Alibaba Ditched Its Popular Singles Day Influencers For Corporate Entrepreneurs - Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA)


Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA kicked off its Singles Day extravaganza for the first time in years without its two mega sales stars, casting doubt over China’s biggest shopping event and the performance of the brands, Reuters reported.

Alibaba’s extravaganza, built up from a one-day November 11 sale to a nearly two-week festival, will begin with seven days of pre-sales.

Lately, Li Jiaqi and Viya, known respectively as China’s livestreaming sales king and queen, headed the pre-sales from lipstick to rocket launchers on Taobao Live, Alibaba’s livestreaming channel.

In 2021, they pre-sold a combined 18.9 billion yuan ($2.61 billion) worth of products on opening day, accounting for about 3.5% of the entire event’s takings.

In 2022, Alibaba promoted appearances by tech entrepreneur Luo Yonghao and Yu Minhong, founder of New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc, who had hosted popular livestreaming sales shows on ByteDance’s Douyin.

Viya remained offline since facing a penalty for tax evasion in December. Li, also known as Austin, missed Alibaba’s Singles Day marketing after he disappeared for three months. Li returned to screens in September but remained lower-key than before his disappearance

Jiaqi was cut off abruptly mid-show, on the eve of the anniversary of the country’s Tiananmen Square crackdown on June 3, after he promoted an ice cream product decorated as a tank.

People close to Li said cosmetics products would make up only 30% of his lineup this Singles’ Day, compared with 40% last year, with more necessities and Chinese brands to be featured.

Analysts saw another year of slowing sales this Singles Day, dampened by a slowing economy and China’s zero-COVID policy. 

In 2021, Alibaba toned down the event’s marketing hype amid regulatory scrutiny and recorded 8.5% sales growth, its slowest ever.

Alibaba dismissed concerns about traffic. “Instead of a traffic-driven model, Taobao Live helps merchants grow their businesses sustainably,” it said.

Price Action: BABA shares traded lower by 11.30% at $64 on the last check Monday.


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