China’s online giant Alibaba is shining with strong sales. However, the consumer festival is overshadowed by numerous problems that billionaire Jack Ma’s group is struggling with.
Beijing (AP) – Chinese online giant Alibaba set a sales record during the world’s largest discount battle.
As the group announced on Wednesday, half an hour after the official start, it sold products worth 372.3 billion yuan (about 47.7 billion euros) as part of “Singles Day.”
Unlike in previous years, Alibaba has been attracting customers this time since the beginning of November with shop windows and special offers that are incorporated into the result. Therefore, the record is not directly comparable with the result of the previous year, when the group had a turnover of 268.4 billion yuan.
Alibaba said it offered two million products, more than twice as many products on its platforms as the previous year. At its peak, 583,000 orders were placed per second. Other Chinese trading platforms also expected strong sales on Wednesday.
“Singles Day” on November 11 was originally considered a kind of anti-Valentine’s Day for singles in China, because the date consists of only ones. In 2009, Alibaba began offering its customers high discounts for 24 hours on that day. Competitors followed suit.
Strong sales on Alibaba’s “Singles Day” this year were overshadowed by several bad news the group had to come to terms with in recent days. Last week, for example, Chinese regulators surprisingly halted the IPO of financial subsidiary Ant Group. There is also concern that regulators in China are trying to curb the enormous market power of Alibaba and other Chinese tech companies with new rules.
In addition to electronics and cosmetics, analysts had expected particularly high demand for luxury items on Singles Day this year. Since the Chinese would prefer to buy them on trips abroad, which is not possible this year due to the corona pandemic, customers now stocked up on “Singles Day.”
As usual, Alibaba had kicked off the shopping festival the night before with a grand gala. This year, Katy Perry appeared as a guest star, which was only able to turn on due to the corona pandemic.