China's Singles' Day is losing its gloss amid tech crackdown and scrutiny

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Nov 12, 2021, 05:14 PM(IST)

A woman selling television sets prepares to live stream ahead of the Singles’ Day shopping festival  Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The single-digit growth has underscored strong regulatory and supply chain headwinds for China's tech firms

Singles' Day, which is an unofficial holiday and marks the beginning of the shopping season in China, is losing its gloss.

The slowest pace of sales growth was recorded by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The single-digit growth has underscored strong regulatory and supply chain headwinds for China's tech firms.

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The gross merchandise value of Singles' Day, originally called Bachelor's Day, has been hurt by a slower economy and tighter regulatory scrutiny.

Founded in 2009, the festival had recorded at least double digits every year. 

State-backed Securities Daily newspaper criticised ''The 'worship of turnover' is not only unsustainable in terms of digital growth but is also inextricably linked to chaos.''

It also said the shift of focus from sales is ''chaotic and incompatible with China's new development path.''

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"The magic of Double 11 is fading," said Sharry Wu, Greater China consulting business transformation leader at consulting firm EY.

"Brands have to understand after years of practice, Singles' Day is not their guaranteed sales booster."

Meanwhile, experts believe the reason behind this year's growth slump is the poor quality of products and customers being wary of the day's promotions.

President Xi Jinping had especially targetted abuse of user data and monopolistic business practices by platforms during the crackdown.

Despite heavy pressure from the government, Alibaba and industry rival earned 889 billion yuan ($139.4 billion).

The shopping fest is considered as a barometer of consumer sentiment in the world's second-largest economy.

(With inputs from agencies)

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