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Alibaba sees big Singles’ Day

2013-11-11 08:22 Global Times Web Editor: qindexing

The online sales revenue of Alibaba Group's two e-commerce platforms is expected to surpass 30 billion yuan ($4.93 billion) on this year's Singles' Day (November 11). which falls on Monday, according to Chairman Jack Ma Yun's estimation.

This figure is an increase from the revenue of 19.1 billion yuan generated from tmall.com and taobao.com on last year's Singles' Day, and almost equal to half of the annual revenue of US retail giant's Wal-Mart Stores Inc in China, which data from China Chain Store and Franchise Association showed was 58 billion yuan in 2012.

Ma made the estimate in a seminar on the economic situation chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on October 31, when Li said Ma had created a shopping spree, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

This year marks the fifth Singles' Day after Alibaba launched the online shopping festival in 2009, which was soon joined by other major online retailers in China.

"Tmall.com will still dominate online sales on this year's Singles' Day, but its growth pace will slow down," Cao Lei, director of China e-Business Research Center, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Cao said Tmall's major rivals such as suning.com and jd.com have already launched promotions and attracted sales. Also, this year's Singles' Day falls on Monday compared with last year's Sunday, so consumers have less time shopping online given many of them will be at work.

Nearly 30 percent of respondents said they will make online purchases on Singles' Day, while 40.6 percent are still considering. Among those intending to spend, half of them said their budgets fall between 500 yuan and 3,000 yuan, according to a survey result published on Thursday by HuiCong Research.

Discounts are the most important factor for consumers, followed by product quality and package delivery speed, according to the research. Some Internet users complained that some online sellers could deliberately raise product prices before the Singles' Day.

The Beijing Administration For Industry and Commerce held talks with 16 e-commerce retailers including jd.com, suning.com and amazon.cn on Wednesday, requiring them to strengthen regulation on promotions and prevent sellers' activities that will hurt consumers' interest.

Compared with big retailers on tmall.com, a business-to-consumer platform, small vendors on taobao.com are less enthusiastic on the upcoming sales bonanza.

"We want to join in the promotion, but it's only a big retailers' festival," Chen Gengsheng, a bag seller on taobao.com in Foshan, South China's Guangdong Province, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Chen said only big sellers, for instance, those with monthly sales volume surpassing 10,000 items in their stores, have the qualification to join in the promotion campaign.

"Alibaba will guide the consumer flow to big retailers, so I'm worried that my business will be affected," he said.

The online shopping festival has also been boycotted by 19 furniture retailers including Easyhome and Red Star Macallin, which forbid tenants from using their stores as offline experience venues for e-commerce.

However, some traditional retailers have chosen to cooperate with e-commence giants.

Chaoyang Joy City, a shopping mall in Beijing, encourages consumers to try clothes in its stores, which will then provide them with product codes from November 1 to 11, so that consumers can search and make purchases online from tmall.com.

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