Shanghai’s two-month Double Five shopping festival got off to a strong start on Monday evening, with online and offline sales exceeding RMB 15.6 billion ($2.2 billion) in its first 24 hours, local media outlets reported.
Combined sales from the city’s online and offline channels soared to RMB 2.3 billion within the first four hours after the festival started and crossed the RMB 10 billion mark 20 hours after the event launched, according to Shanghai Daily, citing the Shanghai Commerce Commission.
The Shanghai municipal government announced the Double Five festival on April 23 as part of measures to “boost consumer confidence and unleash the potential of consumer demand”. Officials said at a press conference that the measures will support local businesses recovering from a slowdown in consumer spending during the recent Covid-19 outbreak.
Offline retailers have been hit particularly hard by the outbreak, as shopping malls, stores and restaurants were closed or had to severely curtail their business. Conversely, the number of new merchants live-streaming on Alibaba’s Taobao shopping platform jumped by more than eight times in one month from January to February and transactions grew more than 160% year-on-year in March.