China | Low profile for “Singles’ Day” sale.

(Shanghai) Chinese e-commerce giants, led by Alibaba, organized a more cautious “Singles’ Day ”on Thursday, the monster sales operation taking place behind regulatory restrictions against the area.

Posted on Nov 11, 2021

Dan Martin |
France Media Agency

Leading global online commerce event, November 11 allows each year in China an influx of consumers with their smart phones to order millions of products at reduced prices (computers, clothing, food, etc. .).

These balances are usually accompanied by an intense media campaign on Alibaba’s part, with a giant screen showing in real time the evolution of the value of transactions – which generally amounts to several tens of billions of euros.

But on Thursday, there was no bluster, live countdown, or successful commentary from major players like Alibaba or rival The official media is mostly silent, while the event is usually on the front page.

Signs that the government’s campaign targeting large technology companies is having an impact.

November 11 (11/11) is called “double eleven” in China because of the consecutive “1” in the date – all symbols of celibacy.

Alibaba launched a decade ago, once the operation took place within a day. But platforms are already starting to 1eh November and even offer pre-sales from mid-October, diluting the volume of purchases in a few weeks.

“Deceptive behavior”

But the event, which surpasses the American “Black Friday” in sales volume, is an indicator that is closely monitored for consumption in the world’s second largest economy.

Alibaba and recorded sales for a total amount of 99 billion euros last year. Thursday night, however, no provisional count was proposed for the 2021 edition, contrary to custom. An Alibaba spokesperson said the company will only announce the total number when the sale day is over.

Chinese regulators have launched a campaign in recent months aimed specifically at ending personal data collection abuses or monopolistic practices. A turn of the screw that also seems to be motivated by the concerns of the authorities in the face of a technological sector that has become very powerful, producing tens of billions of euros and until now has not been regulated.

“It’s going in the right direction, at least for people, because we can’t accept this kind of deceptive behavior,” Ms.I Wu, a Shanghainese woman looking for promotions in a mall.

Many consumers have welcomed this screw against platforms, especially in the collection of personal data sometimes considered abusive. This regulatory campaign, however, shook Alibaba, and video game giant Tencent, causing them to lose billions of euros in market value.

Jack Ma

Experts agree, however, that the goal of the Communist Party is primarily to clean up practices in the sector and not permanently hinder the development of online commerce.

The latter remains important in the context of government policy aimed at focusing the national economy more on domestic consumption and less on the manufacturing and export industries.

Alibaba has maintained a low profile since last year and its founder Jack Ma’s criticism of Chinese regulators, which he has accused of hindering the growth of his business.

Authorities specifically imposed the suspension on a massive IPO (34 billion euros), of Ant Group, the financial arm of Alibaba, against the background of concern about the systematic risks that such an operation would pose. weigh China’s financial system.

Alibaba was then fined 2.3 billion euros for abusing a dominant position.

Some e-commerce players are allowed or called to order for their business practices, such as banning merchants from selling their products on competing platforms or using algorithms to bombard consumers. of recommendations.

Last weekend, the government issued special guidelines for “Singles Day”, reminding e-commerce giants that it is strictly forbidden to manipulate sales prices or sell counterfeit products.

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