Double 12 spree goes global
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.
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.
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.