No Record-breaking for Alibaba, JD.com on Singles' Day

The momentum of the 11.11 shopping festival has waned amid macro economic challenges.
Nov. 15, 2022 18:05
No Record-breaking for Alibaba, JD.com on Singles' Day

(CapitalWatch, Nov. 15, New York) Chinese e-commerce stocks continued rising Tuesday after Monday gains, with Alibaba soaring 11% to $79.28 per share and JD.com jumping 8% to $54.92 by midday. China's top two retailers just concluded their Singles' Day sales, but they were short of being successful. Meanwhile, official October retail sales data, released today, proved disappointing as Covid restrictions continued to weigh on the economy.

China's National Bureau of Statistics showed retail sales declined by 0.5% last month as compared to October of 2021. However, online retail prospered, with physical goods sales surging 22% from a year ago.

Year-to-date, sales growth sat at 0.6%; among decreased sales by category were home appliances, catering, and apparel. However, these seemed to have picked up this month amid the Singles' Day sales event.

China's biggest annual sales spree ran from Nov. 1 and concluded on Nov. 11, which this year fell on a Friday. Every year on this date, Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA; HKEX: 9988) and JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD; HKEX: 9618) broke their prior records on sales and other metrics. But this year, the giants held back their sales data as they released general optimistic messages on consumption.

In its report, JD.com said it saw a new record in transactions in certain categories like electronics and home appliances and noted the new consumption trends: long-term value investments in fitness and education, environmental awareness, Chinese fashion, awareness of agricultural produce source, and others.

On its side, Alibaba said the gross merchandise volume was "in line with the previous year despite Covid, economic headwinds." That means it was close to the $84.54 billion that the company reported a year ago. And that makes one thing certain – the slowdown of sales growth.

To recap, in 2021, Alibaba saw 8% year-over-year growth in sales volume; in 2020 Alibaba's GMV had doubled. JD reported a 28% growth in transactions in 2021 as compared to the Singles' Day of 2019.

Despite missed estimates on October metrics, Chinese stocks gained momentum this week as talks between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded on an optimistic note, though neither side seemed to budge on the conflict points.