Alibaba sets record sales on Singles Day, despite government pressure

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Digital commerce giant Alibaba set a sales record during “Single People’s Day,” the biggest annual shopping date in China, despite a timid promotional campaign due to government pressure on tech companies.

In the crosshairs of Chinese authorities in its campaign against local Internet giants, the company of tycoon Jack Ma announced sales of 540.3 billion yuan (R$456 billion) during this event similar to “Black Friday” in the United States.

Along with its major competitor in the Internet commerce industry, it reached 889 billion yuan (BRL 755.5 billion), a figure that surpasses the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries like Puerto Rico, Cuba, or Ecuador.

This amount represented a record sales and an increase of approximately 20% compared to the previous year, despite a previous low-profile campaign, in the face of government pressure against consumerism and aggressive promotions.

Singles Day began more than a decade ago as a 24-hour event.

However, Alibaba and its competitors have expanded it with promotions from November 1st to November 11th, and some vendors and platforms begin offering discounts and special offers in October.

Digital platforms registered strong sales of items such as home appliances, electronics, pet products, or cosmetics.

Concerned about the growing power and market dominance of big technology companies, Chinese officials tightened regulation of the sector.

In electronic commerce, the government has tried to control the use of user data and end monopolistic practices, such as the veto that some platforms make of competitive products.

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