Alibaba’s Singles’ Day has become the world’s biggest online shopping extravaganza.

But the 618 Midyear Shopping Festival, started by, the other Chinese online titan, 17 years ago, has become China’s second-largest shopping event.

This year’s three week e-commerce blowout was held from June 1 to 18.’s sales reached US$38 billion – up 33.6 per cent on 2019. Alibaba’s Tmall revenues were a staggering US$102.2 billion.

The blistering performance fueled an 87 per cent rise in prestige beauty sales in China during the month of June, says the NPD Group.

More than double the number of brands took part in this year’s 618 event, says the data tracker.

Sales of prestige skincare almost doubled – up 98 per cent – to US$489 million, followed by makeup (up 58% to US$102 million), fragrance (up 61 % to US$21 million) and haircare ( up 126% to US$16 million).

According to Stanley Kee, managing director APAC for NPD: “The e-commerce channel is likely to keep the fast growth rate in the coming months for beauty products. A recent China consumer sentiment study conducted by the NPD Group showed that 26 per cent of Chinese consumers claimed they only purchased beauty products online.”

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