Battle for Singles Day Supremacy

Alibaba’s latest quarterly revenue indicates a company still much dependent on its home turf and maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

For the 3-month period ending September 30, Alibaba’s total revenue increased 31.7% year-over-year with the China Commerce group leading the way, up 35.1% compared to the International Commerce group, up 13.5% for the same period.
Indeed, despite its strategic plans to grow International, China continues to represents the largest percentage of total revenue, over 80%.

And so, it’s no wonder there’s a lot riding on the largest e-commerce event, Singles Day, November 11. First introduced by Alibaba it has now been embraced by others including and has also spread outside China’s borders.

A highly competitive period, has filed complaints against Alibaba alleging the company “disrupted order in the ecommerce market” by pressuring merchants to withdraw from’s Singles Day promotion. In a separate filing, is also suing Alibaba accusing it of exaggerating its same-day delivery services.

Needless to say, all eyes will be on this week’s Singles Day activities. Not only will sales be monitored but once again, logistics will be in the spotlight. In fact, Alibaba released a press release espousing the readiness of its logistics subsidiary, Cainiao:

  • 5,000 warehouses
  • 400,000 vehicles and 200 aircraft
  • Hassle-free logistics for international deliveries: Supported by 49 cross-border delivery partners which have set up 16  dedicated cross-border delivery routes and 74 warehouses to handle an estimated 4 million packages a day.
  • In addition, Cainiao has made arrangements to expedite customs clearance for cross-border packages via bonded warehouses, while integrating logistics data-sharing with local customs agencies in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Guangzhou.

As China’s second largest e-commerce provider, albeit a rather distant one, appears ready but perhaps more focused on the Chinese domestic market. As of June 30, 2015:

  • 166 warehouses in 44 Chinese cities
  • 4,142 delivery stations and pickup stations
  • Delivery network covers 2,043 counties and districts
  • Crowd-sourced delivery platform, JD Daojia, to provide 2-hour grocery delivery in partnership with offline stores
    211 Same-Day/Next Day delivery program covers 135 and 951 counties and districts respectively (as of July 31, 2015)

The clear winner of Singles Day 2015 is expected to be Alibaba once again. Alibaba expects this year’s Single Day event to break the 2014 record in which it earned $9.3 billion. In addition, 25 countries will join the festive event and will likely benefit Alibaba’s International Commerce group, however, its China Commerce group that will likely continue to lead the way in terms of revenue growth thanks to Alibaba and Cainiao recent domestic expansions and partnerships.

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