Singles Day shopping gala opens to booming sales in China

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The Double Eleven shopping gala, a Chinese online shopping extravaganza, saw booming sales on its opening on Monday (Nov 1), which industry experts said demonstrated the country’s consumers’ long-term resilience and vitality amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first hour of Monday, the turnover of more than 2,600 brands exceeded that of the entire day last year. Domestic brands, including sportswear company Erke and automaker Wuling Motors, saw high demand during the period, said Tmall, an online shopping platform of Alibaba Group.

The Double Eleven shopping gala, also known as the Singles Day shopping spree, was a trend started by Alibaba’s e-commerce platform on Nov 11, 2009, which has become China’s biggest online shopping event. It usually lasts from Nov 1 to 11 to lure bargain hunters.

E-commerce giant JD said that it sold more than 190 million products in the first four hours of the gala, which started this year at 8pm on Sunday.

The turnover of Apple’s products on JD in the first four hours of the gala increased 200 per cent year-on-year, while sales of electronics products from Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo during the first hour all exceeded those of the same period last year, according to JD.

Notably, purchases by overseas consumers on Joybuy, JD’s global online site, during the period increased by 198 per cent year-on-year, which exceeded their purchases for the whole of Nov 1 last year.

“This year’s shopping spree indicated a continued sound recovery in demand amid the pandemic. Such a rapid growth of online shopping also demonstrated the country’s vitality in new consumption in the long term,” said Suning Institute of Finance’s senior researcher Fu Yifu.

Consultancy firm Bain & Co predicted in a report that compared with the previous year, the number of consumers from the lower-tier cities that participated in the shopping gala this year is expected to exceed that of first- and second-tier cities.

Also, up to 52 per cent of surveyed consumers plan to increase their spending during this year’s shopping gala. The average spending of consumers during the festival was 2,104 yuan (S$443) last year, the report said.

Morgan Stanley noted in a report that China’s private consumption is expected to double to about US$13 trillion (S$17.5 trillion) by 2030, which will surpass the United States.

“Driven by such a shopping gala, a group of products that are cost-effective, trendy in design, and are able to meet the tastes of young consumers have also emerged, which will take the consumer sector to an even higher level of development,” said Dr Liu Tao, a senior researcher from the Development Research Centre of the State Council.

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