June 13, 2024

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Alibaba, JD’s data disappointment nixes hopes for China consumption revival

2 min read

For the second year in a row, China’s e-commerce behemoths are being cagey about how much they sold on Singles Day, the Chinese super-shopping festival that leaves the U.S.’s Black Friday in the dust when it comes to revenue.

Both Alibaba and JD.com reported sales growth on Sunday, but declined to give specifics nor overall revenue figures.

“In total numbers, if [Alibaba and JD are] saying that they’re continuing to make record sales and transactions, then good for them. But I think the fact that they haven’t publicly come out with any of these figures is perhaps a little bit telling,” Galvin Chia, an emerging markets strategist at NatWest, says.

The 11.11 shopping festival is traditionally a barometer for consumer sentiment in China, and the last big shopping event of the year. This year’s Singles Day is the first in the country since Beijing lifted COVID restrictions at the end of 2022, and the last chance to see a hoped-for post-pandemic rebound in consumer spending. A small growth in sales for this year’s Singles Day would mean that China’s consumption recovery is still a long way off.

Alibaba reported positive year-on-year growth in gross merchandise value, number of orders, and participating merchants on its platforms Taobao and Tmall, without giving specifics. The company also said over four hundred brands surpassed 100 million Chinese renminbi ($13.7 million) in gross merchandise value by midnight, Nov. 11. JD.com said that over 60 brands surpassed 1 billion Chinese renminbi ($137 million) in transaction volume.

Chinese delivery companies handled over 5.3 billion packages in the first 11 days of November, a 23% increase year-on-year, according to official data.

Newcomers to Singles Day may have done better. Chinese livestreaming platform Kuaishou reported 50% year-on-year growth in orders made on its platform. Services like Kuaishou and Douyin—ByteDance’s version of TikTok for the Chinese market—have become new…

Lionel Lim

2023-11-13 05:32:51

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