JD.com to Sponsor China’s 2024 Spring Festival Gala, Aiming at Acquiring More Users from Small Cities

China’s media outlet “LatePost” has exclusively learned that JD.com will become the interactive platform for the 2024 Chinese Spring Festival Gala to be broadcast on China’s state television, CCTV. 

During the Spring Festival celebrations, JD.com plans to establish a central hub for the Gala on its app, where it will distribute a staggering one hundred million prizes, each worth one cent, through an interactive lottery. These prizes will not only include virtual rewards but also tangible goods, such as cars. Notably, the company is not limiting the distribution to domestic recipients; discussions are underway within JD.com about delivering these prizes to international recipients free of charge.

An insider close to China’s state television mentioned that to secure the position of the interactive platform for the Spring Festival Gala, companies typically invest hundreds of millions in sponsorship fees, indicating JD.com‘s significant commitment to this event.

This isn’t the first time JD.com has partnered with the Spring Festival Gala. The company previously collaborated with the Gala in 2022, where it served as the exclusive interactive partner. JD.com began distributing four rounds of red envelopes from January 24th (the 22nd of the twelfth lunar month) that year, outpacing previous exclusive partners like Douyin, Baidu, and Kuai in terms of investment, with a total of 1.5 billion yuan worth of “red packages” and goods distributed.

However, for the 2024 Gala, JD.com will not be the sole collaborating platform. On January 19, Xiaohongshu, another social media platform popular among Chinese young people, announced its role as the note-taking and live broadcast sharing platform for the Gala. It will provide live coverage of the Gala on New Year’s Eve, and users will have the opportunity to purchase products featured on the Gala stage concurrently on Xiaohongshu.

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The year 2021 marked a significant shift for not only JD.com but also the entire domestic e-commerce landscape, with growth rates starting to decline. That year, JD.com reported 570 million active buyers, a year-on-year increase of 100 million, with a notable 70% originating from lower-tier markets.

According to data from QuestMobile, JD.com‘s daily active users peaked at 151 million on January 31, 2022, the eve of the Lunar New Year, marking an 81.4% increase from the previous day. This placed the platform at the top of the app rankings. The 2022 collaboration with the CCTV Spring Festival Gala attracted many new users to JD.com, although the long-term retention of these users is yet to be determined. An insider from JD.com explains that the company’s return to the Spring Festival Gala in 2024 is driven by the challenges of growth in 2023 and the desire to engage more users from lower-tier markets.

The Spring Festival traditionally marks a period of reduced e-commerce activity, as merchants, factories, and couriers are on holiday, and consumers, having already purchased their New Year goods, turn their attention to family reunions. Despite this, JD.com is gearing up to make a significant impact during the Year of the Dragon Spring Festival Gala, leveraging its various businesses.