Alibaba, JD.com say U.S. was top seller to China during Singles’ Day event

Alibaba's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival
FILE PHOTO: A woman checks data of Alibaba Group's Singles' Day global shopping festival at a media center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China November 11, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

November 12, 2020

By Sophie Yu and Josh Horwitz

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba <9988.HK> and JD.com <JD.O> said the United States was the top seller of goods to China during the Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza that generated about $116 billion in merchandise volume for the pair.

Singles’ Day is usually a one-day sales event, the world’s biggest, eclipsing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. Many online companies offer deals at the event.

This year, companies including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <BABA.O> and JD.com Inc <9618.HK> offered promotions over several days, with sales widely interpreted as indicative of China’s rebounding post-virus economy.

Customers, unable to travel abroad because of the COVID-19 pandemic, snatched up deals from brands including Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Fast Retailing Co Ltd’s <9983.T> Uniqlo.

Alibaba generated gross merchandise volume (GMV) of 498.2 billion yuan ($75.28 billion). JD.com, which recorded 271.5 billion yuan in GMV, told Reuters on Wednesday that best-selling products included Apple Inc <AAPL.O> iPhones, L’Oreal SA’s <OREP.PA> Lancome toner and 60-inch smart LCD TVs from Sharp Corp <6753.T>.

Alibaba offered promotions in two windows starting Nov. 1 but calculated GMV over 11 days. JD.com offered deals Nov. 1 through Nov. 11.

The event was overshadowed by news that China aimed to propose anti-monopoly rules for internet platforms.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed stock, which took a beating when regulators scuppered the listing of fintech affiliate Ant Group, dropped another 10% on Wednesday. It was up 3% around midday Thursday.

Alibaba said other top-selling countries this year included Australia, Germany, Japan and South Korea. Over 470 firms exceeded 100 million yuan in GMV. Last year, Alibaba merely named Japan and the United States among biggest sellers.

Alibaba clocked GMV of $38.4 billion in a single day last year and said 299 brands surpassed 100 million yuan in GMV, including Nestle SA <NESN.S> and Under Armour Inc <UAA.N>.

($1 = 6.6181 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai, and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Christopher Cushing)