EMQQ’s Carter comments on Single’s Day

Kevin Carter and his colleagues behind EMQQ, the USD360 million Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF, have commented on what is the biggest, but possibly not so well known in the West, shopping day in the world.

Single’s Day or the 11/11 celebration in China will see the Chinese ecommerce company platform Alibaba (BABA) as a prime beneficiary of increased revenue generated on 11/11, Carter says.  After eclipsing USD30 billion in sales during the 2018’s sales event, what does Alibaba have on tap for this year, he asks, commenting that dominant Chinese ecommerce firms, such as Alibaba and JD.com, may benefit during the sales event.
Single’s Day is a holiday popular among young Chinese people that celebrates their pride in being single. The event began as a protest of sorts against Valentine’s Day, propelled by college students in the 1990s. The date 11/11 is significant because of the solitary implications of the number 1.  Much like other holidays, Singles’ Day has turned into a retail event, Carter explains.
“Single’s Day really came into prominence in 2009, when Alibaba turned the holiday into an online — and occasionally brick-and-mortar — mercantile extravaganza.  As a result, Single’s Day has become linked with Alibaba.
“Following up on an initiative from last year, Alibaba is looking to expand the sales event and its reach outside of its home country China.”
Alibaba televises a celebration gala in the hours leading up to the start of the sales event.  This year, the company plans to broadcast the gala on 10 cable networks across China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and North America to broaden its reach internationally.  In addition, Alibaba intends to lengthen the broadcast, starting in the afternoon leading up to the event rather than at 8:00 pm.
Additionally, Alibaba is leveraging its non-China franchises such as Lazada and AliExpress to generate more 11/11 sales outside of China.  According to a Forbes article, Alibaba has over 130 million customers outside of China, Carter says.
“Many of Alibaba’s 730 million customers in China are only active on one of the company’s platforms, such as Tmall, Hema, or Alipay, according to Forbes.  Alibaba is focusing on how to move these consumers beyond a one-off transaction to become part of the broader Alibaba ecosystem.
“According to a company press release, Alibaba is focusing on its Alibaba Business Operating System, a suite of digital tools that integrates its ecommerce platforms with its cloud intelligence technology “to help brands and companies reach more customers, better understand their needs, and deepen engagement with them.”
This will be Alibaba’s first Singles Day since the retirement of its founder Jack Ma.  However, Daniel Zhang, Ma’s successor, helped develop the Singles Day event at Alibaba, which helps to build confidence in the potential success of this year’s event, Carter says.
“Alibaba is also looking to roll out tools and programs that will help international brands adapt and localize in China.  This may help brands navigate and customise products specifically for the Chinese markets.”
Alibaba’s competitors are also looking to capitalise on the 11/11 sales event.  Last year, JD.com racked up USD23 billion during the Singles Day event, Carter says, although they began their programme on 11/1.  Though not as big as Alibaba, JD is a significant presence, particularly in consumer electronics.

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Beverly Chandler
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