Xiaomi claims a record $3.11 billion in Singles Day sales

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YICHANG, CHINA – OCTOBER 29, 2023 – Customers experience Mi 14 series phones at a Xiaomi store in Yichang, Hubei province, China, Oct 29, 2023. (Photo by Costfoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

BEIJING — Chinese smartphone and consumer electronics company Xiaomi claimed record sales across platforms during the Singles Day shopping festival.

From Oct. 23 to the end of day on Nov. 11, Xiaomi said it sold more than 22.4 billion yuan ($3.11 billion) worth of products on platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao, JD.com, Pinduoduo and Douyin.

Xiaomi shares were briefly up more than 2% in Hong Kong trade late Monday morning. Locally traded shares of Alibaba and JD.com gave up earlier gains.

For a second-straight year, the two online shopping giants declined to share total figures for the Singles Day shopping festival.

JD only said transaction and order volume reached record highs. Alibaba said that gross merchandise value, order numbers and participating merchants grew from a year ago. GMV measures sales over time.

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By brand, JD said transaction volume of Apple products exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.39 billion). That’s the same figure JD shared for Singles Day results in 2021. It did not provide a comparable figure in 2022.

Lululemon, a relatively new brand to the China market, saw transaction volume on JD increase 260% during the shopping festival from a year ago, the Chinese retailer said.

Alibaba did not share much detail on sales by product or brand for the entire shopping festival period.

Xiaomi claimed its newly released Xiaomi 14 smartphone was the top-seller on Alibaba’s Tmall from Nov. 4 to 11. The company also claimed first place in different categories of Chinese brands’ smartphone sales across other online shopping platforms.

“Much better-than-expected Mi14 sales creates earnings accretion and potential valuation re-rating ahead,” HSBC analysts wrote in a Nov. 6 report.

“We raise our smartphone shipment forecasts for Xiaomi by 7% in 2023e to c150m units and by 6% in 2024e to 160m units,” the analysts said.

Low expectations

Over the past decade, Singles Day has expanded from a one-day shopping festival into a multi-week period of shopping promotions across different online platforms in China.

In 2022, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Alibaba had said its Singles Day sales were “in line” with the prior year, which had recorded the equivalent of $84.54 billion GMV at the time.

Uncertainty about future income has weighed on retail sales in China over the last few years.

Ahead of this year’s shopping festival, a survey by Bain and Company found that 77% of consumers in China did not plan to increase spending.

Livestreaming sales

Livestreaming and short videos on platforms such as Alibaba’s Taobao and ByteDance’s Douyin remained a growing sales channel.

GMV from livestreaming rose by 19% during the shopping festival this year, according to estimates from data company Syntun and Morningstar senior equity analyst Chelsey Tam.

Tmall accounted for the bulk of sales, or 60%, in a category that Syntun called “comprehensive e-commerce platforms,” Tam said in a note.

JD accounted for 28%, while Pinduoduo had a 7% share, the report said.

Kuaishou, a short video and livestreaming app, said orders grew by nearly 50% during the Singles Day shopping period.

More details on Singles Day results and Chinese consumer trends could come out during corporate earnings calls later this week. JD.com is due to report quarterly results Wednesday evening, while Alibaba is set to release earnings Thursday evening Beijing time.

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