The out-of-this-world success of Singles’ Day

opinion November 12, 2018 01:00

By Suwatchai Songwanich
CEO Bangkok Bank (China)

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Alibaba Group is taking its stratospheric success to the next level with the launch of a mini-space station and a communication satellite, to coincide with the e-commerce giant’s 10th annual Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza, held yesterday.



The mini-space station – Nicknamed “Candy Tin” – was launched and positioned in orbit in early November, while the Tmall Global communication satellite was scheduled for launch just days ahead of the immensely popular e-commerce festival. As well as commemorating the spending spree’s first decade, the satellite launches also mark 10 years since astronaut Zhai Zhigang took China’s first ever spacewalk.

According to Alibaba, one major purpose of the communication satellite is to enhance customers’ user experience during the Singles’ Day gala, but it did not disclose the functions of the mini space station. The satellite will complete an orbit of the Earth every 90 minutes, broadcasting messages to consumers via the Taobao app whenever the satellite passes over consumers all over the globe. 

Technology experts don’t believe that the satellite will actually have any substantial impact on the performance of the festival but agree that the promotional benefit alone could reinvigorate Singles’ Day by reminding consumers of the festival’s truly global impact.

Alibaba is bringing approximately 180,000 brands from within China and abroad to offer substantial discounts to consumers. Tmall Global, the dedicated e-commerce portal, will offer 3,700 categories of imported goods from 75 countries and regions on its platform.

Alibaba’s subsidiary platforms, such as AliExpress and Lazada, will amplify the event’s reach to hundreds of millions of shoppers overseas. 

Businesses in Thailand – such as successful health and beauty brands Thann and Snail White – are capitalising on this reach. These companies and more have 

set up their own flagship stores on 

e-commerce platforms such as Tmall to participate in the e-commerce extravaganza.

Jack Ma, Alibaba’s energetic founder and chairman supports this approach, having previously said that his company would work alongside the Thai government to develop and boost its e-payment network, so that more Thai products may be sold on their e-commerce platforms in the future. With Singles’ Day clocking up 168.2 billion yuan (Bt799.5 billion) in sales last year, it is no surprise that Thai businesses want to leverage this shopping festival’s immense success.

For more columns in this series please visit www.bangkokbank.com.