Alibaba: No sales figures from China wine festival

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Alibaba has said 100 million people 'took part' in its 9/9 online wine shopping festival, but the company said it wouldn't release sales figures.

Image: Alibaba wine and spirits sales festival
Image: Alibaba wine and spirits sales festival

The campaign began on 1 September and culminated on Friday 9 September on Alibaba's Tmall website.

Some analysts have speculated that the inaugural wine shopping festival failed to meet expectations, because Alibaba has decided not to release any figures.

'We do not have any sales figures to share for 9.9 Wine & Spirits Festival,' a spokesperson told Decanter.

'The event was focused on promoting wine and spirits culture to Chinese consumers and educating younger generation who are interested into the wine category. '

Alibaba released its sales figures in less than 24 hours after last year’s record-breaking ‘singles day’ shopping festival in China, held every 11 November.

'We want to focus on building solid infrastructures and empowering the digital transformation of industries like wine and spirits to support businesses and to also allow consumers to directly engage with brands and wine experts to bring awareness with the popularity of imported wine into China,' said the Alibaba spokes person.

· Read a fuller report of the festival in Terry Xu’s DecanterChina.com column, to be published Thursday 15 September.

But, Alibaba said the 9/9 festival achieved the 100 million participants that it set out to attract.

Nearly half of those people had never bought wines or spirits on Tmall before, it added.

And on the day of the festival's climax, 9 September or 9/9, sales between 9am and 10am were ten-fold higher than on the same day of last year.

Early feedback from trade sources in China suggests that famous wines sold well during the festival, which is the brainchild of Alibaba's billionaire founder Jack Ma.

Wines from estates including Lafite-Rothschild, Penfolds and Changyu are believed to have done well.

Lesser known brands found it harder to win over consumers, according to initial trade analysis.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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