China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has warned retailers that it will be monitoring sales practices during Singles’ Day (Nov. 11), according to a report by Seeking Alpha.
Inspired by Alibaba’s SEC troubles earlier this year, the SAIC plans to closely monitor the site for misrepresented advertising, the selling of counterfeit products and fraudulent accounting practices. Alibaba is quoted as saying, “We are the industry leader in combating unfair and illicit practices; we never tolerate malpractices by merchants on our marketplaces.”
Amazon, which just launched Prime in China at the end of October, along with JD.com, Baidu and other major retailers, are under similar SAIC scrutiny during Singles’ Day.
In a statement on their website, the SAIC said, “The SAIC will strengthen market supervision … monitor and manage online marketplaces according to law, and together with the majority of industry players jointly create an online market environment of fair competition and an environment for online consumption that is safe and secure.”
Singles’ Day, a nationwide celebration of the single life, was made into a retail giant after Alibaba began offering sales back in 2009. It is the largest eCommerce shopping day in the world. Last year, Alibaba alone took in $14.3 billion, a 60 percent increase from 2014 figures.
Figures for 2016 are expected to increase even further. By comparison, total Black Friday sales in 2016 are projected to exceed $3 billion for the first time in history — not a small amount by any means, but far less than what Singles’ Day reportedly brings in.
For the first time, Alibaba plans to cater to shoppers in Hong Kong and Taiwan on Singles’ Day, according to Seeking Alpha. The company hopes to be able to cash in on an increasing amount of international interest in Singles’ Day, as well as all the surrounding hype.