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Alibaba said Singles Day sales grew, but it was no bonanza

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Burberry Alibaba Festival Credits: Alibaba

China's Singles Day, the world's largest shopping festival, concluded with Alibaba reporting positive sales growth, although full results were not disclosed. Fortune estimated the shopping spree's value at 156 billion dollars, a critical contributor to China's fourth-quarter economy, but the event may have appeared to have lost its shine. Notably, this marks the second consecutive year that major e-commerce players such as JD.com and Alibaba opted not to reveal sales figures for the two-week event.

Alibaba's Singles Day sales reportedly peaked in 2021, and while the company indicated that 2022 sales were comparable to the previous year, specific figures were not disclosed. JD.com, on the other hand, announced a record revenue for 2023. However, analysts attribute the muted growth at these companies to Chinese macroeconomic challenges, including a slowdown in GDP growth, weakened consumer confidence, and concerns about the property market, impacting their performance compared to the pre-COVID-19 era.

Bain, in its holiday newsletter, conducted a survey revealing that Chinese consumers are becoming more value-conscious, with 77 percent of respondents planning to spend less or maintain spending during this year's Singles Day event. The survey reflects changing consumer behavior influenced by economic headwinds, indicating a shift in the shopping landscape during this key period.

Singles Day