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The popularity of China's annual 'Singles Day' shopping event declines.

The popularity of China’s annual ‘Singles Day’ shopping event declines.

The annual event known as “Singles Day” in China will end at midnight on Saturday. However, it seems that consumers are not as interested in the flashy sales and discounts this year due to the slowdown of the world’s second largest economy.

Created by the renowned technology company Alibaba, “Singles Day” – which now spans more than a week – was introduced in 2009 and has grown into a highly popular annual retail event.

A recent report by the consulting company Bain stated that sales for Singles Day last year totaled $153 billion.

According to Bain’s survey of consumers this year, 77% indicated that they do not intend to increase their spending during the sales event.

“Currently, individuals are decreasing their consumption habits as they lack a strong inclination to purchase numerous items,” stated 23-year-old Zhang Chuwen, a recent graduate, in an interview with AFP.

She stated that instead of using the sales for non-essential items, her friends were buying everyday necessities.

Some have claimed that the promotions for Singles Day this year are not as impressive as in previous years. It has been speculated that certain websites may have increased their prices before the holiday, only to offer discounts on the day itself.

According to 21-year-old Guan Yonghao, the prices are fairly similar to those on other days, as reported by AFP.

“I refrained from making any purchases,” he mentioned. “We will be able to save a bit since our income has decreased.”

According to Jacob Cooke, the co-founder and CEO of WPIC Marketing + Technologies, an e-commerce consulting firm in Beijing, Singles Day has diminished in popularity due to various factors.

According to him, the increase of livestreaming and additional shopping events has diminished the appeal of Singles Day as a prime opportunity to purchase discounted items.

Slowing demand

Livestreamers, who attract millions of viewers for Chinese e-commerce giants through lengthy online sales presentations, are reporting a decline compared to previous versions of the shopping extravaganza.

According to Liu Kai, an e-commerce livestreamer, the online sales on Singles Day this year are not as impressive as those from last year or two years ago.

The event’s name plays on a humorous celebration of being single, taking inspiration from the four ones in its date – November 11th, or 11/11.

However, some platforms started their sales as early as late October this year.

Last year, Alibaba, along with its primary competitor, did not disclose complete sales numbers for the shopping extravaganza. Instead, they stated that sales remained the same as the previous year.

The decrease in sales comes after the recent news that China has returned to a state of deflation in October, highlighting the efforts still needed by authorities to boost demand.

In recent months, Beijing has taken steps to support its struggling economy by introducing various measures, focusing on the struggling property market, and revealing a significant infrastructure investment plan.