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China’s 618 Shopping Festival 2022; Apple’s Tmall sales exceeded US$2 bn

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China’s 618 Shopping Festival 2022; Apple’s Tmall sales exceeded US$2 bn

According to the data by Nint, a digital retail data service provider, as of the end of the first round of 618 Shopping Festival 2022 (June 3), the estimated sales of 59 brands in a single category (hereinafter referred to as sales) exceeded 100 million in the 36 categories counted.

Among them, the top 3 in sales are Apple, Haier, and Midea. Apple’s sales have even exceeded 5 billion yuan, opening a large gap with other brands.

JD reported over 10% growth in this year’s total 618 GMV while Alibaba and Pinduoduo didn’t disclose too much data on this year’s 618 sales.

CIW annual subscribers can download Top 10 Best-selling Brands in Tmall/Taobao 618 2022 here.

Alibaba Tmall 618 2022

In the May presale period, Tmall merchants will receive roughly RMB10 billion ($1.5 billion) in deposits made by consumers to secure their orders. Once shipping starts between June 1 and June 30, the remaining balance of up to RMB100 billion will be sent to businesses.

For cross-border merchants, international B2C marketplace Tmall Global is freeing up to RMB4 billion to their payment accounts as soon as parcels leave warehouses between June 1 and June 30.

Presale

Tmall 618 2022 pre-sale officially opened at 8 p.m. on May 26. The first wave of rush buying started at 8 p.m. on May 31 and the second wave starts at 8 p.m. on June 15.

This year, Taobao increased the pre-sale time during the 618 event, making the official pre-sale an increment for businesses to make a good start. The platform will provide the official pre-sale atmosphere, the official pre-sale venue, and search for recommended resources.

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On June 18 this year, Taobao simplified the preferential rules and marketing complexity. The discount for cross store full sales was reduced by 20 yuan or 50 for every 199 or 1000 yuan spend.

Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall are not the only e-commerce platforms for 618 shopping festival promotions. Many retailers and major online platforms, such as JD, Pinduoduo, Kuaishou, etc., have promotions to push up their sales.

Tmall 618 Sale

Alibaba didn’t share much this year’s 618 shopping festival sales data.

Among the 35 categories counted in a third-party research company Nint’s report, there were 6 brands with sales exceeding 1 billion yuan in a single category sales; and, 108 brands had sales exceeding 1 billion yuan each.

Among them, Apple, Midea, Haier, Xiaomi, and L’Oreal ranked among the top 5 in overall sales. With sales of 15 billion, Apple is the only brand with sales of more than 10 billion yuan (US$2.23 billion), and has become the biggest winner.

JD 618 2022

Instead of getting different coupons, Jingdong 618 platform offers an immediate RMB 50 yuan discount for every qualified RMB 299-yuan purchase, making the shopping process even simpler this time.

Presales

During the pre-order phase of this year’s 618 Grand Promotion from 8 p.m. on May 23 to midnight on the 29, sales of a number of top brands exceeded RMB 100 million yuan, such as Xiaomi, Haier, Lenovo, Huawei, Midea and more.

The official 618 Grand Promotion sales phase started at 8 p.m. on May 31 and lasts until June 20, during which JD’s customers can purchase their pre-ordered products to enjoy discounts and worry-free shopping services including same or next-day delivery service.

JD’s data during the past six days revealed that the “post-95” generation showed rising spending power with pre-order sales up 75 percent YoY. Meanwhile, the product variety offered on JD.com during this year’s shopping festival increased by 20 percent and a robust demand is seen from China’s sixth-tier cities with over 100 percent growth YoY.

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Sales of the home appliances category as a whole rose by 200 percent YoY, while order volume of new products tripled. Sales of tablets, home use printers, and mechanical keyboards increased 100, 170, and 400 percent respectively.

In the healthcare category, the overall order volume on JD Health grew by 186 percent YoY.

The number of products joining the pre-order period increased by 219 percent. Deposits for body fat measurers increased 576 percent YoY, and that of Bio Island’s DHA for kids grew 10 times, becoming the biggest “dark horse” during JD Health’s pre-order period.

More and more customers are getting used to online ordering for offline services.

Orders of automobile products with installation services on JD.com increased 240 percent YoY, among which tire-changing service orders is up by 135 percent; furniture with installation service orders increased 127 percent, and travel orders are up by 110 percent on JD.com.

JD’s latest omni-channel store, the J Shop, attracted 50 percent more merchants to participate in this year’s shopping festival, who together brought double the amount of products in the fashion and lifestyle categories.

During the pre-order phase, the J Shop channel presented over a hundred best-sellers from an array of big brands from home and abroad, such as SK-II gift boxes, Arman Men’s T-shirts, and Lancôme’s anti-aging serum, just to name a few.

More than 20 brands under JD Luxury reached over 100 percent sales growth month over month, including Tory Burch, MCM, Chopard, and more. BVLGARI’s daily sales on JD Luxury during the past six days quadrupled its average amount. The top 3 Swiss watches are from Longines, Tissot, and MIDO, with Longines’ sales increasing by 160 percent YoY.

618 Sales

The 19th JD 618 Grand Promotion officially kicked off at 8 p.m. on May 31 after an eight-day pre-order phase.

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In the first 10 minutes of the mid-year shopping festival, the sales of a number of brands exceeded RMB 100 million yuan, including Xiaomi, Midea, Haier, Lenovo, Apple, HONOR, Huawei, SONY, Asus, Siemens and more.

Smartphones, air conditioners, Chinese sticky rice dumplings for Dragon Boat Festival (which falls on June 3 this year), baby formula, and toys were the hottest search keywords in those first 10 minutes, according to JD’s data.

Over a hundred home brands on JD.com reached double sales growth in the first 10 minutes.

Electronics products such as tablets, home use printers and projectors, ready-to-cook products, kitchenware, and home workout products such as smart mirrors and massage guns, are among the popular categories during this shopping festival.

JD Worldwide offers cross-border imports to Chinese customers. Nearly 150 overseas brands saw more than 200 percent sales growth in the first 10 minutes. Sales of nearly 100 sub-categories exceeded 100 percent growth YoY. The top 3 brands in sales are Nintendo, Swarovski and a2 milk powder.

As of 23:59 on June 18th Beijing time, JD.com reported a total transaction volume of RMB 379.3 billion yuan (US$56.7 billion) for JD 618 Grand Promotion 2022, which exceeded last year’s RMB 343.8 billion yuan.

In JD 618 this year, 26 stores exceeded 1 billion yuan sales orders, the number of new product sales increased by more than 20% year-on-year, and the turnover of more than 30 trending categories increased by more than 10 times year-on-year.

TikTok 618

During 618 last year, Douyin (Tiktok in China) e-commerce saw a total of 28.52 million hours of live streaming. This year, it reached 40.45 million hours from June 1 to June 18, an increase of more than 40% over the same period last year.

Short videos embedded with shopping carts were played 115.1 billion times.

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The “search” function made an amazing contribution during this 618 event. Douyin mall led to a year-on-year sales increase of 514%, search scene led to a year-on-year increase of 293%, and the number of merchants participating in the activity increased by 159%.

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China says Biden comments likening leader Xi to a dictator ‘extremely absurd and irresponsible’

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China says Biden comments likening leader Xi to a dictator ‘extremely absurd and irresponsible’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s remarks calling Chinese leader Xi Jinping a “dictator” and China a country with “real economic difficulties” drew fast condemnation from China on Wednesday, cracking open a new rift just after the two countries agreed to tentative steps to stabilize the relationship.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning condemned Biden’s unusually pointed comments as “extremely absurd and irresponsible.”

The clash of words comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded a visit to Beijing on Monday that sought to break the ice in a relationship that has hit a historical low. While both sides saw those talks as productive, they did not result in any significant breakthroughs beyond an agreement to return to a broad agenda for cooperation and competition.

China’s quick response to Biden, a president known for seemingly off-script remarks that venture beyond his administration’s policies, raises questions whether his remarks would undo the limited progress that had been made in Blinken’s carefully engineered trip or whether the two sides would move on.

Biden’s characterization of China comes as the campaign for next year’s presidential election is already taking off, with Republicans accusing him of being weak on China.

Biden also was preparing to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington on Wednesday evening for a lavish state visit where a central theme will be a shared wariness of China.

Biden, at a fundraiser in California on Tuesday night, referred back to January and February’s two-week overflight of what the U.S. says was a Chinese spy balloon. The balloon’s surprise appearance over U.S. skies roiled relations and transfixed the American public.

Speaking to wealthy donors at the event for his 2024 reelection campaign, Biden depicted Xi as out-of-touch and embarrassed by the incident, which ended with the Air Force shooting down the balloon just off the East Coast.

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“The reason why Xi Jinping got very upset in terms of when I shot that balloon down with two box cars full of spy equipment is he didn’t know it was there,” Biden told the crowd.

“No, I’m serious,” he added. “That was the great embarrassment for dictators, when they didn’t know what happened.“

Biden also played down trade competition from China, which is the world’s second-biggest economy after the United States but struggling to emerge from COVID-era financial troubles.

“By the way, I promise you, don’t worry about China. Worry about China but don’t worry about China,” Biden said. “I really mean it. China has real economic difficulties.”

Biden’s remarks came hours after his secretary of state, in an interview with MSNBC, had called for the two countries to put the balloon incident behind them, saying it was a chapter that “should be closed.”

In Beijing on Wednesday, Mao told reporters that Biden’s remarks “go totally against facts and seriously violate diplomatic protocol, and severely infringe on China’s political dignity.”

“It is a blatant political provocation,” Mao said.

Mao also reiterated China’s version of the balloon episode, saying the balloon was for meteorological research and had been accidentally blown off course.

Administration officials signaled Wednesday that Biden had no intention of walking back his comments.

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Biden and Blinken have made clear “we will continue to responsibly manage this relationship, maintain open lines of communication with the PRC,” Vedant Patel, a State Department spokesman, told reporters, using an abbreviation for the People’s Republic of China.

“But that, of course, does not mean we will not be blunt and forthright about our differences,” including differences on the global competition between democracies and autocracies, Patel said.

U.S.-China tensions have mounted for years as rivalry builds over trade and global influence. Repeated flare-ups have helped escalate the tensions, including over the balloon, U.S. tariffs, sanctions on China, and self-ruled Taiwan.

The U.S. is pressing China to embrace direct communications between Biden, Xi and other senior U.S. and Chinese military and civilian leaders, as a channel to defuse tensions and keep incidents from escalating into open hostilities.

Despite the administration’s diplomatic efforts to soothe relations, analysts point to the Republican political pressure, and note Biden regularly seems to go off-script to criticize Xi.

Bonnie Glaser, Asia director of the George Marshall Fund of the United States, pointed Wednesday to Biden’s state of the union address in February, soon after the balloon flight, as Republican lawmakers in the audience heckled him over China and other issues. Waving a finger in the air, Biden cried out, “Name me a world leader who’d change places with Xi Jinping! Name me one! Name me one!”

For Biden, “he’s under a lot of criticism from the right. He doesn’t want to be seen as soft on China. He views Xi Jinping as a dictator,” Glaser said.

“And he’s not very good … at differentiating what should be said in public and what should be said in private,” Glaser said. “And the relationship pays a price for it. There’s no doubt about it.”

Xi was likely upset by the claim that he hadn’t been fully informed about the balloon incident, said Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at the London University School of Oriental and African Studies and a longtime observer of Chinese politics.

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“My sense is that Xi may not want to overreact and put the relationship back on ice again,” Tsang said in an email.

The initial Republican response to Biden’s remarks was approving. “It’s an appropriate description of their system of government,” Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said.

While Xi heads a country formally named the People’s Republic of China, he faces no limits on his terms as head of state, commander of the military and leader of the ruling Communist Party, which brooks no challenges to its authority.

In California, Biden had told donors that Xi “wants to have a relationship again.”

Blinken “went over there … did a good job, and it’s going to take time,” he said.

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Associated Press writer Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

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Macron appeals to China’s Xi to ‘bring Russia to its senses’

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Macron appeals to China’s Xi to ‘bring Russia to its senses’

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping called Thursday for peace talks over Ukraine after French President Emmanuel Macron appealed to him to “bring Russia to its senses,” but Xi gave no indication Beijing would use its leverage as Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic partner to press for a settlement.

Xi gave no sign China, which declared it had a “no limits friendship” with Moscow before last year’s invasion, had changed its stance since calling for peace talks in February.

“Peace talks should resume as soon as possible,” Xi said. He called on other governments to avoid doing anything that might “make the crisis deteriorate or even get out of control.”

Beijing, which sees Moscow as a partner in opposing U.S. domination of global affairs, has tried to appear neutral in the conflict but has given Putin diplomatic support and repeated Russian justifications for the February 2022 attack. Xi received an effusive welcome from Putin when he visited Moscow last month, giving the isolated Russian president a political boost.

The Chinese leader said “legitimate security concerns of all parties” should be considered, a reference to Moscow’s argument that it attacked Ukraine because of the eastward expansion of NATO, the U.S.-European military alliance.

During talks earlier, Macron appealed to Xi to “bring Russia to its senses and bring everyone back to the negotiating table.”

Macron pointed to Chinese support for the United Nations Charter, which calls for respect of a country’s territorial integrity. He said Putin’s announcement of plans to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus violated international agreements and commitments to Xi’s government.

“We need to find a lasting peace,” the French president said. “I believe that this is also an important issue for China.”

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Macron was accompanied to Beijing by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a show of European unity.

Von der Leyen said she encouraged Xi to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the Chinese leader “reiterated his willingness to speak when conditions and time are right.”

“I think this is a positive element,” von der Leyen said.

Von der Leyen warned China against sending military equipment to Russia, echoing a warning Wednesday by NATO’s 31 member governments of “severe consequences” for shipments of weapons or ammunition.

“Arming the aggressor is a clear violation of international law,” von der Leyen said. “This would indeed significantly harm the relationship between the European Union and China.”

China is the biggest buyer of Russian oil and gas, which helps prop up the Kremlin’s revenue in the face of Western sanctions. That increases Chinese influence, but Xi appears reluctant to jeopardize that partnership by pressuring Putin.

“China has always adhered to an objective and fair position on the issue of the Ukraine crisis,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning. “We have been an advocate of a political solution to the crisis and a promoter of peace talks.”

Also Wednesday, the French and Chinese governments announced agreements including the purchase of 160 Airbus aircraft by a Chinese leasing company and for their companies to collaborate on nuclear, solar, wind power and biofuel development.

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ITF resumes tennis in China with no word on Peng Shuai

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ITF resumes tennis in China with no word on Peng Shuai

TOKYO (AP) — The International Tennis Federation will play tournaments this year in China with no word of a resolution to the case of Chinese doubles player Peng Shuai.

Peng disappeared from public view shortly after accusing a former high-ranking Communist Party official — in a web posting in November of 2021 — of sexual assault.

The ITF, which conducts tournaments below the elite level in its World Tennis Tour, lists its first tournament in China on June 5-11 at Luzhou. The ITF’s last full season in China was 2019, prior to COVID-19.

“The ITF anticipates a resumption of tournament activity within China for each of the ITF Tours later this year,” the ITF said in a statement.

The WTA, which runs the sport’s top-tier women’s events, hasn’t announced if it will resume staging tournaments in China.

In late 2021, WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon announced that the WTA would be suspending all of its tournaments — including the season-ending WTA Finals — that were held in China because of concerns over Peng, costing the tour millions.

The men’s ATP has scheduled several event for later this year in China. It canceled 2022 events because of COVID-19 restrictions in China.

Peng gave a controlled interview a year ago during the Winter Olympics in Beijing and had dinner at the event with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. She left many questions unanswered and has largely been out of public view since then.

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Simon has repeatedly called for a “formal investigation” into the allegations made by Peng, and has asked to meet privately with Peng. It’s not clear those conditions have been met.

In a statement announcing the ITF men’s and women’s tournaments returning to China, ITF President David Haggerty said the sport’s world governing body had to invest in the professional events that worked as “the main artery for the top level of the game.”

“As the global guardians of the game, we are passionate about providing a pathway for up and coming talent in all countries, and providing more opportunities for players to play closer to home,” Haggerty said, adding that the ITF was pleased to be returning to countries such as China, Burundi, Cyprus, Trinidad & Tobago and Taiwan.

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AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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