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With discounts galore and Taylor Swift, Alibaba eyes another record Singles’ Day

SHANGHAI: Alibaba Group will kick off its annual 24-hour procuring extravaganza on Nov 11 with offers and deep reductions galore, and a efficiency by American popstar Taylor Swift to high all of it, because it pushes to rake in one other report Singles’ Day gross sales.

This yr’s Nov 11 bash comes because the US$486bil (RM2tril) Chinese language retail juggernaut navigates by way of a serious turning level, the resignation in September of its flamboyant co-founder Jack Ma as chairman, and appears to lift as much as US$15bil (RM62.01bil) through a share sale in Hong Kong as early as this month.

Akin to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in america, Singles’ Day, a procuring fest initially promoted by Alibaba chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang in 2009, has since grown quickly to change into the world’s greatest on-line gross sales occasion.

Alibaba noticed gross sales price US$30bil (RM124.03bil) on its platforms on Singles’ Day final yr, dwarfing US$7.9bil (RM32.65bil) US on-line gross sales for Cyber Monday. But, the 27% gross sales development was the bottom within the occasion’s 10-year historical past, spurring a seek for recent concepts.

“This yr would be the 11th 11.11 competition, with greater than 200,000 manufacturers taking part, a million new merchandise on supply and over 500 million customers are anticipated to take part – about 100 million greater than final yr,” Alibaba mentioned in an announcement.

Taylor Swift, whose newest album Lover has damaged data in China, will headline this yr’s opening gala alongside native celebrities like Jackson Yee. Swift additionally carried out at Prime Day live performance for rival Amazon.com earlier this yr.

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day celebrations have featured US singer Mariah Carey and musician Pharrell Williams up to now.

Livestreamers are additionally set to play a distinguished position in product promotions this yr, as Alibaba more and more turns to on-line video influencers to extend engagement on its app.

It has partnered with Kuaishou and Douyin, two widespread Chinese language video apps, to assist it broadcast product promotions, and within the run-up to the present even roped in US movie star entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, who launched a Tmall stream to advertise her KKW line of magnificence merchandise.

Intense competitors

Its heavy advertising marketing campaign underscores intensifying competitors with smaller rivals corresponding to Pinduoduo which have outsmarted Alibaba in second- and third-tier cities with deep reductions and group-buying offers.

Alibaba has been making an attempt to develop its buyer base past its core first- and second-tier metropolis customers to much less developed areas to fight slowing retail gross sales development, describing it as a key technique for the agency this yr.

Pinduoduo will likely be additionally holding its personal “Singles’ Day” occasions on the identical day.

The e-commerce upstart has signalled its intentions to interrupt Alibaba and rival JD.com’s stronghold on rich Chinese language customers, saying that half of the app’s customers now hail from first- and second-tier cities.

Alibaba additionally faces challenges of a regulatory crackdown and a slowing economic system, damage by US-China commerce tensions.

Forward of the Nov 11 occasion, China warned Alibaba and JD.com to cease practices that may very well be deemed as monopolistic, state media reported earlier this month. – Reuters

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