Helen Roxburgh
Nov 9, 2018

Behind the scenes of Singles Day 2018: strategies of the major platforms

Following the discount shopping festival, we look at the recent tactical shifts made by China's biggest e-commerce platforms—and why they went back to basics this year.

Two kung fu masters, who also work as couriers, deliver parcels ordered online in pre-Singles Day sales in Dengfeng, Henan province [Photo: AFP]

November 11 Singles Day, and a buying bonanza. What started as a celebration for single male university students morphed into a shopping event in 2009, when Alibaba chose the date to promote its new Tmall platform with a day of big discounts, and it is now, in its 10th year, a massive commercial phenomenon. 

Signs of slowing growth are emerging, however. Research firm Oliver Wyman predicted that shopper spend would increase only 9% this...

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