11.11 Sales: Alibaba posts record sales for Singles Day, but growth is slowing

But its momentum is seriously slowing down as China’s economy weakens and as Beijing has tightened its grip on the tech industry.

Alibaba said that total gross merchandise volume (GMV) reached 540.3 billion yuan ($84.5 billion) through the first 11 days of November, culminating in the holiday on Thursday. That’s an increase of 8.5% from a year ago — far lower than the top end of a forecast recently given by analysts at Citi, who expected as much as a 15% increase, or 578 billion yuan ($90 billion). It’s also below the low end of that analyst forecast, some $86 billion.

This year’s figure is a big slowdown from the 26% jump Alibaba posted last year, compared to 2019.

The Citi analysts wrote Friday that while this year’s numbers were worse than they predicted, “it was not entirely unexpected” given tough competition, a slowing economy and softening consumer sentiment.

Smaller rival JD.com (JD) fared better, recording 349.1 billion yuan ($54.6 billion) in…

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