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It's a summer of competition everywhere. While a soccer championships in Europe arouses spectators' enthusiasm, Chinese e-commerce websites are waging a battle of their own for consumers' eyeballs as they fight a price war.
Almost all of the top 10 e-commerce players are offering large discounts and rebates to users, part of their effort to attract customers and gain an upper hand in the market.
On Monday, the battle came to a climax. To celebrate its anniversary, Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co, which runs 360buy.com, offered discounts worth 1 billion yuan ($157.3 million) for purchases in June.
At the same time, Tmall.com, the largest business-to-consumer website in China, gave users "red-pocket money" worth 40 million yuan to encourage purchases from June 15 to 18.
Since May, it has also provided 300 million yuan in rebates for vendors and buyers of electronic products.
Home appliance retailer Suning Appliance Co, a smaller competitor, said it would offer rebates of whatever users spent from June 18 to 22, to be used for future purchases.
The anniversary of 360buy.com comes at a key time for e-commerce, with players engaged in cut-throat competition for market share.
"The price war is very likely to be a practice for e-commerce companies for a long time to come as online shoppers like low prices," said a company official of Suning, who preferred not to be named.
Price wars have become the norm for e-commerce players, but the tactic has added to their financial burdens, and most of them remain in the red.
360buy.com, for example, had a net loss of more than 1 billion yuan last year, doubling the previous year.