Short video app Kuaishou and e-commerce giant JD announced today a new partnership as the Chinese tech titans are gearing up for China’s biggest mid-year shopping extravaganza 618 on June 18.

Why it matters: China’s e-commerce platforms and short video apps are working closer while livestream e-commerce is gaining traction. In the tie-up, e-commerce apps have their strengths in brands, supply chain, and after-sales support, whereas video apps have their advantages in rich content and access to potential buyers.

  • Kuaishou’s closer relationship with JD comes a few months after a hiccup with Taobao Live, the Alibaba-backed livestream major that supports a similar referral feature.
  • Livestream e-commerce, on the cusp of its boom, is expected to become a new driver for the upcoming shopping spree 618.
  • The festival comes when the country is trying to boost domestic consumption to offset the economic slowdown resulted from the coronavirus outbreak.
  • JD shareholder Tencent invested $2 billion in Kuaishou last year in Kuaishou’s $3 billion pre-IPO round, giving Kuaishou a valuation of around $28.6 billion.

Read more: Why Kuaishou beats Douyin for e-commerce

Details: The new deal allows Kuaishou users to purchase JD’s self-run products directly without leaving the short video app, offering a more streamlined shopping experience.

  • An existing deal between the two parties, inked last June, transfers Kuaishou users to JD app for completing the purchase.
  • This deal ensures Kuaishou users always stay inside the app, encouraging more impulse buying.
  • Buyers who place orders through Kuaishou could enjoy the same delivery and after-sales services provided by JD, according to a statement from the online retailer.
  • In addition, the two companies will work together in building up their supply chain networks, brand marketing, and digital capacities.
  • The new feature will be live in mid-June during JD’s mid-year shopping festival 618 and Kuaishou’s 616 shopping festival.

Context: Kuaishou reportedly multiplied its goal for live e-commerce gross merchandise volume (GMV) this year to RMB 250 billion ($35 billion), up from last year’s RMB 35 billion.

  • In comparison, Taobao Live achieved a GMV between RMB 200 billion to RMB 250 billion in 2019, while Douyin’s goal for this year is RMB 200 billion, according to local media.
  • Both Alibaba and JD are working Kuaishou rival Douyin for similar e-commerce referral features.

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.