China’s Alibaba kicks off final hours of Singles’ Day shopping event

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SHANGHAI, Nov 11 (Businesshala) – A virtual appearance by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch and lucrative deals kicked off the final 24 hours of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (9988.HK) Singles Day shopping event on Thursday, spurring shoppers into the world. Hope because it preaches. stability this year.

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The online blitz, like last year, has expanded from a one-day event to two primary grace periods, taking place from November 1 to November 3, and then throughout the day of November 11.

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The company has downplayed its hype of a general sales boom this year amid tight regulatory scrutiny, saying its priorities are encouraging “eco-friendly consumption” and “supporting vulnerable populations”.

But the event remains a top attraction for millions of merchants and shoppers. Last year, it racked up $74 billion in orders, or “gross trading value” (GMV), in 11 days after the event.

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However, analysts say they expect Alibaba to report a modest increase in GMV this year, citing slowdown in retail sales, supply chain constraints, power disruptions as well as the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. .

The company is turning away from audiences for its annual entertainment gala this year or opening a media center for journalists for the first time, opting to livestream the event instead, citing COVID-19 precautions.

Cumberbatch was the highest-profile foreign celebrity to attend Wednesday evening’s ceremony, though virtually. In previous years, before the pandemic, stars such as Taylor Swift and Pharrell Williams performed at the gala.

Alibaba said that in the first second of the sale on November 1, shoppers bought 300 million yuan ($46.94 million) worth of Apple (AAPL.O) iPhones, a figure that surpassed all iPhone sales on the first day within four minutes . Last year’s event.

More than 200 luxury brands are participating in this year’s event, offering over 100,000 new products, adding that the number of buyers placing orders during the first sales window for luxury goods has increased over the past year. An increase of 40% as compared to

The shopping event also includes a year of ongoing regulatory tightening in several industries by Chinese authorities, during which Alibaba was a frequent target.

The company was fined a record $2.8 billion for monopolistic behavior last spring and its founder Jack Ma, China’s highest-profile entrepreneur, has withdrawn from public view after criticizing Chinese regulators a year ago.

($1 = 6.3916 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)

Reporting by Josh Horvitz; Editing by Brenda Goh and Amelia Sithol-Mataris


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