TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_But sales growth for the annual shopping festival eased to 26%, the weakest since the event started in 2009, held back by a slowing e-commerce industry in China as the country’s economic expansion heads toward a historic low.
The event tmsnrt.rs/2WTFm7V, a gauge of Chinese consumer sentiment, has also become a shop window this year for Alibaba as it plans to sell $15 billion worth of shares in Hong Kong this month. The U.S.-listed firm has spent big to diversify its business yet still earns over four-fifths of revenue from e-commerce.
Alibaba turned China’s informal Singles’ Day into a shopping event in 2009 and built it into the world’s biggest online sales fest, dwarfing Cyber Monday in the United States which took in $7.9 billion last year. The name is a play on the date, Nov. 11, rendered 11/11 - or Double Eleven, as the event is also known.
The event has since been replicated at home and abroad, with Singles’ Day promotions found at rivals such as China’s JD.com Inc and Pinduoduo Inc as well as South Korea’s 11thStreet and Singapore’s Qoo10.
Alibaba said on Monday its gross merchandise volume or GMV for the whole event came in at 268.4 billion yuan ($38.4 billion), up 26% from last year but below Citic Securities’ forecasts for a 20-25% expansion.