Huawei, Xiaomi & Apple Lead in 11.11 Singles’ Day Sale

Since 2009, Alibaba group has transformed the date of Nov 11, well-known as the Singles’ Day in China for the pictographic character “11.11”, as an ecommerce shopping festival, by offering attractive discounts and coupons to entice consumers. The 11.11 shopping festival has since grown in support, popularity and turnover with millions of merchants and hundreds of millions of netizens benefitting from the grand sale. This grand sales carnival has seen a steady increase in participation from all major ecommerce players including Tmall,, Suning,, and more.

Battle of GMVs – Tmall leads breaking records year after year

2017 11.11 Shopping Festival has just ended with GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) in China reaching an unprecedented amount of CYN 254 billion (or USD 38 Billion) within 24 hours, up 44% annually. This is a leading indicator of the sustainable growth in popularity of online shopping among Chinese consumers, and the growing purchasing power also in online channels.

Source: Counterpoint Estimates

Transactions on Tmall and dominated during the entire day, accounting for 66% and 21% of the total GMV, cementing the top two spots as the most popular destinations for online shopping.

Tmall alone reached a record breaking GMV of USD 25 Billion (CNY 168 Billion) in just 24 hours, growing a massive 39% YoY. This was driven by a record 812 million delivery orders up 23% annually with more than 1.5 billion transactions from Alipay alone, signifying the scale of Alibaba’s operations. While this is a significant feat, even more startling is that almost 90% of GMV was generated by mobile commerce indicating that the smartphone is becoming the number one medium for online shopping.

Source: TMall, Counterpoint Estimates

Sales of mobile devices made up for around 8.7% of total GMV, bringing a thrilling Singles’ Day revenue of US$ 3 billion in revenues (CYN22 billion). The story was similar across rival as well.

Tmall and were competing closely to offer appealing discounts for all products on-sale. The general prices of smartphone products was discounted by around ¥ 100-200 during the event with additional price-cuts offered for premium members or cash coupon holders (electronic cash coupons ranging from ¥50-300 were distributed to the market before 11.11.

Huawei-Honor Shines!

  • Huawei was the biggest winner on 2016 11.11 Shopping Festival, with its sales by volume topping on both Tmall and (Huawei + Honor > Xiaomi).
  • This year Huawei further increased its power; Honor alone became the leader on by both sales volume and sales revenue.
  • It’s getting a lot more attention, due to it being the first Chinese brand ever to surpass Apple in terms of sales revenue.

Xiaomi Rising as it makes a Comeback

  • Xiaomi is also a remarkable performer as the No. 1 by sales volume on Tmall, where it gained a revenue of around ¥2.5billion.
  • The performance of Xiaomi is in line with market expectation, since it has been rising impressively this year in both China and other emerging markets abroad.

The difference in ranking of Honor and Xiaomi in the two platforms could be partly attributed to the discrepancy in their business relationship. We can see from the event, that generally Honor products were offering better prices on while Xiaomi and Redmi products were priced more competitively on Tmall.

Apple remains an Aspirational & Popular Brand

  • Apple also presented strongly, following Honor and Xiaomi with its fixed position as King of sales in premium sector.
  • Surprisingly, iPhone 8 & 8 Plus are the only models that made their way into the Top 10 hot-sellers board apart from Honor & Xiaomi products.

OPPO, vivo and Meizu remain weak in online channels

  • Like last year, OPPO and VIVO, the second and third position vendors in China, demonstrated moderate performance on the 11.11 Shopping Festival due in part to them offering only modest discounts.
  • Last year, Meizu was one of the notable players, standing at 3rd position on Tmall by both sales volume and revenue; this year it dropped out of the top 3 due to a lack of new products launched with the latest features e.g. bezel-free display

Other insights from the 2017 11.11 Shopping Festival:

Expansion in offline channels:

  • Another significant milestone of the shopping festival this year is expansion of the event in offline channels.
  • Over 1 million retail partners from both China and abroad have managed to offer the same discount at their offline stores to align with online activities.

Global expansion:

  • “Globalization” has become the key word for Alibaba’s Tmall business during the 11.11 Shopping Festival over the past two years.
  • With Alibaba’s footprint touching international markets, the 11.11 Shopping Festival is benefiting worldwide retailers as well.
  • According to data from Tmall, over 200 countries have participated in cross-border transaction activities this year.

Breakthrough in Smart AI Speaker Sales:

  • Domestic smart speakers, represented by Tmall Genie, is a black horse emerging from the 11.11 Shopping Festival this year, breaking through the sales bottleneck smart speaker brands have suffered from in the China market over the last two years.
  • Despite the popularity in overseas markets, smart speakers failed to be embraced by Chinese consumers. Tmall, nevertheless, promoted Tmall Genie, its own-brand smart speaker product with AI function. The promotion of Tmall Genie was to not only drive sales by Alibaba, but also part of its ecosystem strategy to connect users to Ali platforms and increase traffic to its services.

To get the full report on the Single’s Day Sale containing key insights and details on top selling brands and models:  Click Here

Flora is a Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research based out of Hong Kong. She started her career as an analyst for new market development with LeEco APAC, where she conducted market research regarding telecommunications, smart devices, internet and OTT business across APAC region. Furthermore, she moved to China Mobile International (CMI) to support globalization of the leading Chinese telecom giant, and help with strategic cooperation between CMI and global carriers. To pursue her line of interest in smart devices, IoT and mobile ecosystem, she joined Counterpoint Research team. In academics Flora holds a Master in Corporate Communications with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Bachelor of Law in International Relations and Regional Studies with Sun Yat-sen University.

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