SHANGHAI, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – The focus of the China Singles’ Day shopping festival should shift from a “traffic and sales war” to a war with science and technology, a state-sponsored newspaper said Friday, describing “the worship of sales.”[ads1]; as incompatible with China’s new path of development.
The Securities Daily article comes a day after the annual shopping flash led by Alibaba Group (9988.HK), which recorded 540.3 billion yuan in orders during the 11-day event.
The newspaper said that the event had achieved many years of record sales, but that it had also given rise to practices such as spam text messages to users, unfair competition and sellers such as false discounts. The model had become one where it was difficult to achieve “groundbreaking innovations”, the newspaper said.
Using low prices as a selling point, platforms and merchants stimulated “low-level” consumption, which was not in line with China’s goal of achieving high-quality development, it added.
“The worship of sales” is not only unsustainable when it comes to digital growth, but is also inextricably linked to chaos, the newspaper says.
It said it hoped to see Singles’ Day become a festival for platforms and companies to showcase innovative achievements, and ultimately even higher pursuits.
“I hope that one day China’s internet giants will no longer focus on the business of mom-and-pop stores, but will be able to go into space in their own private rocket,” said the article’s author, pointing to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla founder Elon Musk’s rocket projects as examples.
Alibaba and JD.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Alibaba turned China’s informal Singles’ Day into a shopping event in 2009 and built it into the world’s largest online sales party, overshadowing Cyber Monday in the United States.
It toned down the marketing hype this year in the midst of regulatory scrutiny, and did away with a rolling summary of transactions that had been at the center in previous years, saying it was focused on sustainability.
Rival JD.com (9618.HK), which also holds its own Singles Day shopping event, also did not publish sales data in real time.
($ 1 = 6.3898 Chinese yuan yuan)
Reporting by Brenda Goh. Edited by Gerry Doyle
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