Alibaba did not reveal sales performance on Singles Day

Alibaba Group did not disclose the sales performance of its 11-day Singles Day online shopping festival for the first time since it started the event in 2009, saying that results were in line with last year.
Alibaba.com e-commerce salesAlibaba’s platforms achieved 8.5 percent increase in gross merchandise value (GMV) last year, its lowest yet.

In 2020, Alibaba’s sales performance during its Singles Day was 26 percent jump. Before 2020, the festival was a one-day event.

The e-commerce platform said in a press release that the online sales event had delivered results in line with last year’s GMV performance despite macro challenges and COVID-related impact.

Growth has been slowing in recent editions of Singles Day – the world’s biggest online shopping festival that has, despite its name, evolved into a lengthy event and become a barometer of Chinese retail demand.

Singles Day growth this year had been widely predicted at flat to low single digits, Reuters news report said.

Alibaba did not respond to requests for comment on its decision to avoid releasing figures on the 11-day sales event ended that ended on Friday.

Consultancy Syntun on Saturday estimated Alibaba and other Chinese e-commerce firms holding Singles Day shopping events together logged 934 billion yuan in sales, up 2.9 percent.

Citi analysts said this week they were conservatively forecasting Alibaba’s GMV for the event to range from 545 billion yuan to 560 billion yuan ($75 billion to $77 billion), with growth of 0.9 percent to 3.6 percent.

The e-commerce giant has for over a year toned down hype around the event as Chinese President Xi Jinping increasingly emphasises “common prosperity” – a push that seeks to eliminate growing wealth inequities and clamp down on what the Communist Party sees as excessive behaviour.

Alibaba did not hold its usual celebrity-studded gala this year or any in-person media events, citing the pandemic.

The company’s Tmall marketplace offered Singles Day deals on more than 17 million products, 3 million more than last year, with a record-matching 290,000 brands participating.

Alibaba did not say which brands sold well but said sales of high-tech beauty devices, such as gadgets to cool and lift facial skin, had surged some 5,570 percent from last year, while carpet cleaners and smart kitchen appliances had been selling extremely well.

Rival JD.com also did not publish GMV or sales growth but said Apple sold over 1 billion yuan ($140 million) worth of products in the first minute of the event’s final sales period on Thursday evening, which is marked by deeper discounts.