Singles' Day

A person walks past a JD.com advertisement promoting the Singles' Day shopping festival, at a subway station in Beijing, China, on 26 October 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China's weak domestic demand drags down Singles’ Day sales

Singles’ Day is known as the sales day of the year, but this year the buzz seems to have gone out of it, as people are choosing not to spend as much as before. As the event marks its 15th year, the general vibe is no longer excitement, but fatigue. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.
An advertisement for the Singles' Day shopping event on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Tmall e-commerce platform at a subway station in Shanghai, China, on 4 November 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Singles’ Day sales losing their shine in China: How long can e-commerce platforms keep reducing prices?

With the annual Singles’ Day sale coming around again, e-commerce platforms are once again preparing to fight for a slice of the consumer market, not just among themselves but now also with physical stores joining the mix. But as consumers become more prudent in their spending and less inclined to navigate complicated terms and conditions for discounts, what can e-commerce platforms do to survive?
China's pet economy is taking off, driven by the one-child generation born in the 1980s and 1990s. (Internet/SPH)

China’s pet industry booms as the post-90s generation seeks to fill a void

The pet economy is thriving in China, driven mostly by the one-child generation who crave an emotional connection and young job seekers taking up “animal communication” gigs during the pandemic. Analysts are optimistic about this sector, where middle class households are more than willing to spend more on the physical and emotional well-being of their furkids. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong speaks to pet owners and business owners to uncover more about this emerging industry.
This picture taken on 28 October 2020 shows a customer (right) scanning a QR payment code (centre in green) to pay at a restaurant in Beijing, China. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

China will continue to dominate the e-commerce landscape in 2021

China will continue to flex its e-commerce muscles in 2021, predicts Associate Professor Chu Junhong from the NUS Business School. Expect a strong dose of cross-border e-commerce, livestreaming e-commerce, and more eye-catching short videos that promise great returns on “retailtainment”.
Employees attend a pep rally in the yard of a Cainiao warehouse, the logistics subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., ahead of the company's annual Singles' Day shopping extravaganza in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, China, on 9 November 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

You have to be as smart as the Chinese to survive Singles' Day shopping in China

Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu observes that this year’s head-spinning Singles’ Day sales deals are a tough nut to crack. It is almost as if the organisers want to prevent rather than promote these discounts. Then again, in Chinese life, everything seems to be just that little bit more difficult, whether it’s making a living, raising a child or even keeping a happy marriage going. What’s the moral of the story? Competition in China breeds the street-smart. But what happens to those who are just a tad slower on the uptake?
Tiffany & Co. held its grand exhibition at the Fosun Foundation Shanghai, themed "Vision & Virtuosity". (Photo: Yang Danxu)

The myth of China’s solid consumer demand

Why relying on domestic consumption to sustain China’s economy is putting one’s eggs all in one (wrong) basket.