China's version of Black Friday, known as Singles Day, took place on November 11th and once again proved to be the world's largest shopping spree. E-commerce giants Alibaba, JD.com, and Pinduoduo were among the key players in this annual event, which spans over two weeks and drives fourth-quarter revenue growth. This shopping festival also serves as an important indicator of consumer sentiment in China.
Despite the backdrop of China's economic slowdown, Singles Day 2022 did not deliver the groundbreaking success that was anticipated. Both Alibaba and JD.com, for the first time, chose not to disclose the specific value of their sales during this period. Consequently, full results were not released by either company.
While Alibaba confirmed that sales growth was positive, the exact figures were not provided, leaving it uncertain if revenue reached a new record. In 2021, Alibaba experienced a peak in Singles Day sales and declared that 2022 sales were comparable to the previous year. On the other hand, JD.com announced that it achieved a record-breaking revenue in 2023. However, it is likely that both companies experienced slower growth compared to their pre-Covid-19 levels.
Independent analyses of Singles Day further confirm the subdued sales growth and indicate a weaker Chinese consumer market. From October 11th to November 11th, the gross merchandise value, which measures the sales volume of platforms, increased by less than 2.1% compared to the previous year's growth of 2.9%, according to Chinese data provider Syntun. Additionally, a survey conducted by consulting group Bain revealed that over 75% of shoppers intended to spend the same amount or less than they did in 2022.
In response to these results, shares in Alibaba saw a modest increase of 0.2% in premarket trading on Monday. Similarly, JD.com's stock advanced by 0.7%, while Pinduoduo's shares rose by 1.7%.