Alibaba slides ahead of its Singles Day shopping event

  • Alibaba will hold its Singles Day shopping event on Sunday.
  • November 11 was originally a Chinese holiday for singles, and Alibaba has turned it into the world’s largest online shopping festival.
  • Alibaba recently reported quarterly results that missed on revenues.The company also slashed its sales guidance in the wake of China’s slowing economic growth.
  • Watch Alibaba trade in real time here.

Alibaba, the largest e-commerce site in China, dropped 3% Friday as traders positioned themselves ahead of the company’s Singles Day event.

November 11, is a tongue-in-cheek student holiday in China to celebrate single people, countering Valentine’s Day, and Alibaba has turned it into a nationwide shopping event by offering heavy online discounts on that day.

When Alibaba firstly launched the shopping event in 2009, it sold $US7.8 million worth of goods through its platforms. Last year that number stood at more than $US25 billion, surpassing traditional American shopping holidays like Black Friday and Amazon’s Prime Day.

Now all eyes are on Alibaba’s performance this year as China has seen sluggish economic growth amid its ongoing trade tensions with the US. In the third quarter, China’s economy grew at a 6.5% year-over-year rate, the weakest since the financial crisis.

And Alibaba has felt the pain from China’s slowing economic growth. As part of the e-commerce giant’s September quarter results, the company posted revenue of $US85.1 billion, missing the $US86.5 billion that was expected by Wall Street analysts, according to Bloomberg. Alibaba also slashed its fiscal year 2019 revenue guidance by 4% to 6%, citing uncertain economy.

Also at stake is the pending retirement of Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma, who announced his plan to step down on September 10, 2019. Daniel Zhang, who joined the company’s Taobao subsidiary in 2007 and who was the architect of its Singles Day event, will place Ma as CEO.

Alibaba was down 21% this year.

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