China's biggest online shopping day, known as "Single Day" on November 11, is taking a toll this year as regulators storm the tech industry and President Xi Jinping is pushing for "normal success."
The Singles ’Day shopping festival - also known as Double 11 - is a major event for Chinese e-commerce companies. Last year, buyers spent $ 74 billion on Alibaba’s online shopping forums during the 11-day festival. Small rival JD.com reported $ 40 billion in sales over the same period.
Alibaba - China's largest e-commerce company - usually hosts a huge gala on the night before Nov. 11. The previous gallery featured stars such as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and the acrobatic acts of Cirque du Soleil.
The glossy live counter begins to mark midnight to count real-time consumer spending on Alibaba platforms such as Taobao and Tmall. The festival is considered a measure of land use in the world's most populous country.
This year, Alibaba has lowered the hype. The online gallery of Singles' Day on Thursday will be broadcast live due to the Covid-19 outbreak in parts of China. Alibaba claims to focus on sustainability, supporting organizations that help the poor and inclusive - themes that complement Beijing’s climate goals and Xi’s calls for “normal prosperity” aimed at curbing inequality and overuse.
“This year’s silent festivals are a complete storm of economic, competitive and regulatory pressure,” said Michael Norris, Shanghai-based agency strategic research officer at AgencyChina.
"In terms of regulations, e-commerce platforms are exploring how to integrate the use of extravaganza with 'normal prosperity' themes," he said.
Earlier this year, e-commerce forum Pinduoduo promised to provide farmers with $ 1.5 billion from farmers to increase their income, while Alibaba pledged $ 15.5 billion to support small and medium enterprises and support workers in the gig economy, as demand drivers. , according to the local news agency Zhejiang News.
This year, Alibaba also highlighted sustainability, setting up re-packaging facilities and collaborating with products to improve environmentally friendly packaging. Customers can donate a portion of the proceeds from their purchase to a charity or project of their choice.
The change in emphasis on sustainability comes after Alibaba was fined a $ 2.8 billion record for violating the rules of dishonesty. The government has been cracking down on technology and trying to curb practices that violate consumer rights.
Overcrowding in the sale of Singleness Day this year may also reflect a weak consumer demand and a shortage of other products due to a lack of building materials and energy, as well as the difficulty of delivering products through noisy transportation and delivery channels.
“Retailers have had a soft year so far, due to the weak growth of stores and reduced consumer confidence,” Norris said. "Adding insult to injury, the balance of power in production areas means that many retailers have set back their expectations - even if there is a great need, they will not be able to meet them."
Jacob Cooke, CEO of WPIC, a marketing company that helps Western companies to sell online in China, says the deepest discounts will not be the norm compared to previous Singles' Day sales.
“We will see strategies such as limited edition gifts that are more common instead of discarding merchants (items) at a 90 percent discount. . . due to shortages, shortages, ”he said.
A Beijing delivery worker drives an electric car full of packages on Thursday.Jade Gao / AFP via Getty Images
At the same time, popular short video platforms such as Kuaishou and Bytedance's Douyin, which have become commercially available, offer traditional e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba and JD.com for their revenue.
Live broadcasters in video forums can sell directly to consumers through their stream. Last year, Douyin reported two billion yuan ($ 313 million) transactions in Nov. 11.
"In terms of commercials (for short videos), it will be great because that's where all the eyeballs are," Cooke of WPIC said.
The Singles' Day festival is boosting the sales of live broadcasters such as Yang Guang, who has everything from clothing to household live broadcasts, he said.
However, he said long celebrations and sophisticated discount plans could frustrate buyers and sellers.
"As live broadcasters, we have to think of different strategies that make it always fun to broadcast in order to keep interested customers," he said.