Chinese consumer confidence won’t make a full recovery easily, despite Beijing’s stimulus measures and a resumption of production that was stalled by COVID, the chief executive of major domestic e-commerce operator JD.com warned Thursday, reports Nikkei Asia. Xu Lei told analysts in an earnings call that “it will take a relatively long time for [the stimulus measures] to pass on to residents’ income.” The CEO’s comments came as JD.com makes a strategic shift to low-price competition with rivals.
The three-year pandemic, a recovering macroeconomy and structural demographic changes have all posed challenges to China’s retail industry. Retail sales, a major driver of the country’s economic growth, shrank 0.2% in 2022.
China’s gross domestic product grew only 3% last year, one of the lowest increases in decades, amid Beijing’s draconian zero-COVID policy and a tightening regulatory environment. Beijing set a modest 5% annual growth target on Sunday and elevated domestic consumption as a key policy goal.
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