On November 24, China’s largest e-commerce platform Alibaba’s Taobao announced that the Taobao ‘Double 12’ event — an end-of-year shopping festival that takes place on December 12 — will not be held this year.
Instead, the platform initiated a new large-scale event dubbed the ‘Taobao Year-End Good Price’ festival, which will be launched on December 9 at 8pm. Merchant recruitment is expected to begin this week.
Double 12 has always been a continuation of Singles’ Day, or also known as Double 11. While the latter has always been Tmall’s battleground for big brands to clear their inventory. Double 12 was originally invented as a festival reserved for small and medium-sized merchants on Taobao.
However, the shopping bonanza had been noticeably quiet. It lacked big names to drive traffic. Perhaps, Alibaba’s reinvented festival might spark some excitement.
The Jing Take
The Double 12 shopping festival has existed for over a decade — its sudden cancellation undermines shopping carnivals’ ability to attract consumers.
According to Alibaba’s 2024 second quarter financial results, Taobao and Tmall’s total online merchandise transaction volume has drastically declined. Their year-on-year revenue growth ranked second to last among Alibaba’s business segments. Since last year, Taobao and Tmall’s parent company stopped releasing data on its Single’s Day (also known as Double 11) gross merchandise value (GMV).
Although Alibaba was the first to introduce Double 11 and Double 12 shopping festivals, the events grew to encompass all e-commerce platforms, from JD.com and Pinduoduo to Douyin and Xiaohongshu, all diverting traffic from Alibaba.
Since 2015, Alibaba has applied for multiple related trademarks. However, Double 11 and Double 12 are commonly used terms. It would be impossible for Alibaba to ring fence these terms as its own and prohibit other platforms from using them. Hence, Alibaba is trying to create a new festival that belongs only to it.
However, for the new Taobao Year-End Good Price festival to succeed, Alibaba must clearly differentiate it from Singles' Day.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.