The Chinese e-commerce large Alibaba stated $84.5 billion in merchandise was bought on its platforms in the course of the Singles Day buying competition that ended on Thursday, an 8.5 p.c enhance over final yr and a sign that Beijing’s marketing campaign to tighten regulation of web corporations has not dimmed customers’ enthusiasm for getting stuff on-line.

Even so, the expansion in gross sales was down from the 26 p.c enhance that the corporate reported in 2020 in contrast with the yr earlier than.

The quantity Alibaba pronounces every year after its large retail bonanza is gross merchandise quantity, which is supposed to signify the overall worth of orders. There isn’t any standardized manner of calculating this metric throughout the e-commerce trade, so Alibaba has leeway to decide on the outcome it stories.

This yr’s determine captured gross sales from Nov. 1 by way of Nov. 11. Singles Day was as soon as a 24-hour occasion, however has ballooned right into a multiweek extravaganza. Before final yr, Alibaba’s headline quantity captured gross sales on Nov. 11 solely.

China’s authorities has moved quickly over the previous yr to impose new strictures on large web corporations, which lengthy grew with little oversight of their enterprise practices. Beijing now needs the tech trade to compete pretty and contribute extra to society. In response, Alibaba put a socially acutely aware spin on this yr’s Singles Day, emphasizing eco-friendly merchandise and campaigns to assist uncared for kids and seniors.

Before Thursday, it was not clear that Alibaba would launch a closing Singles Day gross sales determine in any respect this yr. When requested about it by The New York Times this week, an Alibaba spokeswoman declined to remark. Last month, Alibaba’s chief advertising and marketing officer, Chris Tung, stated the corporate’s focus had shifted from pure gross sales progress to “sustainable growth.”

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