Chinese shoppers spend $139B during Singles’ Day fest

·1 min read

CHINESE shoppers spent US$139.1 billion during this year’s annual Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza, breaking last year’s record even though spending slowed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alibaba tallied 540.3 billion yuan ($84.5 billion) in spending over the festival that spanned Nov. 1 to Nov. 11, the company said Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, a growth of 14 percent compared to a nearly 93 percent increase last year.

Rival JD.com reported 349.1 billion yuan ($54.6 billion) in transactions this year, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 11, about a 28 percent increase compared to 32 percent growth in 2020.

The slowdown in growth for the world’s largest online shopping festival, which typically ends on Nov. 11, comes amid reduced marketing hype and a crackdown on the technology industry.

Singles’ Day has been viewed as the largest online marketing event of the year. In previous years, the festival was heavily advertised for weeks ahead of time with brands and merchants offering deep discounts to attract consumers looking for bargains.

But shoppers say deep discounts of what is also called “Double Eleven” are now a thing of the past and experts are predicting lower sales as the economy slows.

This year, Alibaba, the e-commerce platform that pioneered the online shopping festival more than a decade ago, decided not to showcase a running tally of its real-time gross merchandise volume (GMV) — defined as the amount of transactions racked up across its platform — on its site for the shopping festival, taking on a more muted tone compared to previous years of glitzy marketing campaigns.

Chinese regulators have cracked down on technology companies, investigating giants like Alibaba and food delivery firm Meituan over alleged anti-competitive practices. (AP)

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