Alibaba’s Singles’ Day Will Break Records Again This Year. Here’s What Donald Trump Can Learn From That
Sales for the world’s largest online shopping event, Singles’ Day, are likely to reflecting the sustained power of a demographic that has recently thought to be suffering from jitters: the Chinese consumer.
According to Bloomberg, younger and wealthier Chinese buyers will drive sales for the event, which is hosted by Alibaba (BABA).
The Chinese e-commerce giant’s event raked in 91.2 billion yuan ($13.5 billion) in 2015—that’s quadruple the haul of Cyber Monday in the U.S. And this year’s sales—which Bloomberg says will increasingly be influenced by international trends—are projected to be even bigger.
The message for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump? China’s growth is increasingly driven by its consumers rather than its factories.
That runs counter to much of the president-elect’s rhetoric, which played on the idea of an unscrupulous China stealing jobs from hard-working Americans. His proposed solution of more tariffs and protectionism was key to his victory in the rust belt states.
But in October, Alibaba’s chief executive Daniel Zhang told reporters, “Last year we brought many international brands to China for the first time.”
This year Alibaba wants to connect domestic and international buyers and sellers. Companies such as U.S. department store giant Macy’s, which has an outlet on Alibaba’s Tmall, are already planning to capitalize on China’s spending power. Bloomberg reports that other global brands, from Italian coffee makers to German manufacturers of bathroom fittings, are planning to take advantage of the bonanza.
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Nov. 11 will be the 8th annual Singles’ Day. The day is a holiday on which China’s many single people buy gifts and other treats for themselves. Alibaba began marking it in 2009 with just 27 merchants, but it has grown into a vast enterprise since then.
This year’s event had American pop icon Katy Perry slated as its global ambassador. But on Thursday, the ‘California Gurls’ singer pulled out of the extravaganza without explanation, Bloomberg reported. Perry’s withdrawal follows a flurry of tweets expressing her disappointment at the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections.
David Beckham will now headline the show instead.
This story has been updated.