Chinese e-retailers JD.com and Alibaba have reportedly clocked record-breaking earnings from the “singles day” sales event. Most profits were attributed to luxury goods, including the iPhone. JD.com said that in the first two seconds of the event alone, it sold iPhones worth 100 million yuan ($15.64 million). Unfortunately, it didn’t reveal which models were sold.
When the iPhone 13 launched in September 2021, its popularity caused Chinese retail websites to cave under demand. Later, estimates suggested that over five million preorders were placed for the iPhone 13, of which JD.com alone took more than three million. However, that wasn’t the end of it.
During promotional events that ran in China on November 11, celebrated as “Singles Day” or “Double 11” (because of the date 11/11), retailers JD.com and Alibaba together recorded $139 billion in sales and set a new record.
CNBC reported that between late October and November 11, JD.com sold merchandise worth $54.6 billion. The retailer said that this was 28 percent higher than last year’s sales during the same timeframe. This is a strong improvement considering that the iPhone 13 series is just an incremental improvement from the iPhone 12 series.
Compared to the iPhone 12 models, the iPhone 13 series have new camera features, including macro mode, cinematic mode, support for Dolby Vision recording, and Night mode on the Telephoto lens. It also has Apple’s new A15 bionic that brings noteworthy, yet small performance improvements and a smaller but taller notch than its predecessor. As we noted in our review roundup for the iPhone 13, the improvements are subtle and you could wait it out until the next generation if you’re using an iPhone 12. In this context, the overwhelming demand for the iPhone 13 in China can surprise many.
While the quantified sales figures might appear fantastic to the untrained eye, those following the Singles Day event would note that this year, sales from this event rose at their slowest rate since it debuted in 2009. This was the first year that Alibaba failed to achieve double-digit year-on-year growth in the event.
BBC reported that the downturn is because, after years of constrained oversight, Beijing has enforced regulations to ensure technology companies compete fairly and contribute more to society. Alibaba was the deer in the headlights and had to pay $2.8 billion in fines after a probe found it guilty of abusing its market position. That said, the high sales figures are a testament to the spending power of the Chinese masses and the lure of ever-improving tech products, but not the growth of e-commerce companies in China.[Via CNBC]