Singles’ Day on the Nov. 11 (11.11) shopping festival broke sales records for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, to hit a staggering 540.3 billion yuan ($84.5 billion).
Alibaba sales at the end of 11.11 breached last year’s 498.2 billion yuan, even after tighter regulations this past year. The record sales also rebuilt investor confidence as Alibaba shares, which tumbled by 30% earlier this year but closed 2.4% higher on Thursday.
Over the past year, the Chinese government launched a slew of regulations impacting e-commerce, fintech, data security, and online content. Just before Singles’ Day, local e-commerce marketplaces were instructed to reduce marketing-related text messages and keep prices stable. Alibaba was also hit with a whopping $2.8 billion antitrust fine and reported lower revenues in two years.
The 2020 sales roughly doubled sales from the prior year, as Alibaba extended the sale period and added services. This year’s sales skyrocketed against subdued festivities.
Alibaba pledged to donate 1 yuan for each Singles’ Day purchase of certain products posted on social media. To support government efforts to reduce China’s carbon emissions, the e-commerce platform is pushing energy-efficient products during the 11.11 festival and will start to recycle packaging.
Analysts predict a 33% increase in Alibaba’s average sales when the company releases September quarter results on Nov. 18.