Dou­ble 12 spree goes global

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By HE WEI in Shang­hai

Why have one mas­sive shop­ping gala when you can have two?

Just one month after the record-break­ing Sin­gles Day fes­ti­val, Al­ibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd shifted the fo­cus of the Dou­ble 12 (Dec 12) shop­ping spree out­side of the Chi­nese main­land, with over­seas trans­ac­tions more than tripling year-on-year via mo­bile wal­let Ali­pay.

More than 70,000 over­seas mer­chants across the United States, the United King­dom, France and New Zealand joined the sales fes­ti­val on Dec 10-12.

Peo­ple spent the most in France at 26,000 yuan ($3,760) per per­son on av­er­age and the UK at 11,000 yuan us­ing Ali­pay, ac­cord­ing to com­pany fig­ures.

The largest sin­gle pur­chase, for 158,000 yuan, was made by a buyer from Shang­hai at the high-end Har­rods de­part­ment store in Lon­don.

China’s post-1990 gen­era- tion are gen­er­ous spen­ders, ac­count­ing for a star­tling 40 per­cent of all over­seas buy­ers who pay their bills with phones. Young­sters from north­ern China’s Shanxi prov­ince topped the rank­ing, with an av­er­age spend­ing of 3,000 yuan via Ali­pay.

yuan

The dig­i­tal wal­let also han­dled more than 20,000 sim­pli­fied tax re­funds for pur­chases made by Chi­nese tourists. The high­est amount of re­fund reached 27,589 yuan.

From fast food to movie tick­ets, more than 110 mil­lion bar­gain-hun­ters headed to shop­ping malls and su­per­mar­kets for deals where Ali­pay was used as a means of pay­ment.

Shang­hai, Hangzhou and Bei­jing saw the high­est num- ber of buy­ers tak­ing part in the ex­trav­a­ganza. Peo­ple un­der the age of 30, who are more savvy with wire­less pay­ment, ac­counted for more than twothirds of all shop­pers in­volved.

“Dur­ing the Dou­ble 12 gala, cus­tomer traf­fic in our stores was more than dou­ble that of week­ends. It’s even 20 per­cent higher than dur­ing na­tional hol­i­days,” said Jiang Wen­jun, mar­ket­ing man­ager at Shang­hai’s Longe­mont shop­ping cen­ter, the largest sin­gle venue at­tract­ing the most peo­ple in the of­fline pro­mo­tion.

Part­nered with Ali­pay and Koubei, Al­ibaba’s lo­cal-ser­vices plat­form, tra­di­tional busi­nesses can be in­volved in om­nichan­nel re­tail­ing uti­liz­ing the per­va­sive­ness of smart­phones, and blend the strengths of on­line and of­fline ex­pe­ri­ences, said Gao Tiesh­eng, head of the China Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Al­ibaba is try­ing to blur the lines be­tween on­line and of­fline com­merce, which is con­ducive to boost­ing con­sumer spend­ing,” Gao said.

av­er­age spend­ing by young cus­tomers in Shanxi prov­ince dur­ing Dou­ble 12 value of goods im­ported by China from the EU in the Jan-Nov pe­riod

Un­der WTO rules, the re­quest for con­sul­ta­tion ini­ti­ates a dis­pute in the WTO. Con­sul­ta­tions give the par­ties an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss the mat­ter and find a sat­is­fac­tory so­lu­tion with­out pro­ceed­ing fur­ther with lit­i­ga­tion. The dis­cus­sion meet­ing will be held on a one-to-one ba­sis.

After 60 days, if the con­sul­ta­tions, which are usu­ally held in Geneva, fail to re­solve the dis­pute, the com­plainant may re­quest ad­ju­di­ca­tion by a panel se­lected by the WTO. The de­fen­dant party has the right to chal­lenge the panel’s rul­ing within a year.

Un­der such cir­cum­stances, a fi­nal ad­ju­di­ca­tion will be made by a WTO com­mit­tee within 90 days. The WTO will give 15 months to the de­fen­dant to carry out the fi­nal or­der. If the de­fen­dant does not fol­low the fi­nal de­ci­sion within this pe­riod, the suitor party could ap­ply trade re­tal­i­a­tion mea­sures, ac­cord­ing to the web­site of the WTO.

China im­ported $1.88 tril­lion of goods from the EU be­tween Jan­uary and Novem­ber this year. The US, in the mean­time, also shipped $1.19 tril­lion of goods to the Chi­nese mar­ket, data from the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms showed.

“A trade war would cer­tainly harm all of us be­cause it would change the method for de­ter­min­ing a fair price,” said Bai Ming, a re­searcher at the Chi­nese Academy of In­ter­na­tional Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion, the think tank of the Min­istry of Com­merce.

MA PING / XIN­HUA

A su­per­mar­ket em­ployee ex­plains what cat­e­gories of prod­ucts will get a dis­count, if paid through Ali­pay, in Tokyo, be­fore the Dou­ble 12 (Dec 12) shop­ping spree.

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