Sin­gles’ Day boost for Alibaba

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

CHI­NESE shop­pers un­leashed a record del­uge of cash on­line for Sin­gles Day, Alibaba said, spend­ing al­most US$18 bil­lion with the e-com­merce gi­ant in the world’s big­gest on­line shop­ping pro­mo­tion.

Sin­gles’ Day – named for the re­peated digit 1 in the date Novem­ber 11 – was created by Alibaba in 2009.

Now in just 24 hours it sur­passed the main US on­line spend­ing spree, the five days from Thanks­giv­ing to Cy­ber Mon­day.

Gross mer­chan­dise vol­ume, Alibaba’s key mea­sure of on­line sales, was 120.7 bil­lion yuan ($17.8 bil­lion) this year – up from 91.2 bil­lion yuan in 2015.

Con­sumers spent more than $1 bil­lion in the first five min­utes of the sales, the firm said.

Ri­val e-com­merce gi­ant, which fo­cuses more on elec­tron­ics, said its sales to­tal – which it did not spec­ify – sur­passed last year’s fig­ure soon after noon.

Some shop­pers stayed up un­til mid­night to pur­chase dis­counted goods the mo­ment Sin­gles Day got un­der way.

In the US, to­tal on­line sales from Thanks­giv­ing through Cy­ber Mon­day last year stood at $11.1 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Adobe Dig­i­tal In­dex.

Alibaba’s New York-listed stock has been buoy­ant this year in spite of wor­ries over slow­ing growth in China, as con­sumer spend­ing has ex­panded while the old in­dus­trial econ­omy strug­gles due to over­ca­pac­ity and slug­gish de­mand.

An­a­lysts said the event, which has gained more and more trac­tion in the past few years, is key to Alibaba.

The day’s turnover was only “a very small frac­tion of its to­tal an­nual sales”, in­de­pen­dent e-com­merce an­a­lyst Li Cheng­dong said, but was “a con­fi­dence in­dex for the firm”.

“If they do well in this, it is a boost to in­vestors’ con­fi­dence,” he told AFP.

But sales growth may not match last year’s 60 per­cent rise, he warned, in the face of eco­nomic wor­ries and stricter reg­u­la­tion.

China’s com­merce watch­dog SAIC sum­moned Alibaba and 14 other ecom­merce com­pa­nies ear­lier this week, ban­ning them from mak­ing up fake or­ders and lift­ing prices be­fore giv­ing out dis­counts.

Alibaba it­self has sought to down­play the im­por­tance of the turnover statis­tic. –

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