Hangzhou-based Alibaba, Group Holding started its annual Singles’ Day shopping festival on Wednesday, with sales already surpassing CNY372 billion, or $56.27 billion. The order rate also hit a record high of 583,000 per second, the company said.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic is largely under control in china, consumers are rushing to take advantage of the day of discounted products. This year the company launched the event earlier, with two primary discount periods taking place from Nov. 1 through Nov. 3 and on Nov. 11. Alibaba will also calculate gross merchandise volume over the full 11-day period starting Nov. 1 and not the usual Nov. 11, 24-hour period.
There are also other competitors , such as such as JD (NASDAQ JD) that are holding their own Single’s Day events.
The event comes just one week after Chinese regulators postponed Ant Group’s $37 billion IPO. Alibaba lost almost $76 billion of its market value following this news , because they own a third of Ant Group. Chinese tech shares, including those of Alibaba and JD.Com, collapsed after the Communist Party disclosed draft regulations to root out monopolistic practices in the internet industry on Tuesday. Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares dived 8.86% to HK$251 ($32.27)
The State Administration for Market Regulation, the country’s Antitrust observer, is looking for feedback until the end of November on the regulations to curb anti-competitive behavior. These behaviors include conspiracy on sharing delicate consumer data, alliances that squeeze out smaller rivals and subsidizing services at below cost to eliminate competitors. The regulations could also require companies that operate a variable interest entity, used by virtually all major Chinese internet companies to attract foreign investment and lists overseas, to apply for specific operating approval.
Joint-Win Partners securities attorney John Dong told Bloomberg, “I literally gasped when I first read these guidelines. The timing, on the eve of Singles’ Day, the forcefulness and the resolve to remake the tech giants is startling.”