Singles Day 2020—bigger, longer, and more live · TechNode

Singles Day this year once again smashed sales records for China’s major e-commerce platforms. If the year’s most popular shopping event is a barometer of the country’s economic health, as often perceived, the patient is on their way to a full recovery from the year of Covid. But Chinese e-commerce titans didn’t reach GMV heights the old-fashioned online way. New bells, whistles, and windows made it all possible.

Alibaba booked RMB 498.2 billion ($74.1 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) during the promotional period stretching from Nov. 1 to Nov. 11. That figure was 26% more than the company booked for Singles Day in 2019, and represented the fastest growth rate in three years, according to Jiang Fan, president of Alibaba’s affiliate sites Tmall and Taobao. To put the figure into perspective, sales were double the net worth of MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and the richest woman in the world.

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Meanwhile, Alibaba rival recorded RMB 271.5 billion in GMV during Singles Day, an increase of 33% on the company’s 2019 figure for the period. Despite the skyrocketing GMV, JD expects a lower operating margin for the fourth quarter of the year, partially due marketing expenses for promotional events like Singles Day.


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Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at [email protected] More by Emma Lee

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