Published - November 14, 2022 @ 3:41 PM (EET)
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), for the first time, declined to disclose the final sales tally of its annual Singles Day shopping festival, another sign of the strong headwinds facing China's economy and businesses.
Alibaba only said that results were comparable with last year. Gross merchandise value for Alibaba's platforms rose 8.5% in 2021, its lowest yet since launching in 2009, following a 26% jump in 2020.
For 2021's event, the company reported $84.5 billion in the total value of goods sold. Rival JD.com's (NASDAQ:JD) transaction volume was $54.6 billion last year.
While still called Singles Day, the event has grown from a one-day event to a multi-week promotional campaign with steep discounts on nearly everything the company sells.
In a press release this weekend, the e-commerce platform said that the event had "delivered results in line with last year's GMV performance despite macro challenges and COVID-related impact."
On Thursday and Friday, online sales in China totaled $43.3 billion across major retailers, based on transactions on dozens of platforms, according to the market-data provider Syntun.
For over a decade, Alibaba boasted record-breaking sales numbers each year after the annual shopping festival.
However, analysts are expecting Alibaba to report revenue for the period falling nearly 7% to $29.35 billion when it releases third-quarter earnings on November 17.
To be sure, Alibaba faces broader challenges, with the days of breakneck growth seen as over for the industry.
"The campaign took place this year against a backdrop of macroeconomic volatility, Covid-19 outbreaks, and supply-chain disruption," Alibaba said.
As lead Xi Junping launched a sector-wide crackdown on the industry's top firms in 2019, Chinese tech firms have had it particularly rough in recent years.
Shares of Alibaba rose 1.4% to $70.77 in New York trading Friday.
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