.51 billion in sales during major Chinese shopping event

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People walk by JD.com advertisements of the 618 Shopping Festival at Wangfujing Street on June 14, 2020 in Beijing, China

VCG | Getty Images

China’s two biggest e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com handled $136.51 billion of sales through their platforms in 24 hours, during one of the country’s biggest shopping events.

Known as 618 because it falls on June 18, the festival was being closely watched for signs about the health of the consumer in the world’s second-largest economy, as it looks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 

JD.com said transaction volume totaled 269.2 billion yuan ($37.99 billion). This figure is the total value of all orders for products and services placed on the company’s online platform, regardless of whether the goods are sold, delivered or returned. That was more than the 201.5 billion yuan in transaction volume last year. 

Meanwhile, Alibaba said gross merchandise value or GMV stood at 698.2 billion yuan ($98.52 billion). GMV is a figure that shows sales across the e-commerce giant’s shopping platforms. 

In China, there are two major shopping events. The first, 618, was started by JD.com. The second, Singles Day on Nov. 11, was created by Alibaba. But nowadays, both e-commerce firms join in on the promotions amid rising competition in the country’s online shopping space. 

Alibaba raked in record GMV of 268.4 billion yuan on Singles Day last year. Its 618 GMV is over two times that figure. 

The record numbers on 618 may point to a recovery with the Chinese consumer. Retail sales fell 2.8% in May from a year ago, but online sales of physical consumer goods rose 15.6%. JD.com and Alibaba have benefited from the acceleration of the shift to online shopping in China. 

JD.com’s U.S.-listed shares are up 72.5% this year while Alibaba has risen 5.4%. 

Both companies also carried out secondary listings in Hong Kong. Alibaba listed shares in Hong Kong in November while JD.com’s shares started trading on Thursday. 

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