The results come as overall consumption in China slows and shuts down a relatively tenuous version of a sales festival that Alibaba once aggressively promoted.
Prior to the start of the sale period, analysts said they expected Alibaba would report only a slight hike in GMV this year, citing slowing retail sales, supply shortages, power outages and COVID-19 blocks.
Alibaba turned informal Singles Day in China into a shopping event in 2009 and turned it into the largest online sales party in the world, making Cyber Monday in the United States go pale.
Since then, the festival, which Alibaba last year extended to an 11-day event with best deals concentrated across two discount periods, November 1-3 and November 11, has become a meter of consumer sentiment in the second world economy.
Last year, the company amassed $ 74 billion in GMV over the 11-day event.
This year, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd downplayed its sales figures and touted its social welfare initiatives in the closing hours of its Singles party Thursday, marking a change of tone for the highly publicized event.
Avoiding a continuous tally of transactions that had taken center stage in previous years, Alibaba urged viewers of a three-hour live stream to click “like” and help raise 1 million yuan ($ 156,359.90 ) for a 200-acre (81-hectare) elephant reserve in rural southwestern China.
The e-commerce giant dampened the marketing hype due to ongoing regulatory tightening by Chinese authorities, saying it has focused on sustainable growth this year.
In previous years, Alibaba touted Chinese consumer demand for washing machines, smartphones and makeups with an all-night stats presentation. But this year it used its gala to highlight initiatives such as a program that helps disabled people purchase clothing and efforts to use more environmentally friendly packaging.
Still, the event remains a major draw for millions of merchants and shoppers, with flashy offerings and live streamers selling products from skin care products to athletic shoes on Alibaba’s platforms, including its Taobao and Tmall markets.
Alibaba said nearly 400 brands, including Apple Inc and L’Oreal SA, had grossed over $ 15 million in sales each by the middle of Thursday.
The trade event comes after a year of ongoing regulatory tightening by Chinese authorities in several sectors, during which Alibaba was a frequent target.
The e-commerce giant was fined a record $ 2.8 billion fine for monopoly behavior in April and its founder, Jack Ma, China’s highest-profile entrepreneur, retired from public view after criticizing Chinese regulators a year ago.