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With discounts galore and Taylor Swift, Alibaba eyes another record Singles' Day

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11/08/2019 | 08:33am EST
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen

Alibaba Group will kick off its annual 24-hour shopping extravaganza on Monday with deals and deep discounts galore, and a performance by American popstar Taylor Swift to top it all, as it pushes to rake in another record Singles' Day sales.

This year's Nov. 11 bash comes as the $486 billion Chinese retail juggernaut navigates through a major turning point, the resignation in September of its flamboyant co-founder Jack Ma as chairman, and looks to raise up to $15 billion via a share sale in Hong Kong as early as this month.

Akin to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, Singles' Day, a shopping fest originally promoted by Alibaba Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang in 2009, has since grown rapidly to become the world's biggest online sales event.

Alibaba saw sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles' Day last year, dwarfing $7.9 billion U.S. online sales for Cyber Monday. Yet, the 27% sales growth was the lowest in the event's 10-year history, spurring a search for fresh ideas.

"This year will be the 11th 11.11 festival, with more than 200,000 brands participating, one million new products on offer and over 500 million users are expected to participate – about 100 million more than last year," Alibaba said in a statement.

Taylor Swift, whose latest album "Lover" has broken records in China, will headline this year's opening gala alongside local celebrities like Jackson Yee. Swift also performed at Prime Day concert for rival Amazon.com earlier this year.

Alibaba's Singles' Day celebrations have featured U.S. singer Mariah Carey and musician Pharrell Williams in the past.

Livestreamers are also set to play a prominent role in product promotions this year, as Alibaba increasingly turns to online video influencers to increase engagement on its app.

It has partnered with Kuaishou and Douyin, two popular Chinese video apps, to help it broadcast product promotions, and in the run-up to the show even roped in U.S. celebrity entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, who launched a Tmall stream to promote her KKW line of beauty products.

For a graphic on Alibaba's Singles' Day, see


Its heavy marketing campaign underscores intensifying competition with smaller rivals such as Pinduoduo which have outsmarted Alibaba in second- and third-tier cities with deep discounts and group-buying deals.

Alibaba has been trying to expand its customer base beyond its core first- and second-tier city shoppers to less developed areas to combat slowing retail sales growth, describing it as a key strategy for the firm this year.

Pinduoduo will be also holding its own "Singles' Day" events on the same day.

The e-commerce upstart has signalled its intentions to break Alibaba and rival JD.com's stronghold on wealthy Chinese shoppers, saying that half of the app's users now hail from first- and second-tier cities.

Alibaba also faces challenges of a regulatory crackdown and a slowing economy, hurt by U.S.-China trade tensions.

Ahead of the Nov. 11 event, China warned Alibaba and JD.com to stop practices that could be deemed as monopolistic, state media reported earlier this month.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Himani Sarkar)

By Josh Horwitz

Stocks treated in this article : Amazon.com, JD.com, Inc., Pinduoduo Inc.
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMAZON.COM -0.86% 1739.49 Delayed Quote.15.81%
JD.COM, INC. -0.06% 33.55 Delayed Quote.60.30%
PINDUODUO INC. 3.49% 42.76 Delayed Quote.90.55%
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Financials (CNY)
Sales 2019 569 B
EBIT 2019 7 342 M
Net income 2019 7 971 M
Finance 2019 35 176 M
Yield 2019 -
P/E ratio 2019 43,0x
P/E ratio 2020 44,1x
EV / Sales2019 0,54x
EV / Sales2020 0,45x
Capitalization 343 B
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Technical analysis trends JD.COM, INC.
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 39
Average target price 263,16  CNY
Last Close Price 235,10  CNY
Spread / Highest target 55,0%
Spread / Average Target 11,9%
Spread / Lowest Target -18,6%
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Qiang Dong Liu Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Nan Li Director-Strategy & Operations
Xuan De Huang Chief Financial Officer
Chi Ping Lau Director
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1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
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