Strong performance eases investor concerns

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Singles Day Shopping Festival posted record sales of 540.3 billion yuan ($ 84.5 billion), giving China’s largest e-commerce company a much-needed boost after a year of increased regulatory oversight.

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Sales at the end of Nov. 11 topped the official tally of 498.2 billion yuan for 2020. This strong performance could allay the concerns of investors struggling with a 30% drop in Alibaba shares this year, which has saw the company hit a record US $ 2.8. billion dollars in antitrust fines and report its first shortfall in two years. Alibaba shares traded in the United States rose 3.3%.

Learn more about how the crackdown changed Singles Day

Since its debut in 2009, Singles’ Day has come to eclipse Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday sales in the United States in terms of intensity and size. Alibaba turned the event into a marketing showcase and advertising blitz, with huge discounts to encourage consumption as well as notable appearances by celebrities such as Taylor Swift in previous years.

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The 2020 edition roughly doubled sales from the previous year as Alibaba added more days and additional services to the count. But the festivities this time around have been more low-key, with Alibaba seeking to focus on growing sales towards its sustainability and philanthropy efforts, key pillars of President Xi Jinping’s drive to achieve “common prosperity.” “.

In the past 12 months, Beijing has introduced new regulations to curb the country’s largest private companies in areas ranging from e-commerce to fintech, data security and online content. As Singles Day approaches this year, authorities have called on national e-commerce platforms to tackle SMS spam marketing and refrain from unfair pricing.

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While its gala this year featured appearances by actor Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch and Chinese pop star Jackson Yi, Alibaba broke with the years gone by by not releasing gross value of goods figures for the presale period. or the first few minutes of November 11 itself before the end of an event. Instead, chief marketing officer Chris Tung told reporters the company is focused on pure growth of GMV towards “sustainable growth.”

“I think the value offered by 11.11 goes way beyond the GMV numbers,” Tung said at a press conference last month.

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Alibaba has pledged to donate 1 yuan each time Singles Day shoppers purchase certain items and post their purchases on social media. In a nod to another of Xi’s signature goals – to reduce China’s carbon emissions – Alibaba’s platforms are also showcasing energy-efficient products during the shopping festival, and its logistics network will help recycle them. packaging.

Analysts have long relied on revenue to assess the health of the Chinese economy as well as the country’s No.1 e-commerce platform operator. In recent years, Alibaba has faced stiff competition from competitors such as JD.com Inc. and Pinduoduo Inc., as well as live streaming platforms operated by ByteDance Ltd. after also launching promotions for Singles Day. China is also grappling with a new coronavirus outbreak that is the most widespread since the onset of the deadly pathogen in 2019, as government officials adopt increasingly aggressive measures that could derail economic activity.

Alibaba’s revenue fell below consensus expectations in the June quarter, its first failure since 2019. The company will release its September quarter results on November 18, with analysts forecasting a 33% increase in sales on average. .

Bloomberg.com

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