Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s total value of goods transacted during its 24-hour long 11.11 global shopping festival on Sunday touched CNY 213.5 billion (USD 30.8 billion), according to Alizila, Alibaba’s news portal.
The total gross merchandise volume (GMV) registered a 27 % year-on-year growth over the previous year’s sales of about CNY 168.2 billion (USD 25.3 billion). However, the growth rate fell to its lowest-ever in the event’s 10-year history. It dropped from 39% in 2017 to 27% this year.
Started by Alibaba in 2009, Singles' Day is the world's biggest online sales event putting even the US holiday shopping festivals to shame. The 2017 sales of Singles’ Day were 18 times the size of Amazon Prime Day and 2.5 times bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
The drop in the growth rate comes at a time the company is grappling with rising trade tensions between the US and China. Earlier this month, the company trimmed its expectations for full-year sales by as much as 6%. Shares plunged by as much as 2.7%. Domestically, Alibaba is also witnessing migration of smaller merchants to cheaper platforms such Pinduoduo Inc., backed by its competitor Tencent Holdings.
More than 180,000 brands participated in the annual sales event with 237 brands clocking over CNY 100 million (USD 14.4 million) in gross merchandise volume (GMV). Cainiao, the official logistics channel of Alibaba, processed over 1 billion delivery orders.
Brands from Japan, US, South Korea, Australia and Germany topped the list of companies who made hay during the Singles’ Day sale with 40% of buyers going for the international brands. The Singles' Day sale was made available to countries including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand through Lazada, the Southeast Asia e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba.