With the end of China’s largest online shopping festival on Thursday, it appears that creator Alibaba is increasingly having to share the spotlight with rivals, reports Caixin. The company has been under a large amount of pressure from the crackdown on the tech sector throughout the past year, forcing it to stop its practice of forcing vendors to list products exclusively on its platforms as well as requiring it to begin accepting more alternative forms of payment to its Alipay service. Competition regulators fined the company RMB 18 billion ($2.81 billion) in April.
Rival shopping platforms JD.com and Pinduoduo have been among the biggest beneficiaries of Alibaba’s loosened grip on e-commerce, but the rise of livestreaming has brought new players to the fore for this year’s November 11 Singles’ Day sales, including video services Kuaishou and Douyin, the domestic version of ByteDance’s TikTok app.
Traditionally, Alibaba would release early sales figures soon after the official kick off of the Singles’ Day sale, also known as Double 11, and then provide updates until it ended at midnight. Last year, it released fewer updates and as of mid-afternoon on Thursday, the company had not said anything about this year’s activity. Officials did not respond to questions about when and what might be released later in the day. Last year, Alibaba recorded $74 billion of sales on its platforms across 11 days of promotions.