If you have noticed some news about China in May and June each year, you may find out a lot of warming-up propagandas of coupons and discount sales always come in that period. Most of them are talking about the key number and the date June 18th of the year. So what is exactly 618’s meaning in Chinese?”


|  解读中文里 618 的含意

English Words:       Six One Eight

Chinese Pinyin:      Liù Yāo Bā 

Chinese Characters:  618

Similar Chinese Words:   
    元宵夜 (Yuán Xiāo Yè)| Chinese's Lantern Festival Night
Related Chinese Words:   
    168 (Yāo liù bā)| Another common digital combination in China.
    中国谐音数字 (Zhōngguó xiéyīn shùzì)| China's figures/digital homophonic.

Related App: 
    京东商城 (Jīngdōng shāngchéng)| Also known as "京东" app for online shopping with mobile phones.

What Is the “618” meaning in Chinese?

| 在中文里,“618”指的是?

Tell 618's meaning in Chinese

“618” is one of the common homophonic digital combination in China. Not only as a three-digit number, it is more related to the date of June 18.

618 是中国常见的一组谐音数字组合。它不仅仅是一个三位数,更多与日期 6 月18 日这一天相关。

Because the time & date in Chinese is obeying in order like Year – Month – Date – Hour – Minute – Second, for both reading or written, and the figure 618 corresponds to the date of June 18, the figures in 618 in Chinese should be read separately, each digit read one-by-one from the highest place to the lowest, that is from the left to right, complying with the order of the date instead of Chinese numbers rules.

由于在中文里,时间和日期通常是按 年秒 的顺序来读写的,并且 618 正好与 6 月 18 日对应,所以,618 在中文里的正确读法是遵循日期的读法顺序,从高位向低位(即从左往右)依次读出每个数字,而不是按中文三位数的读法来读。

To view from the formation, the figure 618 is consist of three numbers, two of which are considered very lucky by the Chinese. The figure 6, written as “六 (liù)” in the simplified Chinese, stands for “smoothly and going well”. For example, there is a popular Chinese idiom known as “六六大顺 (liù liù dà shùn)”, which is always used to wish other and everything goes well, especially on successful business or career development.

从表面上数字的构成来看,数字组合 618 中包含了 2 个被中国人视为十分吉利的数字 6 和 8。其中,数字 6,在中国汉语里写作 “六”,象征着“顺利”,如中国有一个常用成语叫 “六六大顺”,是用来祝福他人万事顺利、事业大吉大利的祝福语。

And the figure 8 is pronounced in Chinese similar to the character “发 (fā)” in the Chinese word “发财 (fā cái)”, which means to get rich. So the figure 8 in China always means to “get rich”, “business goes with success and prosperity” or “be rich and powerful”.

而数字 8 在中文里的发音类似词语“发财”中的 “发”字,因此,数字 8 在中国寓意着“发财”、“发达”和“富贵”。

Moreover, the central figure 1 among 618 is usually read as “yāo” in the spoken of Chinese numbers, although it is written as “一 (yī)” in the simplified Chinese. And the pronunciation of “yāo” is much similar to a Chinese word “要 (yào)” meaning want to/will, or similar to “又 (yòu)” with a meaning of and/in addition to.

另外,当数字 1 作为数字时,中国人在口头上通常将 1 读作“yāo”,并非采用汉字“一”的标准读音“yī”。而“yāo”的谐音又类似中国汉字里的“要”或“又”。

Thus, after linking two lucky number 6 to 8 together with 1, the figure 618 is pronounced in the Chinese more like a combination of the Chinese characters “六” and “发”, then is consequently considered as a lucky and easy-to-memorize figure in China.

这样拥有了两个吉利数字 6 和 8 的组合 618,再用 1 衔接起来,在中文里整体读来仿佛是“又六又发”的组合,因此,618 被中国人普遍视作是又好记又幸运的数字组合之一。

On the other hand, one more topic related to 618 to be mentioned here is the “618 Mid-year Shopping event” held by JD, also to be called “JD’s 618 Anniversary Sales”.

另外,说起 618, 不得不提的是由京东举办的 “618 年中购物节”,也被称作是 “京东 618 周年庆”。

JD, aka Jingdong or JD.com, as one of the top famous Chinese e-commerce platforms in China, designate the day of June 18 of each year as JD’s anniversary. Since the year 2010, JD will launch a large-scale online promoting sales with exclusive coupons before/around the day. And the day June 18, can be said to be the most climax of this super promotional sales and anniversary celebration.

京东,作为中国知名的主流电商平台之一,将每年的 6 月 18 日定为京东的店庆日。自 2010 年起,京东都会围绕这一天推出一系列的大型促销活动。6 月 18 日可以说是京东促销力度最大的一天以及活动的最高潮。

Due to that reason, “618 Mid-year Sales” is gradually developed to be the Chinese people’s another nationwide online shopping carnival event following the “Double 11 Shopping Carnival” held by Alibaba. On this day or the second half of the previous month, Chinese people tend to have very strong interests on shopping online, and will give much attention to this promoting sales and big discounts.

也因此,“618”在中国逐渐演变成为继阿里巴巴发起的 “双 11 购物节”后属于中国人的又一大全民网购狂欢节。在这一天,或前半个月的时间里,人们往往会产生浓厚的购物兴趣,并给予巨大的关注度。

Now, if 618 is heard by people, it is more likely associated with the discount sales around June 18. If a virtual Alipay/ WeChat red packet with a sum of 618 yuan (CNY) comes, or at least with 6.18 yuan,  it is always considered to be a good fortune.

现在,人们若听到 618, 往往会很快联想到在 6 月 18 日前后的打折促销活动。若收到数额等于 618 的支付宝或微信红包,则会视为十分吉利和幸运。 


618 and Digital Homophonic Culture in China

| 618 与中国的数字谐音文化

谐音 (Xié Yīn)  refers to homophones or near-homophones in the Chinesethat is, some Chinese characters or words have the same or similar pronunciations in the Chinese language. With regard to the digital homophonic in Chinese, it means that some digits or figures are pronounced the same or similar to other Chinese characters.


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