Post-COVID insight: Creativity and innovation in China’s e-commerce sector

In this edition of post-COVID insights, we speak to Xu Ming, a visual design expert from to uncover how one of China’s top Internet and e-commerce companies adapted and innovated through the pandemic.

Illustration: four people on phones

In the post-COVID era, what challenges and opportunities will innovators face? How will they respond to changes and seize opportunities? To find out, we’ve launched the “Post-COVID Insight” series, inviting innovators in different industries to share their insights and views on the post-COVID era.

Customer headshot with text: "Xu Ming, Retail User Expereince Design Department,, Visual Design Expert

For this edition, we spoke with Xu Ming, a visual design expert from the Retail User Experience Design Department at to uncover how one of China’s top Internet and e-commerce companies adapted and innovated through the pandemic. Here’s what he had to say.

As a pioneer, JD is positioned to better adapt to change

Under the pandemic, one of the most significant changes is how people work. Online communication and long-distance collaboration have become the norm, and collaborative office software widely used. As an Internet industry pioneer, JD stands at the forefront of innovation. Several years ago, JD’s creative team launched a collaborative project with its partners, requiring a suite of work specifications for the intra-team handover and collaboration on design documents to keep up with downstream delivery. Thanks to this, the team at JD quickly acclimatised to the pandemic, seeing individual members adapt while changes made to the corporate structure.

After China’s prolonged nationwide fight against the pandemic, Xu believes that remote and online work will become the norm. That means major enterprise design departments need to set up systematic procedures that adopt this change into their own working conditions.

Design of space with rocket

As an “experienced hand”, JD can see the calm in crisis

Since the beginning of the pandemic, e-commerce has become a rapidly growing opportunity for China’s economic recovery. But competition grows fierce as many companies rush to get their piece of the pie. As e-commerce veterans, the team at JD view the current wave of uncertainty with a sense of calm, and with an “experienced hand”. They understand more than ever that only better user experiences can help win the market, and this means experience design is more valuable than ever.

Amid this opportunistic environment, Xu believes that innovators can now play up their roles to the extreme, leveraging their skillsets to showcase value. E-commerce companies with an online presence will require better creative, as well as smoother, optimised experiences, creative advertising formats and strategies that highlight brand influence – all aspects in which creative thinkers will need to focus. As an important part of experience design, users have high demands for optimised visual content. With the help of digital creative tools, designers can streamline their work while maintaining fast, high-quality output to deliver exceptional experiences.

Design of flowers and patterns

As a “fellow traveler”, JD hopes companies will better trust and support creatives

When talking about his hopes for the future of creatives and the industry, Xusays corporate decision-makers should give more space, tolerance and trust to their creatives. They should work both internally and externally to create a stable work environment for creatives, acting as their pillar of support. Companies in the creative ecosystem can further innovate product functions and improve collaboration tools to ensure smoother long-distance teamwork between departments, coordinate and unify creative tools, and offer physical support.